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NBA players can invest in WNBA teams — with caveats

NBA star Kevin Durant wears a shirt in honor of the WNBA's 25th anniversary in 2021. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

NBA players will be able to invest in WNBA teams under their league’s new collective bargaining agreement.

The NBA and its players association agreed to a tentative CBA deal earlier this month, which opens up some (but not all) WNBA teams as viable investment opportunities.

Only WNBA teams without an NBA counterpart – meaning, teams who do not share ownership with an NBA team – are open to investments from NBA players. Additionally, each individual player can’t own more than 4% of a WNBA team, and NBA players combined can’t own more than 8% of a WNBA team, The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov reported Monday.

Under those restrictions, at least five teams — including the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury, Washington Mystics, Minnesota Lynx and Indiana Fever — cannot bring on NBA players as investors.

The Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Dallas Wings, Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm are independently owned. The Los Angeles Sparks have a separate ownership group from the Los Angeles Lakers, but several Sparks owners also invest in the Lakers, so their status under the new CBA remains to be seen.

NBA players will be able to invest in teams via an an NBPA-selected private equity firm, The Athletic reported.