A weaker version of the Larry Bird Exception to salary cap rules, this variant is called "Early Qualifying Veterans Free Agents" in the CBA. Unlike in the Larry Bird exception, which is a total of three seasons, a player qualifies for this in two seaons of play. Note, however, that this play must be without being waived or changing teams as a free agent.

By using this exception, a team may resign the free agent at 175% of salary, or average player's salary, whichever is greater. This salary may bring the team above the salary cap for the team - hence, the term exception. While under this exception, a player may receive up to 12.5% salary increases, this can last no longer then six seasons.

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