NON-BIRD EXCEPTION -- This is also a component of the Veteran Free Agent exception. Its name is somewhat of a misnomer, since Non-Bird really is a form of Bird rights. Players who qualify for this exception are called "Non-Qualifying Veteran Free Agents" in the CBA. They are veteran free agents who are neither Qualifying Veteran Free Agents nor Early Qualifying Veteran Free Agents, and include the following:
Players who finished the season with a given team, who have played no more than one season without clearing waivers or changing teams as a free agent.
Players who were Early Bird free agents, but whose team renounced its right to use the Early Bird exception to re-sign the player.
Players who were to be Larry Bird or Early Bird free agents, were playing on one-year contracts, and were traded mid-season.
This exception allows a team to re-sign its own free agent to a salary starting at up to 120% of his salary in the previous season2 (not over the maximum salary, of course), 120% of the minimum salary, or the amount needed to tender a qualifying offer (if the player is a restricted free agent -- see question number 43), whichever is greater. Raises are limited to 4.5% of the salary in the first year of the contract, and contracts are limited to four seasons when this exception is used.
A partial season counts as a full season for the tenure calculation related to Bird rights. If a team signs another team's free agent to a rest-of-season contract mid-way through the season, then at the end of that season the player is a non-Bird free agent.
Starting January 10 of each season, this exception begins to reduce in value. See question number 26 for details.