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March 29, 2015 Updates

When asked whether a deal could get done before 2017, Roberts said, “Sure. Wouldn’t it be great for everybody, the players, for the owners, and God knows the fans, if we could say these were the major issues that we knew we had to deal with and we saw no reason to wait until 2017, so we got them done? Not only is there not going to be any opting out, but we’ve agreed to these new terms and an extension of the CBA. Wouldn’t everybody just be delighted? It would be great for the game.” Boston Globe

“I give the commissioner the benefit of the doubt,” Roberts said. “I believe he will try to get the best deal he can for the owners and I fully expect him to know that I will try to get the best deal I can for the players. That should not create hostility because as a lawyer I’ve always understood that my ‘opponent’ is representing [their] client the best they can, as I do. “We know there has to be a deal, or there’s going to be a work stoppage. And then we all have to deal with the wrath of the fans. The one thing that I would like to believe, and still believe, is that the commissioner, the league, the owners as much as the players, do not want [a work stoppage].” Boston Globe

Roberts said she told Silver after being selected as director that she would need time to form a staff and research league issues. She said that process is nearly done, meaning substantive talks can begin perhaps this year. “They can begin to happen very soon, and that’s our plan,” she said. Boston Globe

“That’s why it may have been unfortunate if there was some misrepresentations made about the health of some of these teams because you only create mistrust going into the next round of negotiations,” Roberts said. “That’s unfortunate. I would submit that it’s in the league’s best interest not to try to do that again. Don’t try that again. There’s no human being out there that’s reasonable that, having heard about the TV deal, and if you’re aware that gross receipts are going up, ticket sales are going up, I’d be very disappointed if we heard that cry of poverty again. “So if we could avoid a repetition of that cry of poverty and all the mistrust referenced by the players can be resolved, we can go on and not say, ‘You lied to me,’ but just go back to business.’’ Boston Globe

March 16, 2015 Updates

However, not once during Silver's whirlwind tour — that also included a luncheon at the local rotary club — did the topic of a potential NBA work stoppage in 2017 arise in conversation. "Believe it or not — I can't speak for the union or anything — but it's not something I'm talking to teams about yet," Silver said. "I think it's premature." Recently, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) made the expected decision to reject the league's proposal to smooth out the rising salary cap. The NBA's new media rights deals, worth more than $2.6 billion per year, are expected to take form in the 2016-17 season as well as increase the salary cap. By "smoothing," the league intended to avoid a dramatic spike in the cap in 2016-17 and progressively spread the money over the first few years of the new TV deal. Indianapolis Star

There is the obvious issue of players who won't be free agents in 2016 sitting on the sidelines while those fortunate enough to be free that summer line their pockets. And there are already murmurs of discontent that the jump in the cap will be primarily enjoyed by the game's superstars, who'll all get maximum slices of the pie if they are 2016 free agents -- like LeBron James, the NBPA's newly elected first vice president, who has made it clear he'll sign a one-year deal with Cleveland this summer in order to be free again in '16 -- at the expense of the rank and file. "Either way, they were getting the short end of the stick," texted one player, a prominent member of the NBPA, on Sunday. "I mean, you could say the same for 'Melo (Carmelo Anthony, who signed a five-year deal to remain with the Knicks last summer)." NBA.com

The system isn't supposed to allow high-revenue teams that can live off of their local TV deals and/or gate to pay their superstars. Talent is supposed to flow through all 30 teams, with the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunders of the world to be able to remain competitive with New York, L.A. and Chicago. In the interim, though, teams at least now have firm estimates for 2016 that they can use to decide how to attack free agency that year. "Teams will be more motivated to get quality players under contract as their salary on a percentage basis will decrease significantly in '16," one team executive said Friday. NBA.com

March 11, 2015 Updates

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