National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts expressed optimism last week about talks with the NBA, but the union will be heading into negotiations after replacing two key executives.
Raul Barrigon: Adam Silver on CBA deal talks with Michele Roberts: "We continue to talk all the time. I think Michele Roberts and I both have the same goal which is to avoid any sort of work stoppage. And we know one of the ways to avoid a work stoppage is to talk early and often. And we're doing that."
The players can opt out of the current 10-year pact in 2017, but the NBPA would rather have a new collective bargaining agreement in place before opting out. Roberts told the Globe in June that the sides would begin negotiating in August. “Since the day Michele took the job, we’ve been talking on a regular basis,” commissioner Adam Silver told the Globe. “I think we’ve both been clear that our jobs are to bring stability to the league and to continue and build on the success we’ve had. We’re looking forward to engaging with the union. We have a labor relations committee formed. She has her executive committee. We hope to get together this fall and continue the discussions we’ve been having on a staff level.”
The league and the union have not held a formal bargaining session, per sources on both sides, though they are working to schedule one soon. Both sides have flip-flopped between apocalyptic rhetoric and nicey-nice talk, and we should always assume all public comments are negotiating tactics designed to nudge the scales of leverage. Perhaps Roberts recognizes the players are munching half of an ever-growing revenue pie and don’t have the resources to outlast hawkish owners who might want to hog more than half of that pie. Roberts may be pressuring Silver to massage those hawks so the money train can roll on.
How can the potential lockout be avoided in 2017? "Sitting down at a table already now with the NBA to understand what worries the owners and what worries the players. In the past very few attempts to speak in advance of the problems that led to the lockouts have been made. Whether Both commissioner Silver and myself want to do everything possible to prevent the NBA to stop: the only way is to negotiate. We have already started, we will meet again in early September with the hope to announce within the end of the season that the union and the league have solved their problems. "
The players' union has also rejected the NBA's "cap smoothing" proposal that would pay players the same 51 percent of basketball-related income that they receive under the current CBA, which would have artificially lowered the salary cap to prevent the big spike and phase in the increase over several years. "I think we have a very fair deal right now," Silver said Sunday during halftime of Game 5 of the Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena.
July 27, 2021 | 10:09 am EDT Update
The Philadelphia 76ers, who have been exploring trade possibilities with Simmons in recent weeks, are also expected to be in the Lowry sweepstakes via a sign-and-trade with the Raptors, who have expressed a willingness to do so if they can’t keep their franchise guard, sources say.
The Sixers and Heat were unable to secure trades for him this past season. At that time, the Raptors’ asking price was too steep. Lowry also wanted some indication that his potential destination would be willing to provide a two-year extension of at least $25 million per year, sources said. He made $30 million in the final year of his Raptors deal. Apparently, his salary demands haven’t changed. A league source confirmed that Lowry’s free-agency asking price is $90 million over three seasons.
Not only is he a six-time All-Star, Lowry knows how to run a team. He’s a winner, a leader, and possesses a toughness that would benefit the Sixers. Adding him to the mix with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris would put the Sixers in great position to advance to the NBA Finals. “If there’s a sign-and-trade [with the Sixers] that can be done that can get him there, and he gets $25 to $30 million, he will consider it,” a source said.
Namely, these conversations have so far revolved around Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley and Paul himself if he opts out of his contract with the Suns. According to sources, the Mavericks, looking to ease the burden on Luka Doncic, have shown interest in both Conley and Lowry, the latter of whom stands to have his pick of money and championship contender — and potentially both.
Paul, for his part, has indicated he’s willing to opt out of his $44 million deal for next year, sources say, though taking that position could be a leverage play with the Suns under pressure to keep him. Paul can sign a three-year contract without triggering the Over-38 rule — CBA minutiae that complicates contracts for players who have deals that stretch beyond their 38th birthday — or stay in his current deal and work out an extension with Phoenix, where he might take a pay cut after next year’s giant check.
League executives believe Conley is most likely to stay in Utah, with the Jazz investigating the possibility of reducing payroll to make room next to Donovan Mitchell’s new max contract coming onto the books. The Jazz have the 30th pick and could use that as incentive to offload salary if needed.
Even with that on the record, league executives believe the Pelicans are willing to let Ball go if he gets an aggressive offer sheet or they find a different option. Ball has been linked to the Bulls for more than a year, sources say, and could also be on the Knicks’ list.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cade Cunningham — the expected No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft — has agreed to an endorsement deal with Nike, sources tell ESPN. It’s believed to be the highest-earning shoe deal among players in his draft class.