In short: How could either side possibly consider opting out and stopping this gravy train? “It would seem disruptive to interrupt it,” said Michael McCann, the director of the University of New Hampshire’s Sports and Entertainment Law Institute, and a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated. (If you want someone to make sense of sports legalese, McCann’s your guy.)
"That said, it seems like the NBA and NBPA remain in disagreement about whether teams are profitable or losing money, and to me it's unclear whether some owners believe players would, after a lockout, give up an additional portion of BRI in a new CBA," McCann said. "So I agree it would seem strange to interrupt what has been a great era for the NBA, but I think there are financial considerations that could be more significant than they appear at this time."
“I’m not going to rank the relationship, as compared to other times,” Silver said. “I would only say that the relationship, from my standpoint, is very healthy right now between the league and the players’ association.” That sentiment was echoed by Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association. “The lines of communication have been really good,” Paul said. “Adam has asked for our input, and we appreciate that.”
Only four years into the agreement, each side is carefully weighing whether to exercise its right to opt out of the agreement and do this all over again. Tuesday marks the start of a 12-month countdown to the CBA's opt-out deadline, as either side must notify the other by Dec. 15, 2016 of its intention to walk away and negotiate a new deal -- or, at least, make changes to the existing one.
There are significant risks associated with either side taking that bold step, which is why commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and their bargaining staffs met last week in New York to set the stage for the next 12 months. Only four years into the 10-year labor deal, league sources tell CBS Sports that the focus isn't for each side to persuade the other to stay the course. Rather, the mutual goal is to make significant progress on an entirely new labor deal by the time the opt-out deadline arrives. “The goal is to make that opt-out obsolete,” a person familiar with the process told CBS Sports. “… The goal is reaching a new long-term CBA.”
“All I know is, we've got a great game going right now,” NBPA president Chris Paul of the Clippers told CBS Sports. “A lot of stars, a lot of excitement. We're not who we are without our fans. So as much as possible, we want to try to do everything so that we can to continue to play the game that we love and continue to grow the game like it's been growing.”
The rhetoric from Silver about the risks for the players in opting out has centered around the idea that the owners would bring back to the table two key provisions they were unable to achieve in the last negotiation: a hard salary cap and limits on guaranteed salaries. In October 2014, in the same news conference in which he revealed that one-third of the league's 30 teams still weren't profitable, Silver said, “My preference would be to have a harder cap.”
The ongoing internal dispute is fitting, since some of the biggest issues in the NBA's labor dynamic are not one side vs. the other, but within each camp. Some small- and mid-market teams still feel they are at a disadvantage when it comes to regional broadcast revenues that boost the larger markets' tolerance for paying luxury tax, league sources say. On the players' side, one of the unintended consequences of the agreement has been rampant spending on middle-of-the-road players, while the salaries of the league's biggest stars and revenue drivers are capped well below their true value.
Vincent Ellis: FYI: I gather owners are looking to Arn Tellem to provide insight during negotiations with the players on next labor deal. At latest Board of Governors meeting, Tellem briefed owners on his thoughts on the players' perspectives. Long-time agent, as you know. Tellem is one of the Pistons' reps on board of governors. Tellem could eventually play a role in the actual negotiations with the players.
The NBPA and the NBA have an option to terminate their Collective Bargaining Agreement on or before Dec. 15, 2016. Roberts, however, is optimistic that the NBPA and the NBA will reach agreement on a new CBA beforehand. She said she has been having positive regular monthly lunch meetings with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Roberts hopes to begin negotiations with the NBA on a new CBA in November.
Silver "says he does not want a work stoppage," Roberts said. "And I said, 'You know what, neither do we.' We have that common ground. … I wasn't there, but I've been told and I read, that during the last negotiations that the owners were very clear that there would be a substantial reduction modification of the [basketball-related income]. I guess they were serious because they locked the players out before they got what they wanted. That's not how we are beginning these negotiations.
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."
Q: How confident are you that the NBA will avoid another work stoppage when it comes time to negotiate a new CBA? Paul Allen: "That is so hard to predict and I'm sure if I did predict it, I'd get fined. So I'm not going to try to predict. Clearly the league and the players are doing very well financially with these new contracts. So there are ongoing discussions but I can't comment any further than that."
One concept that is gaining momentum in league circles -- proposed here by SB Nation's Tom Ziller -- is to end the league year between the Finals and the draft. That way, the lawyers and accountants would have plenty of time to close the books, and any revenue and expenses associated with the draft would be shifted to the following league year. This makes sense, since the draft is essentially the first event of each new NBA season.
August 3, 2021 | 8:36 am EDT Update
Tim Reynolds: Evan Fournier gave his agent strict instructions: No middle-of-the-night calls in Japan to talk free agency. He woke up this morning here, was presented with options, called Tom Thibodeau and that was that. “I’m glad it’s over,” the newest New York Knick said.
Gary Washburn: Evan Fournier said his first intention was to re-sign with #Celtics: “That was my priority going into the summer. Because I knew the place. I talked to Brad and we couldn’t get a deal done, obviously. I was more inclined to sign there because they traded for me.” Story to come
Ben Golliver: France’s Nicolas Batum on whether Clippers/Mavericks playoff series can help in Olympic semifinals versus Luka Doncic & Slovenia: “We can’t bring Kawhi [Leonard] to the next game. It’s going to be different. This is a different team.”
Do you think we can finally retire all the tropes about Giannis? Like the things James Harden said about him? Is it time to get rid of that? Candace Parker: Yes and no. I think results do define legacy for some people. But at the same time: when you do it again? That’s different. People can still talk junk right now. Kawhi [Leonard] messed up his knee and he was out and the Clippers lost. Giannis messed up his knee and I don’t know how he came back from that. Every doctor I talked to said that’s a [torn] ACL and he should be done, yet he comes back and wins the championship. But is he a different player? He’s not different! He’s still doing the same thing! For now, it’s alright. But Brooklyn, man? Brooklyn’s waiting next year.
M3Linked, the first-of-its-kind franchise dedicated to cultivating business collaboration, announced today its official partnership with NBA legend James Worthy. The Michigan-based brand that is revolutionizing the act of business collaboration in communities from coast to coast has welcomed Worthy as not only a member but as a partner to its LA community and an ambassador.
An 18-year-old Milwaukee man is charged after authorities say he fired a handgun into the air near the Deer District as hundreds of fans were celebrating the Milwaukee Bucks victory in the NBA Finals. The man was charged last week with being a felon in possession of a firearm and disorderly conduct with use of a dangerous weapon, according to a criminal complaint made public Monday.