Far more crucially: Dec. 15, 2022, is also the deadline in the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement for both sides — either the league or the players — to give notice that it is opting out of the existing labor deal. The NBA’s current labor pact runs through the 2023-24 season, but an opt-out from either side in the next nine days would sound immediate alarm bells because A) it essentially breaks the contract effective at the end of this season and B) it’s a measure that instantly makes the threat of a lockout tangible.
With the sides nowhere close to a new deal, according to sources briefed on the talks, it would appear that an extension to that deadline will have to be announced very soon for the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to extend the runway toward hashing out a new labor pact during the 2022-23 season with any semblance of cooperative spirit.
Sources say that the league’s increasingly determined pursuit of an Upper Spending Limit as we revealed in October — its version of a broad Hard Cap without calling it a Hard Cap — remains the No. 1 stumbling block in recent negotiations. There are certainly other issues, such as the ongoing wrangle about the league’s desire to lower the draft-eligible age limit back to 18 and (among numerous related concerns) how that would impact subsequent rookie scale contract lengths, but the USL is clearly Obstacle No. 1.
The National Basketball Players Association reached out to all NBPA-certified agents asking them what they want in the next collective-bargaining agreement, and new Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio is speaking regularly with powerful, experienced agents, seeking their advice, multiple sources said.
Tremaglio came in person to at least one of the three annual NBPA agent meetings in May. All agents were sent a written request for their opinions on the CBA and union staff also has reached out to agents. The NBPA and the NBA have until Dec. 15 to decide whether to opt out of the current CBA and discussions are ongoing. If one or the other side opts out of the labor agreement, it will end on June 30, 2023. If neither side opts out, the CBA will expire after the 2023-24 season.
Some new sports union executive directors have ignored or snubbed agents during CBA talks in the past, which has caused friction because agents must negotiate individual player contracts based on the terms of the CBA negotiated by the union. But Tremaglio gave every NBPA agent a chance to weigh in by sending out the written requests for ideas. “They basically said, ‘What topics are important to you?’” said one independent NBA agent, who added that someone at the union who works for Tremaglio followed up with a phone conversation.
Mike Vorkunov: NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio said the union will not file a grievance with the league against the Nets on behalf of Kyrie Irving, who missed 8 games without pay because of his suspension.