Some Optimism On The Labor Front: One of the more common topics around the NBA Playoffs recently has been the state of the NBA with regards to its ongoing labor talks with its players.
In a surprising turn of events, there is a growing consensus that if there is a work stoppage in the NBA, it would not be a long one and that unless Billy Hunter tries to make this process personal, there appears to be some degree of willingness on the NBA Owner's part to make a reasonable deal.
Several high profile agents have said they were doubtful that a lockout was inevitable and said they were hearing positive things from the process.
During the last NBA Board of Governors meeting the NBA's Labor Committee was authorized to make a new proposal to the players and it's believed several of the points the NBA Players had material objections to are being removed from the discussion or modified in such a way as to make them more palatable to the players.
While the exact details of the Owners' new offer is not clear yet, as some say it's still being crafted, the general idea is that the long rumored "hard cap stance" and roll back of existing contracts is being tabled.
The NBA does want to reduce the amount of dollars paid to players, but is now open to a phased reduction in the percentage being given to the players and its believed a number of the salary cap exceptions that are commonplace are to be phased out completely over the course of the next agreement.
The owners are said to be willing to commit to a larger overall salary cap number in exchange for changes in percentages given to players and how the salary cap figures are calculated.
In short, the NBA salary cap is currently set at $58.044 million this season. It is believed the Owners' new proposal would have that number increasing every year of the deal, in exchange for the phased reduction of cap exceptions, a reduction in the number of years allowed on contracts and an overall adjustment of the mechanics of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
So what do the players get out of this? No one loses a dime on their existing deals. There will be no work stoppage or lost wages.
The compromise… the Players won't get 57% of revenues, and eventually there will be a harder cap system down the road, but one that could be substantially greater than the $45 million hard cap initially proposed by the owners.
The Current average team salary in the NBA is $67.5 million, with the Lakers and Mavericks clocking in at over $90 million in team salaries and the Orlando Magic just shy of that figure at $89.1 million.
If the Owners can put a proposal on the table that keeps average team salaries in the $65 million range, while they move towards a hard cap in the high $60 million range, the NBA can get what it wants while not costing the players any real money.
If the NBA owners stand firm to their $45 million number, there is no chance for a deal.
However more and more people are talking optimistically about a deal in July, so we'll see if reasonable people can make a reasonable deal.
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