Blog Entry

A new CBA is actually really close

Posted on: October 30, 2011 10:06 am
Posted by Royce Young

We're all disappointed. We're all upset. Even maybe a little angry.

With all that positive momentum heading into Friday's labor negotiations, there was a legitimate expectation that David Stern and Billy Hunter would emerge ready to announce a deal.

That didn't happen. And with no new talks scheduled, the rest of November's games were canceled and it felt like everything reset and it's back to the drawing board.

Not so fast though. There's been movement -- lots of it, in fact -- and in reality, they aren't quite so far off from putting pen to paper on a new collective bargaining agreement. Via the New York Times:
The new N.B.A. labor deal is practically done. You wouldn’t know it from the headlines, the dour news conferences or the apocalyptic rhetoric spilling from league officials. But the deal, in practical terms, is about 95 percent complete.

The N.B.A. and the players union have agreed on contract lengths and luxury-tax rates, trade rules and cap exceptions, and a host of oddly named provisions offering “amnesty” and “stretch payments” and less onerous “base-year” rules.

All of these pieces — some favoring the players, most of them favoring the owners — have fallen into place in recent weeks, even as talks collapsed and restarted and collapsed again. The checklist has been reduced to a few items.

But it is the last 5 percent that is ruining the prospects for labor peace and gradually eroding the N.B.A. season.

Use any metaphor you like -- ball's on the two-yard line, it's the fourth quarter, bases loaded... whatever -- but the deal is right there. It's so close, but at the same time truly does feel so far away. Basketball Related Income has hung everything up once again and with both sides seeming to be completely dug in -- for now -- into their positions, it just doesn't feel like a deal is close to happening. 

But consider the agreements that are tentatively in place, according to the report:

  • Luxury tax: The new system will charge teams $1.50 for every dollar over the threshold, which replaces the dollar-for-dollar setup in the last CBA. But the tax even goes to $1.75 after $5 million, $2.25 after $10 million and $3 after $15 million.
  • Contract lengths: Players with Bird Rights get to have a five-year max deal, while everyone else gets four-year max deals. The last CBA was six years for Bird Rights and five for everyone else.
  • Raises: Annual raises get reduced by "several" percent, going as low as possibly just 5 percent for Bird players and 3.5 for everyone else. The last deal had raises as high as 10.5 for Bird players and 8 percent for other players.
  • The Mid-level exception: It starts at $5 million, which is a mild decrese of $800,000. Length of contract and raises are still being discussed.
  • Amnesty clause: As Ken Berger of has reported, a new amnesty clause will be in the new CBA, allowing teams to waive one player at anytime during the life of the new CBA. You still have to pay the players but his salary won't count against the cap and luxury tax. But here's a catch: It can't be used on anyone signed before July 1, 2011. So all that talk about who you'd amnesty would change quite a bit because those players aren't eligible.
  • Stretch exception: Teams will be allowed to extend out payments to players that have been waived to spread out the cap hit over several season.

A few issues still remain such as the league wants to punish tax-paying teams by denying them the mid-level exception and sign-and-trade deals as well as additional penalties for "repeat offenders."

By the sounds of it, at least to me, the players are bending quite a bit on this new system. It's still pretty favorable to them, especially when you consider that initially the owners wanted a hard cap, but all the concessions are coming from the players, at least compared to the last CBA. So it's understandable why they feel they need to take a stand at 53 percent BRI.

But all that wasn't there a week ago. Real, tangible progress has been made towards a deal. They're close. It's just about finishing. Time to get clutch. Someone step up and hit a big shot.

Category: NBA

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:42 am

A new CBA is actually really close

Lay the Smackdown on them Stern!! Demand a Hard Cap you'll get it, they'll fold faster than Superman on laundry day!

Since: Sep 11, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:57 pm

Child support or grass?

Hmmm...child support or Cristol? Pay my babies' mamma or bling? Hurry up and settle this, I'm runnin' low on jack!

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:32 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

If the amnesty clause can't be used on any player signed before 7/2011, what is with the Ford/Stein article today?



Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: October 31, 2011 7:03 pm


Stop trying to save the season. There are way too many things for you guys to disagree on. KEEP FIGHTING!   KEEP FIGHTING!!!

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 5:53 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

I agree with most of what LakerDuke Yanks said, but with some revisions. Referees should still allow continuation plays. This leads to more aggressive play and more offensive scoring, something the NBA desperately needs. Also it is important for all players to be able to make medium range shots, especially free throws. It is clear these shots are not emphasized in practice. These teams are supposed to have shooting coaches, aren't they? Also coaches need to emphasize better ball movement--and player movement with or without the ball.  These are critical deficiences today, and are responsible for the dropoff in scoring. And the overuse of the 3-point line.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:57 am

A new CBA is actually really close

80% of the players come from the college system, they probably have more education that you. Keep you dumb comments to yourself!

HaHa, thanks for the laugh man.... good one.  You don't really believe most of these NBA players are educated, do you?  If so, forget the guy you responded to because you aren't even close to educated. Furthermore you don't even know anybody that graduated from a decent college because if you did, you would know the whole student athlete thing is a joke.  Yeah, the odd NBA player comes along that is smart, no doubt about that... they aren't ALL stupid.  But c'mon, do you not watch any interviews?  You should know just by the way they talk how stupid most of these guys are.....   

As for the players that graduated from college, if you ever meet anybody that went to school with a student athlete ask them about that.  And don't tell me you did, because I won't believe you.  The fact of the matter is these guys get preferential treatment, and the system is very corrupt.  If you don't know that, then you my friend are the one that's uneducated.

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:22 am

A new CBA is actually really close

Xavier....The english in your post shows that you "Obviously" didn't come from a college system.
If you're moronic enough to think that the majority of NBA players have anywhere more then a 8th grade education, then I can now understand why your post show the lack of english and education. 

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:30 am

A new CBA is actually really close

80% of the players come from the college system, they probably have more education that you. Keep you dumb comments to yourself!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:11 am

A new CBA is actually really close

Hunter and Fisher may be the most articulate, intelligent representatives the players have, but they are strictly mouthpieces for the excessively and equally greedy AND ignorant,  top 30 paid slumdog millionaires (and their agents). They're NOT allowed to negotiate in the players (or the NBA) best interests...which of course, is to agree to cut max salaries (less than 10% of all players), and renegotiate for redistribution away from players and to the NBA profit margin....

...the alternative to the players making less money, is for them to make NO money in the near term, and a WHOLE LOT LESS in the future, if this drags on.

Players need to take THIS deal, because only an idiot believes they can EVER do better.

The lockout will not continue forever, but the NBA can, and WILL go on without the top 30 players if it needs hasn't been talked about, but it's the next obvious step in the process. If the players think the NBA has drawn a hard line so far, wait until they cancel a season.  It might be the best thing for the NBA and fans, in the long run, if the season is cancelled, and the NBA takes a final, punative restructuring step that clearly defines players are just employees that have been massively overpaid, free to pursue other occupations if they can do better than a salary that insures the NBA can go forward making a profit. The truth is, players can't do better, and are being misled by the mega stars who have enough money to hold out forever.

The rank and file can't hold on forever without a check, and regardless of temporary lack of "star power", the fact is, the NBA would survive without Kobe, LeBron, CP3, Melo, etc...just like they survived without Jordan, Magic, Bird, Jabbar, Robertson, West, Russell, back to the days of the peach basket....possibly BETTER, because players may learn to appreciate the millions they are paid, instead of the pervasive self-entitled, all-about-me attitude of the last decade.  

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 9:10 am

A new CBA is actually really close

Baseball Bastketball have a very long season.Now hocky is just miserible a killer long season then the playoffs come around and the 10 hour games and 7 game series get over the top gay. Its sad to say that tennis is much more dramatized and ten times more enjoyment to watch. 

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