Yahoo! Sports reports that David Stern has the support of ownership in aggregate to make concessions on systemic issues in order to secure a deal with the NBPA today and end the lockout. From Yahoo!:
NBA commissioner David Stern has the authority to make minor system alterations to the owners’ latest labor offer to the players to try to complete a collective bargaining agreement and end the lockout, ownership sources told Yahoo! Sports.via Sources: Stern authorized to tweak offer - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.
“There can be a few things tweaked along the edges, the periphery and this can be agreed upon,” one ownership source told Yahoo! Sports. “I’m confident that would not be an issue if [Stern] did that.”“It will be a very slight budge,” one high-ranking management source said.
What this means, essentially, is you as fans are being set up for another banana-in-the-tailpipe.
Each time we've had a situation that indicated one side would concede if the other side budged, and the other side was willing to budge, things have blown up. This is how simple this gets:
- The two sides are at the one-inch line. The things they're arguing over systemically are non-factors. The sign-and-trade for teams in the tax? It's happened three times according to Ken Berger. The extend-and-trade? That's all based off of Carmelo Anthony. The MLE? It's something teams that elect to be in the tax need in order to improve their teams.
- Players needs the owners to concede on those issues which aren't important to the owners. The owners have indicated as above that they're willing to conced at least a little on those.
- There is no rational reason for a deal to fall apart.
- Therefore, a deal will fall apart.
We've seen this time and time again. Sorry if you're looking for optimism, we're all sold-out here. The two sides have not exhibited rational approaches throughout this process. And the hard-line owners may be out-voted right now, but if the league goes to far with what it offers, they'll regain advantage and detonate a handshake deal. On the other end of it, if the players give up too much and the group lead by Paul Pierce react violently, they could decertify and blow up a handshake deal. So even if we get a deal, we may not get a deal.
That's where we're at. There's every reason to think the season will be saved by 5 p.m. today.
So naturally, it's time to abandon all hope, ye who enjoy the NBA.