Blog Entry

What's in the deal and how it got done

Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:54 pm
NEW YORK -- After weeks of stubbornness, posturing, white-knuckle negotiating tactics and finally lawsuits, the NBA labor dispute finally came down to something that had been sorely lacking.


Imagine that.

Instead of losing an entire season and immersing the sport in a debilitating legal battle that would've squandered all its momentum, the NBA is back with a deal that neither side loves, but both sides can live with. In other words, the best kind of deal -- one that both sides walk away from a little disappointed. Based on conversations with officials from both sides, here are the broad strokes of the agreement, with emphasis on elements that had been unresolved when the National Basketball Players Association rejected the owners' latest offer, dissolved and filed antitrust lawsuits that soon will be withdrawn:

* BRI: The players will receive between 49-51 percent of basketball-related income based on the extent of revenue growth. But whereas under the owners' prior proposals, the players felt it would've been nearly impossible to achieve the 51 percent ceiling, sources said they'll have a realistic chance of hitting it by the fifth or sixth year of the deal with robust revenue growth. The players will receive 60.5 percent of incremental revenues beyond projections each season, up to 51 percent in aggregate. Previously, the owners were offering only 57 percent of marginal revenues up to a total of 51.

* Mid-level exception: For non-tax-paying teams, they're four-year deals starting at $5 million in the first two years, with the starting point increasing by 3 percent in subsequent years. Owners had been pushing for alternating 3- and 4-year deals for non-taxpayers. For tax-payers, the so-called "mini" mid-level will be for three years starting at $3 million in the first two years, with the starting point increasing 3 percent in subsequent years. This is an enhancement of the owners' previous offer of a two-year "mini" mid-level starting at $2.5 million.

* Room exception: Teams under the cap get an additional two-year exception starting at $2.5 million (same as previous offer).

* Luxury tax rates: The same dollar-for-dollar as in the previous CBA for the first two years. Starting in Year 3, the rates increase to $1.50 for the first $5 million over; $1.75 for $5-$10 million over; $2.50 for $10-$15 million over; $3.25 for $15-$25 million over; and an additional 50 cents for each additional $5 million (same as previous proposal).

* Repeater Tax: A dollar-for-dollar additional tax for teams that are above the tax line for a fourth time in five years (same as previous proposal). Owners at one time had been pushing for a $1.50 repeater rate, while the players wanted 50 cents. Voila, compromise.

* Sign-and-trades: Available to all teams in the first two years of the agreement. Starting in Year 3, teams that are close to the tax line would only be able to acquire a free agent via a sign-and-trade transaction to the extent that it put the team no more than $4 million over the tax. The maximum length of such contracts will be four years with 4.5 percent annual increases. Previously, the owners had been seeking to eliminate sign-and-trades for all tax teams or teams that would exceed the tax after the transaction. This was a key issue for the players, and the more player-friendly definition of a tax-paying team also applies to use of the mid-level exception. So, if a team is $500,000 under the tax, it could use $4.5 million of the full mid-level. If a team already is over the tax, it would be restricted to the "mini" mid-level.

* Extend-and-trades: With the so-called Carmelo Anthony rule, owners were trying to take away a player's ability to force a trade to a team and sign an extension. The compromise is that teams can acquire player via an extend-and-trade but can only offer a three-year deal (including whatever is left on the player's contract) with 4.5 percent increases.

* Qualifying offers: The players feel they made significant gains here for restricted free agents. Qualifying offers will be guaranteed with the potential to be significantly enhanced based on performance. So for example, a first-round pick between picks 10-30 would be eligible to receive a qualifying offer as high as the ninth pick's if he's a starter for half the regular season games or 2,000 minutes. Second-round picks and undrafted players could be eligible for QO’s as high as the 21st pick based on the same criteria. Similarly, picks 1-14 could have their qualifying offers reduced if they don't meet the criteria. It's a nice compromise that provides opportunities for players who perform and gives owners protection against having to overpay players who don't.

* Escrow: Withholding from player paychecks to account for a potential overage in their BRI share is capped at 10 percent. Owners dropped their demand for an escrow carryover from season to season.

* New player benefits pool: One percent of BRI will be used for annuities and welfare benefits (such as health, life and disability insurance, long-term care and education expenses for themselves and their children). In the unlikely event that 10 percent doesn't cover the players' BRI overage, up to 1 percent of the pool could be used to account for that.

* Contract lengths: All the same as in the previous proposal. Bird free agents can get five-year deals with their own teams, with other deals being capped at four years. Each team can designate one player eligible for a five-year extension of his rookie contract with his own team. A team can have only one player so designated on the roster at a time. The owners had been pushing for four- and three-year contract lengths until recently.

* Annual increases: 7.5 percent for Bird players, 4.5 percent for others. This is up from 6.5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, in the owners' prior proposal.

* Minimum salaries and rookie scale: Frozen for the first two years and then will begin growing consistent with BRI growth. Previously, owners were seeking to cut both by 12 percent -- another win for the players.

* Maximum salaries: Same formula as in the previous CBA, with this exception in the players' favor: Star players who outperform their rookie contracts will be eligible to extend with their teams at 30 percent of the cap -- up from 25 percent. A player would be eligible by satisfying any of the following criteria: 1) winning MVP; 2) being named first-, second- or third-team all-NBA twice; or being voted as an All-Star starter twice. The Bulls' Derrick Rose, for example, would be eligible.

* Player options: Same as in the previous CBA. Owners had been seeking to eliminate player options for players who make more than the league average.

* Stretch and amnesty provisions: Same as in the prior proposal.

* The luxury tax cliff: Same as most recent proposal. Owners have agreed that a tax-paying team will only lose half the tax money it otherwise would've received by remaining under the tax.

* Minimum team payroll: It's set at 85 percent of the cap in the first two years, and 90 percent thereafter. The cap ($58 million) and tax ($70 million) levels can be no lower than last season's levels in the first two years.

* Deal length: 10 years, with each side able to opt out after Year 6. (Same as previous proposal.)

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: November 27, 2011 12:02 am

What's in the deal and how it got done

You might skip the regular season but I would bet the farm, based on your post, you'll be back by the playoffs. lol

Nope. Done. NCAA more fun to watch. The fans will be the losers because the cost of everything will go up. Boycott!!

Why are we reading? Because we're disgusted with owners and players that make stupid money and want more which ends up coming out of our pockets. Kobe Bryant makes $280,000 per game? Stupid. Dwayne Wade? $192,000 per game. Absurd.

This is where the Occupy protestors should be these guys yards.

Since: Dec 24, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:53 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

Agree Boycott this talentless, no heart, greedy league, owners and players locked us out we should lock them out.  Never hated the NBA more than I do know.  The whole Im a thug, every time I drive im fouled, I need more money, i've got no jumper, I can't pass, terrible culture thats overtaken this POS is just sad. 

Since: Apr 26, 2009
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:45 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 6, 2007
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:44 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

So a deal has been done, the owners get more cash and a buncha afriken ameri... Afrikans were lured by a wad of cash on a fishing poll and now its back. I have been waiting for the WNBA (or nba, its the same thing) to return to ESPN. I am so excite i can barely stand it!!! I cant wait to see chris and lamar kardashian rubbin eachother off on the court. That whole miami team has been in heat for a while and the noises they have been making are just outstanding (especially with the big <3). I cant wait to wake up in the morning and watch the top ten best armpit camera views on sportscenter as a bunch of talentless ladies run around the court half naked. The NBA was almost as good of a drama as keepin up with rich tools when lebron announced he was on his period on national TV. Good bye world of real sports. ESPN's butt buddy is back and CBSSPORT's ken berger will keep all of you takin it hard fans updated with ALL of the action (there are pictures and live videos at bergers website with all of the action)

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:29 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

In the end, all of this does nothing to ultimately cure the NBA of what ails it; the selfish, gutless players that just want to turn the NBA into a glorified select few AAU teams so that they can claim their dominance like on the playground when they were beating up on kids 5 years younger than them. For all this supposed compromising, nothing has changed. The big-market, big-money owners who can go over the cap will go over the cap, and they'll pay the stupid tax. The end result is still going to be the same, with all the "star" players ultimately leveraging their way to Chicago, New York, LA, Boston and the hooker-filled nightclubs in Miami. This deal does nothing to protect at least 2/3 of the teams in the NBA from getting jobbed like Cleveland and Toronto did in 2010. Only a hard salary cap ala the NFL truly levels the playing field. For all of their bravado, the owners showed that they are pussies ultimately, and in 6 years we will all be hearing this song and dance again.

Since: Feb 12, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:17 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

BOYCOTT!!! What really needs to happen as I know its been said here already... saty away from the games dont buy the merchandise and really show these money mongers who really pays their bills. We got this far without the NBA why not go the distance and really put the gears to all of them. NBA SUCKS!!!

Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:33 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

If you hate the NBA now as much as you claim you do, why are you still taking time to read articles about a league that has failed you so miserbly? I was pissed at NHL players for blowing off the season in 2004. Most of them had to know they were being paid on average more than what the sport could afford based on the revenues at the time but they refused to compromise and the season was lost.  The NHL owners cancelled the season because the players wouldn't budge. Well in the long run the players ended up with a deal far worse in 2005 than the last one they rejected. Plus, on top of that, they did the owners who were really losing money a favor by giving them just cause in essence to cancel the season, which at the very least froze their expenses. I ignored the NHL for a few years out of protest but eventually I came back because there's nothing like playoff intensity. I don't care what sport you're taking about. You can say you're done. But with the future of the league in the hands of players like Durantula, a healthy Kobe and Derrick Rose to name a few... you won't be able to resist for long... You might skip the regular season but I would bet the farm, based on your post, you'll be back by the playoffs. lol

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:30 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

If you think the players OR owners give a rats bottomside that you turn your back, stand on your head, or spend the game in the men's room you are sadly mistaken. You've already paid your way in ( and probably bought $10 beers and a $100 jersey ) so they could care less what you do from that point on.

So what they know you are mad? So what they see you with your back turned? Will that make them think twice about buying that million dollar vacation home or cancel the order for the new Bentley? The only thing turning your back on them might do is make them laugh!

DON'T GO TO THE GAMES OR BUY THEIR MERCHANDISE! That is the ONLY way to show you are not a fool.  

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 26, 2011 10:29 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

I bet Gilbert is the first one waived.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 26, 2011 9:56 pm

What's in the deal and how it got done

Millionaires vs billionaires, the owners wanted to fix things that weren't the players fault by penalizing the players.

The owners DID fix things..... they destroyed the players in this new CBA.... it's not even close.  The owners severely limited the movement of players starting whenever they said, the 2nd or 3rd year.  The luxury tax penalties are going to be insane compared to before, it's not even close.  Teams over the cap are going to get killed... so guess what?  They won't be over by as much in a couple years and these "dreams teams" won't exist anymore.   And what if a player demands to be extended and traded? That's limited in a big way as well.... limited number of years for the extension and only a 4.5 percent increase.  

Good job owners... way to stick it to them.... 

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