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: Oct 30, 2011
Posted on: October 30, 2011 6:39 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

The NHL has a contract with NBC, but I don't think the NHL really counts in this argument because - for the most part - the NHL is still a regional sport in the US.  Even with all the expansion, the NHL still struggles in warm weather cities.  With MLB, there are sooo many games, it's hard to put in the time to watch all of the games for the home town team, let alone out of market teams.

When you look at things from those presepctives, I think it's clear as to why the NBA draws the 2nd highest price for the TV package.  They're national (not regional like the NHL) and the hometown team usually plays 2 to 3 games per week, making it easer to watch out of market games as opposed to the 6 to 7 games per week that MLB teams plan.  That doesn't change the fact that the NBA product isn't what it used to be, and it continues to get worse.

I have stopped regularly watching the NBA.  If you love basketball and enjoy the NBA, great.  I think that's good.  Watch and enjoy your sports.  I used to love the NBA, I used to be able to watch any 2 teams go at it and I loved it.  For me though, something changed in thre mid-1990's and the NBA lost me.  I still pay attention as to what is going on just because I love sports in general, but it's been years since I watched an entire NBA game from start to finish.

I'm a huge sports fan.  I have season tickets to three different teams.  In the early 1990's, the NBA was my 2nd favorite league, behind only the NFL.  Now, not only is it 4th in my book of the 4 major sports, I'd rather watch any college football game, any college basketball game and even any college hockey game before watching an NBA game.  It just isn't fun to watch any more.  At least not to me.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2011 6:14 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

Some of these comments no make sense at all. If you don't like the NBA and think it "sucks", why would do you care if they play a season or not? Then again, why are you on NBA pages commenting on stories? I don't particularly care about the NHL or NASCAR. I don't visit NHL or NASCAR pages, nor comment on stories posted there. I read and comment on the sports I like because I actually have a life. You all should find one.
That makes to much sense for the morons on here. If you speak in practical , common sense terms..they don't understand you. You have to curse and swear and make racist comments for them to make sense of anything you say. 

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: October 30, 2011 6:12 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

Who cares?

When that jackobee stern is done, their might be real hope.

What a self-exaulting Punk.

The owners need to wake up ........ He puts himself above the league; it's owners and players.   


Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2011 6:09 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

Another day, the same comment can be made time and time again.....

If someone did not care about something, this something being the NBA...then why log into CBS Sports, look at the NBA section of the site... click on a link, go to the it....then feel the need to comment if you do not care? How does this many any sense to anyone with a brain in there head and who at least practices common sense now and again? You don't see me commenting on soccer articles saying I don't care.


Going to be funny to see these same idiots comment on articles once the season gets cracking saying they don't care!!!! You do care, or you wouldn't pay it any mind.


Since: Sep 26, 2011
Posted on: October 30, 2011 6:02 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

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




Are you kidding?  I am more concerned that I have enough candy for the kids’ tomorrow night then I am about anything regarding the NBA and their season. PLEASE do us all a favor and call the entire year off.

Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2011 5:14 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

To all you fools who believe NBA regular season games are more meaningless or insignificant than MLB or NHL regular season games... Can you please get your facts straight? The 4 major sports leagues get the following annual revenues from their television contracts:

1) NFL - $4 Billion
2) NBA - $1 Billion
3) MLB - $670 Million
4) NHL - $500 Million

There are at least a billion reasons why ESPN/ABC and TBS value the NBA significantly more than they do baseball and hockey. As a matter of fact... the last time I looked... the NHL doesnt even have a contract with a major tv network at this time, unless you count VERSUS... lol... The NBA experienced record ratings last year. I can understand why all the player haters out there resent people like Lebron, who abandoned his hometown and was rewarded with a $100 million contract for doing so but its not Lebron's fault NBA owners are playing with monopoly money. For those of you who dont like the NBA product, stop watching! NFL regular season games are the only professional sports games I watch with significant interest. NBA, NHL and MLB regular season games are nothing more than another form of entertainment if you ask me... like watching a movie or a TV show. Will I miss the NBA if they cancel the entire season? Yes I will... but not because NBA regular season games really matter to me. What I would miss is the most exciting playoff battles there are outside of NFL competition. This is obviously a matter of opinion but considering the business side of this, somebody out there likes the NBA or these networks wouldnt be paying a cool billion dollars collectively for the rights to air the games. This figure is directly related to the amount of money the TV networks get from advertising, which is large in part based on television ratings. So all you NBA haters... please get your facts together before you make ignorant uninformed statements the NBA's popularity because bottom line is... the numbers don't lie.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2011 5:06 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

More productive activities like posting on sports websites about not caring about basketball? Great point!

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2011 5:04 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

What rediculous comments. "only dorks watch the NBA .". Wtf does that even mean? Dorks? People still use that word? Then th genius who says with no NBA you can do other can still do other things ... What does th NBA have to do with that? If no one cared about the NBA they wouldn't be negotiating over billions of dollars, and why are people who couldn't care less about pro hoops wasting all that extra time they could have without it, posting on a sports website about it? Is that the cool other stuff you could be doing?

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2011 4:56 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

NBA doesn't suck, if you like basketball, and are a sports fan. I'd rather be able to watch it then be stuck without it.

Since: Jan 31, 2011
Posted on: October 30, 2011 4:43 pm

A new CBA is actually really close

nba sucks. who cares.

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