Blog Entry

What you need to know about 2011-2012

Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:00 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 11:49 am
By Matt Moore 

The season is saved, long live the season. With that, we thought we'd give you a run down on where everything is at with regards to the season that will most likely be. 

How did we get here?

Do you mean how did the season get saved or how did we lose so much of it in the first place? The answer to the latter is a simple "greed." The owners wanted not only to make up for their losses, but to make a point to the players about who's in charge of this league and control the players' ability to team up and form "super teams." They accomplished their goal for the most part.

As to how the season was saved, David Stern got the owners to move back on a half-dozen issues systemically while gifting the players an extra 1.2 percent of BRI. That differential was enough for the players' leadership, who saw an opportunity to save some face after getting clocked for five months on the financial, litigous, and PR fronts.

That lead toa handshake deal that has lead everyone to believe there will be a 2011-2012 season.

Next steps

As we outlined in the FAQ, there's still a very small chance this thing falls through. Currently the league and the players' reps are negotiating what have been termed the "B-issues." If any of those B-issues suddenly become A-issues, one side or the other could walk away from the handshake deal. Those issues include the age limit, the use of the D-League, and drug testing policies. These are not issues that the players are apathetic towards. They're simply not nearly as important as the money and system issues already resolved.

It's expected that the issues will be resolved through negotiation sometime between Monday and Wednesday. Then the NBPA will reform as a union, which to do so all they have to do is say they are. Then they'll vote on the deal. The league will take its offer to the Board of Governors' Labor Relations Committee, who has driven this horse, and get their approval. From there the vote goes to the entire Board of Governors, where a simple majority is needed to approve. The league only needs 15 owners to approve the deal, as New Orleans will likely either abstain or be counted with the majority.

The reality is that this deal would not have been agreed to by either side if there was a legitimate chance of it failing in a vote, but it is unlikely there will be unanimous votes on either side.

The schedule

Well, we're having one, so that's nice. It's going to be a 66 game season, with 48 in-conference games and 16 out-of-conference games. It's going to be rushed, it's going to be super compact, it's going to be ugly. The league is pushing the end of the regular season (and subsequently the start of the playoffs) by two weeks. There will be back-to-back-to-back games. Yikes. For more on the schedule, check out our post on the leaked details. Training camp will start December 9th, then there will be two preseason games and then the season opens on Christmas Day. 

Free agency and roster upgrades

For starters, check out our top 40 free agents, that'll give you a good idea of who's available. The Pacers, Nets, and Rockets look to be big spenders in a weak class, but there are some interesting wrinkles. The New York Times reports that teams could be hesitant to use their amnesty clauses this season. Those that do however, will be putting big contracts up for grabs. Teams can claim all or part of the contract from the original team, but only if they are under the cap. So if the Kings feel like they just have to have Baron Davis... but it's unlikely.

The major changes to the salary and tax structure don't take place until 2013, so your favorite big-market teams will still have an opportunity to add to their rosters using the Mid-Level Exception.

Teams will be hording space for 2012, though, in what will be the dominant story of the year... next year's free agency class which features Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul. It should be noted the new CBA does allow for extend-and-trades so those players could force their way out sooner, but the extend-and-trade can only be for three years, not the full five years allowed for Bird rights. The only way around this would be to agree to a trade six months prior to the date the player could be traded, in which case the original team could extend the player for the full five years, then trade him six months later. That's never, ever going to happen due to the number of things that could occur in that span of time.

The European Connection

There are a number of players playing overseas during the lockout. Those players have already started to come back, with Deron Williams among others already flying back. Others will not be joining us. Marginal players like Acie Law, Joey Dorsey, and others have no opt-out clause in their contract and will finish the season overseas, barring a release. There is much speculation that Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith, and Kenyon Martin will have to finish their seasons in China due to the ban on opt-out clauses by the CBA. But the most likely scenario is those players simply being released and making their way back to the states. Do you really think any of those players is missing out on NBA money? Martin may stay, as his NBA career is nearly at its end. 

Some reminders

Andrew Bynum will miss the first five games of the season due to suspsension for jacking J.J. Barea.

Charlie Villanueva is also suspended four games for a fight at the end of last season.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:28 pm

What you need to know about 2011-2012

COSNinerFan - where do I start? First, this was not a strike. It was a lockout. You point to MLB (strike in 1994 - no World Series - history of work stoppages that slaughter any other sport on this planet) as an example of how to do things without the slightest trace of irony, which is pretty funny. The only reason MLB is on a mini roll with their CBA negotiations is because fans got tired of their constant bullsh*t in 1994 and almost walked away for good. It took a commissioner-endorsed and drug-induced fraudulent homerun chase to get back in the good graces of millions of barking seals all across the country and "save" the game. And by the way, I love baseball but MLB's system stinks. They revenue share a lot so owners of the 20 teams that will never, ever have a chance of winning a World Series don't complain. They're a poor example by any standard.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:05 pm

What you need to know about 2011-2012

You can tell when people are serious when they type in all caps. It's not at all irritating, either. Watch how I do this: Ban the NBA for good. That was pretty weak, right? But, how about this: Ban the NBA FOR GOOD. See how serious and threatening I am?? Serious face! Really now, take your wack fan revolt elsewhere. This was a high stakes labor negotiation. Sometimes they go a little nutty, but we get 66 games and an All-Star game. If people want to start banning everything NBA, they can start by not polluting these board with their nonsense. And I won't even make myself look like a clown by caps locking my nonsense to grab attention.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: November 28, 2011 4:21 pm

Fans On Strike Against NBA!

Greed is not a good thing.  Team owners and NBA players need to learn this lesson.  Everyone stay home, don't buy NBA endorsed apparel/sneakers, and turn your TV channel to something else.  Let's teach these frackers a lesson that is long over due.   Don't bite the hand that feeds you!

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 3:15 pm

What you need to know about 2011-2012

I have been a season ticket holder for almost 20 years. I will not renew this season, or any other season. The NBA has lost me as a fan FOR GOOD.

I've gotten to know a lot of the people that sit near us in the lower deck througout the years and we are not the only ones. I'd say about half of the people I have talked to have expressed the same. They are no longer buying the product either. This lockout was different. It was bad on both sides. The way it was handled by the owners and players was just wrong all the way around to do to the fans. Some of the comments by the players in particular and the way they postured themselves was a real turn off. The NBA needs to remember it is pretty much the game and the players only it's marketing to the older basketball fan. There is no outdoor element, pretty much no tailgating element. It's the game and the entertainment and that's about it. It takes the ability to "relate" to the players, the team, and the game in order to attract/keep loyal fans. The fan base of 35+ (by the way the people with the money), already found themselves completely unable to relate to the players to begin with as we really don't wear basketball jerseys etc., and most of the commercials are geared towards gatorade, shoes, and teenage kids. Bottom line I guess is it might work with the kids, and the people who are into that kind of style, but for the people that can afford to pay for season tickets we just aren't even being marketed to. Then they go and have a lock out?     That lost a lot of the paying customers. It's not those kids who will be buting season tickets. It certainly isn't going to be us either.

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:59 pm

What you need to know about 2011-2012

I agree 100%

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 2:27 pm


While I'm happy for the hoop fans that needed this to happen, I'm bummed for all the suckers that actually believe their small market team has a chance of fighting past all of the game manipulation and superstar favoritism that has always, and will always obstruct a fair and equitable chance for all cities. What's more, some cities are now going to be strong armed into forking out tax dollars they can't afford to waste on new stadiums that NEVER recover their initial cost in tax dollars.

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: November 28, 2011 1:27 pm

What you need to know about 2011-2012

Amidst all the Thanksgiving holiday football, the announcement the NBA strike was all but over was practically an afterthought.  That ought to tell Stern and the players something...America's fans are about MLB and the NFL.  MLB rather quietly announced a 5-year CBA extension...the way it should be.  NFL and NBA, are you listening?

Since: May 27, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:50 pm

What you need to know about 2011-2012

Look at the polls..apathy toward whether the NBA played or didn't play cemented an agreement..both sides finally understood the final line..$$$$ for nobody

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or