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NBPA suggests players structure contracts to protect against lockout

By James Herbert | NBA writer

NBPA president Chris Paul likely doesn't want to relive the last lockout.
NBPA president Chris Paul likely doesn't want to relive the last lockout. (USATSI)

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NBPA acting executive director Ron Klempner e-mailed all NBA players and agents to advise them to take an 18-month payment schedule because of the possibility of a lockout after the 2016-2017 season, as first reported by Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has obtained a copy of the memo.

Some of you may recall a rule inserted into the new collective bargaining allowing a player to receive his salary over 18 months (36 bi-monthly payments) instead of over the usual 6 or 12 months. As we advised the group at an agent seminar this week, we suggest that you consider including this provision in any multi-year contract you negotiate, specifically for the 2016-17 season. Both the players and owners are able to opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement following the 2016-17 season. An 18-month payment schedule for 2016-17 will allow a player to continue receiving paychecks throughout the 2017-18 season, even if the players are locked out that season. As we have learned in the past, the owners have made provisions with the TV networks to continue to receive rights fees throughout a work stoppage, and there is no reason the players should not make every effort to take the same precaution.

Ugh. As we all are deep in free agency, and thinking about the best draft class in years, this is a stark reminder that another work stoppage might be around the corner. No one wants to relive the last lockout, but it's smart for the players to prepare for what could happen.

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