The NBA and the NBPA are halfway through a 10-year collective bargaining agreement ratified in 2011, but each side has until December 15 to opt out of the current deal and potentially trigger a work stoppage. Over the past few seasons a huge TV contract, a series of astronomical team sale prices, and a more pugnacious NBPA have strengthened the players’ negotiating position. They always looked likely to flex their muscles and ask for a better deal this year.
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, there is mutual “optimism” on both sides that a new CBA deal will get finalized before the season starts. Most of the thornier issues have apparently been worked out. Here’s Woj:
During several months of discussions, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, as well as their respective committees and staffs, have agreed upon many of the significant collective bargaining issues, league sources said. Much of the remaining talks are centered upon smaller elements of the CBA, league sources said.
Among the reportedly already-agreed-upon tenets of the new CBA is a higher rookie contract scale—unlike most contracts in the NBA, the rookie scale isn’t tied to the salary cap, so when the salary cap exploded this season rookie contracts stayed mostly the same—as well as the introduction of two-way contracts that will allow players to move back and forth from the D-League easier, and likely pay them more. Both of these are pro-player, but they merely shift around the distribution of money players are already getting.
The most telling number will be what percentage of Basketball Related Income the players get this time around. Their biggest loss of the 2011 CBA was losing seven percent of BRI to the owners. If Woj’s report is to be believed, then Adam Silver and Michele Roberts have already worked this—the absolute most important issue—out. The league is in a very good place right now, so both sides have an incentive to come to a quick agreement and avoid a work stoppage.