Just when everyone thought that there was going to be no NBA season this year, it appears that things have been settled and the season is on again, set to start with a triple header on Christmas Day. A tentative agreement was finally reached early Saturday, November 26th, 2011 and while there are still things to be done, there will be a 66 game season much to the relief of serious NBA fans everywhere.
December 9th will mark the start of two week training camps and a free agency period that could prove to be very frenzied to say the least. There will be a limited pre-season before the Christmas Day start that will be nationally televised.
It’s been a long and arduous battle but finally, both sides realized that compromise needed to be given on both sides if they were to have a season, and as it turns out, all involved want there to be a season. Some of the major points of the agreement are:
- A salary cap, luxury and floor tax that is expected to be about the same as it was last year. The salary cap is set at $58 million and the luxury tax threshold is set at $70 million. Clubs need to spend 85% of the cap the first two years of the CBA and then the remaining years will be 90%.
- In a significant win for the owners, the BRI turned out to be 49-51% for the players that depend on the league’s revenue growth. This amounts to about $280 million every year that will go to the owners.
- The rookie wage scale minimum league contracts have no changes and remain the same as last year but they don’t include a 12% rollback which was something that was included in a previous proposal.
- In a big win for the NBA, the luxury tax fees charge the clubs an escalating amount. Each club will pay $1.50 for each $1.00 over the first $5 million that is over the threshold. For each additional $5 million that it increases above that, clubs will have to pay $3.25 for every $1.00 above. There is also a stiffer tax that will be imposed on the clubs for going over the threshold more than three times in a five year period. These rules will discourage some clubs from outspending others by $60-$70 million and keeps things on a more even playing field.
There are many other points to this deal, but what it all comes down to is that everyone was finally able to compromise and come up with an agreement that both sides would ultimately feel good about. As with many negotiations of this sort, there was many times where it looked like an agreement was just not in the cards, but finally, with both sides wanting to save the season, agreements were reached.
Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner stated that he felt good about the changes, even though ultimately it was not the system owners wanted implemented. He went on to say in USA Today,
“I think it will largely prevent the high spending teams from competing in the free agency market in a way that they have been able to in the past. … But the luxury tax is harsher than it was in the past deal, and we hope it’s effective,”
“You never can be sure with how a new system will work. But we feel, ultimately, it will give fans in every community hope that their team can compete for championships and that their basis for believing in their team will be a function of management of that team, rather than, as I have said before, how deep the owners’ pockets are or how large the market is.”
- NBA Lockout: Season Saved with Tentative Agreement, Games Set for Christmas Day (bleacherreport.com)
- A few hurdles for NBA, but then back-to-back games begin (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- NBA, players reach tentative labour deal; 66-game season to start Christmas Day (vancouversun.com)