The owners want to take a far greater percentage of the basketball-related income. They want to pay millions less for maximum deals and shorten contracts. Most of all, they want a hard salary cap and assurances that protect themselves against a diminished economy and, well, themselves. Everything is hurtling toward a 2011 lockout, a negotiation that’ll likely feel far more like a standoff.
The Owners are out for blood in 2011. The economic recession was thought to be a reasonable cause for the players to accept a certain number of compromises in return for a few things on their wish list being cleared in return. Instead, the owners have decided to use the economy as a tool to attempt not just significant alterations to the existing structure, but a drastic realignment of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A hard cap brings with it a leveling of the playing field for smaller market teams, which would stem the tide of losses for certain teams. However, it’s hard to find a scenario where the union agrees to mimic the NFL agreement, which means non-guaranteed contracts, bloated rookie contracts for players who have done nothing in the league, and would result in the elimination of exemptions like the Mid-Level Exception.
This kind of a hard line is obviously just the starting point of one end of the spectrum, but judging from Adonal Foyle’s response on behalf of the union, this one’s going to get ugly, fast, and stay ugly, long.