Fisher thinks there’s movement on BRI compromise if the owners back off the hard cap

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One of the best kept secrets in all the lockout talk is that the players are willing to compromise on how much money they get. For all the talk by your common commenter that the players are “all too greedy” despite it having been the owners who locked out the players and not the players on strike, there have been indications that the players are willing to move on the 57% BRI cut they currently get, even if they’re not willing to go as low as the 50% the owners are seeking. On Friday, Derek Fisher, as we posted,  talked about how Monday’s meeting will be about other issues creating the lockout. But there was another quote that I thought was more interesting than those mentioned in that post.

From ESPN:

“If, as players, we feel we can operate under a fair system, then we can maybe work towards a fair number,” Fisher said. “I think our counterparts feel a little bit differently, they want to get a number set and they’re not as concerned with the way the system looks if they get the right number. We don’t think that’s the best way to approach it. We want to make sure we keep a fair system in place for all players now and coming in later and I think the numbers will kind of take care of themselves.”

via NBPA prez Derek Fisher — Lockout’s ‘been weirdly quiet’ – ESPN Los Angeles.

Everyone is really big right now on talking about how the meeting Monday means nothing and there’s no point to it and we should all not even have the meeting and just drink hemlock or something. Honestly, everyone’s become so goth about the lockout I’m waiting for someone to put a Cure cover band concert together. There are a lot of bad signs, but note what Fisher says here. There’s movement to be had on BRI. They’re willing to talk about a 55% or 56% split. Which means that in reality, depending on how negotiations go, they might move all the way down to 53% or 54%. That’s a huge pickup for the owners. All they have to do is get off the hard cap line.

Considering that the cap is directly impacted by the decision-making of the teams, there’s no reason for some type of firmer, but not necessarily cold-hard cap can’t be agreed to. Take the “non-guaranteed contracts” gun off the players heads and they’re likely to become more amiable. Opt for a CBA agreement somewhere between the five-year agreement the players want and the ten-year agreement the owners want and you’ve got that settled. There’s movement to be made here.

But that’s the key. Both sides, players and owners, have to look at this as a business negotiation and not an ideological culture war. This is just about basketball and how it’s run. The owners want more money to cover the losses created from how they’ve run their business. The players are willing to give it to them. You can’t get everything you want in a negotiation. That’s why it’s a negotiation and not a coup. If the owners will simply keep their options open and see what they can get, they can get a great deal.

But, sadly, the Cure-listeners are right. The owners don’t want a great deal. They want total victory and to win the cultural war being waged, showing those lowly players who’s boss. Until the voices of their better angels are observed, there is little hope for a resolution for nearly a year.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

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The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.