The real question is how the sides are going to handle it if — more likely when — the players reject the latest offer from David Stern and the owners.
We are starting to learn more about that offer, and basically it is minor changes from the offer the players rejected last weekend. It doesn’t sound like the players have any interest in accepting this one either, although if they think this is the best offer they are going to get it may change their minds.
Here is what we know.
• It calls for a 50/50 split of basketball related income. Technically it is the 49 percent to 51 percent band in place in the last owners offer. But the reality of how that band is structured is that the split is 50/50 with little variation.
• Teams paying the luxury tax would be able to use a “mini mid-level” of $3 million for three years (up from two years at $2.5), according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.
• There would be a sign-and-trade deal for teams paying the luxury tax, but it is restrictive (it was banned totally in the last league offer), Berger reports.
• There would be a salary floor for teams at 85 percent of the salary cap number, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
• The players would be able to opt out of the labor deal after six seasons, although it would be a 10-year deal.
Interestingly, the players are not going to get together and discuss this until Monday. That gives a full weekend for players and agents on both sides to try and rally support among the team representatives before the meeting. It gives time to Fisher to decide how he wants to sell the ideas to the reps.
What ultimately matters most is how both sides react when the players reject this offer next week. But now we’re starting to know what they are turning down.