UPDATE 4:36 pm: We now have confirmation on this.
The changes to the D-League are among things the owners want, but it is all part of what union chief Billy Hunter described as the “B-List” issues, along with draft age limit changes (there are reports the owners want to raise it from 19 to 20) and the like.
Those are still up for negotiation, they are not part of the take it or leave it offer.
Stern’s offer had to do with the handful of A-list issues, such as the mid-level exception for tax-paying teams, the sign-and-trade for tax paying teams and the like.
Once the A-list is agreed to there will still be negotiations on the B-list (which is pages long). There will be some interesting horse trading on those that will impact future NBA players, but these issues are not considered deal breakers in the least.
UPDATE 4:01 pm: While this proposal by the owners was on the table at one point, there are now some reports that it may not have been part of the formal proposal the owners made Thursday. Here is what Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated tweeted:
Hearing d league rule may no longer be part of league’s official proposal. Def was at some recent point.
We’re trying to find out where it stands.
3:44 pm: The players are not going to like this. Well, they don’t like a lot of things about the latest ultimatium from David Stern and the owners, but you can add this to the list.
New proposal would allow teams to send players to NBDL first 5 years of career and reduce pay to pro-rated 75K. Talk about non-starters.
Bucher is right, the players are going to balk at that.
Right now, players can be sent down to the D-League during the first two years of their NBA career, but when they go they still get the full money from their NBA contracts.
If the NBA wants the D-League to be a true minor league, then expanding the time frame in which players can be sent down makes some sense. (I like the idea of a rehab assignment, too, but let’s not go there today.) Expanding it to three or four years has some merit, it does take time for some guys to develop and getting to play in the D-League rather than riding the NBA pine can speed that process up.
But if you think the players are going to sign off on giving up salary, you ate the special brownies.
This sounds like the kind of thing that would make for future negotiations, which is what the players want to do next. But if the offer really is take-it-or-leave-it from the owners (it wasn’t last time) then this is another sticking point.