Either the owners or players can opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by Dec. 15, but they’ve been working to avoid that.
Maybe they will?
Silver and a group of owners who make up the labor relations committee have been regularly meeting with Roberts and her staff in recent months to work on a new collective bargaining agreement. Those talks have been productive, and there is optimism that the sides may be able to work out a new deal by December, sources said.
The CBA needs major work. An influx of unforeseen money from the new national TV contracts has warped the system. I can’t see owners or players wanting to keep the system in tact, though both sides should be inclined to continue receiving billions without interruption.
Even if one side opts out – the only opportunity to do so before the CBA expires in 2021 – the agreement will run until June 30. There’d still be plenty of time to strike a deal before a work stoppage, and the pressure of that deadline could help.
But a signed, sealed and delivered CBA before Dec. 15 is the golden ticket – a way to preempt lockout hysteria before it has a chance to get going.