A new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon.
That’s the important news in negotiations between players and owners.
The saga doesn’t end there, though. League and union representatives crafted the new CBA. Membership on both sides must still approve it.
But the deadline to opt out of the current CBA was tomorrow – sooner than ratification can logistically be completed.
What if one sides votes down the new CBA? If neither sides opts out of the current CBA, both sides could be stuck in a deal nobody wants through 2021. Or if one side opts out of the current CBA, an acceptable fallback compromise of continuation could be lost.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association found a solution to that dilemma, which they announced in a joint statement:
The NBA and NBPA have reached a tentative agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, pending ratification by players and team owners.
In order to give both sides enough time to review the terms of the agreement and vote to ratify, the parties have agreed to extend the mutual deadline to opt out of the existing CBA from Dec. 15, 2016, to Jan. 13, 2017.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver knows what owners want, and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts knows what players want. It’d be shocking if the new CBA isn’t ratified.
But rather than being stuck in an untenable hole in the (extremely unlikely) event one side disapproves, pushing the opt-out deadline to Jan. 13 allows for a better path forward.
Far more likely: Both sides accept the new CBA and render the opt out irrelevant.
Two years ago, most observers – those loyal to owners, those loyal to players and those neutral – expected a 2017 NBA lockout. Michele Roberts was throwing bombs, and commissioner Adam Silver stood in staunch in his opposition to the players-union chief.
Lately, the only question has been when, not if, the league and players would strike a deal ensuring labor peace.
That answer has been revealed: Today.
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
ESPN’s The Undefeated has learned the NBA labor agreement term sheet is done and is pending ratification. Joint statement coming soon.
Owners and players still must approve the deal, but representatives at the negotiating table surely understood their constituents’ requirements. Ratification is barely more than a formality.
The new CBA will resemble the current one, and it might even be structured as a revision-and-extension of the current one. That could mean new terms go into effect even before the current agreement expires June 30, which is one of the big unknowns about the new deal.
What do we know? Some details have already leaked. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here and check back for more developments.
A new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reportedly close.
A day later, close might be here.
Marc Stein and Ian Begley of ESPN:
Negotiations this week between the NBA and the NBA Players Association have the parties on course to reach agreement on a new labor pact before Thursday’s deadline for either side to opt out of the current deal, according to league sources.
Sources said Wednesday that an agreement in principle on a new contract to ensure several more seasons of labor peace — anticipated throughout the league for weeks — could be struck between the league and the union as early as Wednesday night.
Owners and players would still have to approve the deal, but I trust NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts know their constituents’ requirements. I can’t see either side accepting a deal at the bargaining table only for it to be voted down by the masses.
Thursday’s deadline was always overplayed. The current CBA won’t expire until July 1, even if one side opted out by tomorrow. There would have still been plenty of time to strike a deal. But it’d be reassuring to get this finalized before an opt out and let everyone feel good about labor peace.
It’s one thing for the Cavaliers to rest LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for tonight’s game against the Grizzlies. Cleveland is first in the East and playing to maximize its odds of winning in the playoffs.
But the Kings resting DeMarcus Cousins? Sacramento is 2.5 games and one spot out of postseason position, and merely making the playoffs is the primary goal.
Yet, that’s just what the Kings will do against the Rockets tonight.
James Ham of CSN California:
Due to Cousins’ heavy workload so far this season, the Kings have decided to rest their starting center Wednesday night.
Forward Rudy Gay and guard Ben McLemore have both been ruled out due to injuries suffered against the Lakers.
The Kings outscore opponents by 1.9 points per 100 possessions with Cousins on the floor and get outscored by 12.5 points per 100 possessions when he sits. If this isn’t throwing the game, it’s close.
Maybe that’s the right move. Perhaps, resting Cousins tonight will increase Sacramento’s expected win total. The Kings were definitely underdogs in Houston anyway. A fresher Cousins could help in future games.
But even in an era that places unprecedented emphasis on rest, it’s still jarring to see a team with so little margin for error sit a healthy 26-year-old who’s so integral to its success.
Luke Walton got ejected from the Lakers’ loss to the Kings on Monday, but he stuck around to repeatedly use a word that starts with F.
The league noticed.
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has been fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner after his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
This one was earned.