Report: NBA owners, players close to deal on mid-level exception

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It’s progress. Not on the core issue that will bring us labor peace, but it’s progress. Right now, we’re not going to look askew at any sign of progress.

The NBA owners and players are very close to a deal on a reduced mid-level exception going forward, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com.

… a source who has been briefed on the discussions between the two sides said Monday afternoon that the sides are close to an agreement on one “system” aspect that has proven troublesome — a new, shorter mid-level exception for free agents.

This is a good thing — the players wanted some form of the MLE because it is good for the league’s middle class. It also may be the most abused of the exceptions, with teams making some horrible decisions to use it every year then being stuck with the consequences. An MLE that is shorter in length (it had a been a five-year max) and for less money works for both sides.

It’s progress.

It’s also a side dish, not the main course.

Until the two sides get anywhere on the split of basketball related income, it’s hard to be hopeful about anything. But at least they figured something out during five hours talking Sunday.