It was expected to happen, but don’t confuse that with being easy.
Lawyers and officials with the NBA owners and players union put in nearly 28 hours over the weekend to hammer out all the B-list issues that were remaining undone with the NBA labor deal, a source told ProBasketballTalk. It’s sort of the dirty work that needs to get done but not everyone notices (much like dirty work on the court itself).
The important thing is that everything will be in place for both the owners and players to vote on the deal Thursday (electronically, in both cases), allowing training camps to open Friday.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has an update on where those secondary issues stand.
Lawyers for the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have pared the list of outstanding items to about 50, down from about 250 when the process began Friday, the person said. Among the more important B-list issues, it remains likely that the age limit for draft eligibility will be unchanged and is expected to be revisited at a later date when there is time for more thorough discussion. The two sides also are still negotiating the language on a new drug-testing policy and a provision by which teams will be able to shuttle players back and forth to the NBA Development League.
The two sides will set up a committee that will take another look at the draft age limit, but it will be a year or two before there are any changes there. Do expect more liberal rules on players getting sent down to the D-League earlier in their career.
But for now, the dirty work is getting done so we can have hoops on Christmas.