Report: NBA, union optimistic about finalizing Collective Bargaining Agreement in next several weeks

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The clock is ticking toward Dec. 15, when either NBA owners or the National Basketball Players Association can opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement effective July 1. Even if that happens, that’d leave plenty of time to negotiate a new deal before games are missed.

But why induce all that panic if you can preempt it?

Here’s more optimism on a revised CBA before Dec. 15.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have made significant progress toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and there is strong optimism among officials on both sides that a deal could be finalized in the next several weeks, league sources told The Vertical.

Among expected changes in the new CBA, league sources told The Vertical: A significantly higher rookie contract scale and two-way contracts between the NBA and NBA Development League that will add playing jobs for the union.

The NBA is swimming in money. Neither side wants to turn off the cash flow. That helps foster a deal.

Raising the rookie scale is important with the new national TV contracts making the current scale out of date. Two-way contracts would allow teams to appropriately pay fringe NBA players, and that could come with a lengthened draft.

These are problems that require common-sense solutions to make the system function better for both sides.

The biggest issue is always splitting Basketball Related Income (BRI), which is somewhat a zero-sum game. The more the owners get, the less the players get and vice versa. (It is not completely zero-sum, because a healthy split is necessary to maximize the overall revenue.) In the current CBA, players get between 49% and 51% of BRI. In the previous CBA, it was 57%.

Let’s hope BRI is not a remaining point of contention, because that’s a place either side can dig in its heels. If that’s agreed upon, ramp up the optimism even further.