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.