Once again, NBA, players’ union agree to extend deadline to terminate CBA

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The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (the players’ union) have been in constant negotiations since the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. At first, it was how to pull off the bubble and finish the season, now the focus has turned to next season.

“Everything we’re doing is outside of the collective bargaining agreement,” Adam Silver said of the negotiations as the NBA Finals started. “Because if we just went by the formula in the collective bargaining agreement, we’d have a huge reduction in the cap and tax, and not only would it create havoc in terms of planning purposes for our teams, but I think roughly a third of the league would be free agents, and so there would be enormous inequity there because there would be no cap room for those players to sign contracts.”

The talks cover the salary cap for next season, when the season starts and its length, league revenue, how much of players’ salaries will be held back in escrow, and much more. As part of that, the NBA and NBPA again have agreed to push back the date that either side can terminate the CBA, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

There is a looming deadline for the NBA/union negotiations: The Nov. 18 NBA Draft. By that point a salary cap needs to be set, allowing for trades on draft night. Also, if the league is going to start on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they will need to notify teams around the time of the draft.

“There’s no doubt there are issues on the table that need to be negotiated,” Silver said. “I think it’s — we’ve managed to work through every other issue so far. I think we have a constructive relationship with [the union]. We share all information. We look at our various business models together.

“So I think while no doubt there will be issues and there will be some difficult negotiations ahead, I fully expect we’ll work them out, as we always have.”