Friday is a sort of deadline for the NBA’s planning for next season: It’s the final day either the owners or the players can opt-out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and force it to be renegotiated — it has been pushed back three times, now to Oct. 30. That made Friday the day we expected some clarity on the salary cap for next season and the start date and length of said season.
Unless both sides agree to push that deadline back. Again.
Which is what Malcolm Brogdon — players’ union vice president — expects them to do. Brogdon was on ESPN’s “The Jump” and told Rachel Nichols he expects the sides to agree to extend the deadline (via Tim Bontemps at ESPN).
“The way talks are going, this is a super-complicated issue, and there’s a lot to balance. [There’s] a lot of minds working on this collaboratively, on both sides. So it’s going to take some time. I don’t think a few weeks, but I think it will take at least a few more days.”
Malcolm Brogdon gave a good assessment of where things stand with the start of next season — the players would prefer a January start, but there’s reported to be an extra $500 million to be made starting before Christmas.
“I think those are the two options,” Brogdon said. “We’re either going to start MLK Day, which I think a lot of the players are leaning towards, or we’re going to start the 22nd, Christmastime. But the huge difference is revenue. Revenue, and trying to get the season back on track to start in that September-October range. So I think calculations are being done on both sides on how much revenue would be lost for each potential date, and we’ll have to come to some type of agreement and go from there.”
With the 2020 NBA Draft coming Nov. 18 and free agency starting not long after — exactly when depends on the season start date — the owners and players can’t push this decision back very far.
Just don’t expect any decision on Friday, other than to give themselves more time to make a decision.