In anticipation of a players’ union meeting that could very well determine the fate of the 2011-12 season, the NBA made a spirited effort on Sunday to ensure that the details of its latest collective bargaining proposal to the players have been laid out for consumption.
NBA Commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver held a chat on Twitter to answer questions about the deal and the league also put a 92-second video on YouTube to dispel any misconceptions about what is being offered.
Several media outlets received copies of the seven-page proposal, and NBA.com offered a clear breakdown of all three offers available to the players – the one that the players rejected; the one they are currently considering; and the “reset” proposal that the league will give the players if this deal doesn’t suffice.
Although there is speculation that the latest offer might be worse than the one players already rejected, there appear to be some concessions to the players, such as a mid-level for tax-paying teams starting at $3 million and a maximum of three years; a “room” exception that allows teams under the salary cap to sign free agents for $2.5 million and two years; sign-and-trades for taxpaying teams in the first two years of the deal; and a minimum payroll requirement of 85 percent in the first two years and 90 percent thereafter. Other details, such as a 12-percent reduction in both the minimum salary and first-year salaries of rookies, may be a little unsettling for the players.
The National Basketball Players Association will discuss the proposal with the 30 player representatives, and many others, and from there, the players will have to decide if they will start playing a 72-game season on Dec. 15, if they will dissolve the union and potentially vanquish any hope of the season, or if they’ll push for a few more concessions from the league in negotiations.