A basic framework on a new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement, one which would split the basketball-related income (BRI) via a 50/50 split has been made over the past few days (plus a more severe luxury tax). Earlier in the day, there were some rumors and rumblings of a deal, but apparently the negotiations are still being held up over the five key system issues.
David Aldridge went on NBA TV at 8:30 PM ET tonight to provide an update on the talks and the progress on those five issues. Here is the description of the progress on those system issues as he told it:
- Repeater Tax: The NBA wants to implement a levy that penalizes teams that exceed the luxury tax threshold three times in a five-year period — or as Aldridge labeled them, the “recitivists”. The players want this tax to be smaller and only apply to the first $10 million over the threshold. He indicated that progress was being made in this area.
- Escrow: The league wants to hold 10% of player salaries in escrow until after the season when the BRI is calculated. Aldridge indicated that progress was also being made on this issue.
- Cliff: A additional threshold for teams that far exceed the salary cap with a second penalty that excludes these high-paying teams from receiving a share of the luxury-tax funds from the other tax-paying teams. Aldridge said that the teams were negotiating a setup where teams that only went over by a small amount would still get a luxury tax share.
- Mid-level Exception: The NBA only wants a “mini” mid-level exception for teams over the luxury tax: 2-year deals, starting at 2.5 M and usable every other year. The NBPA countered with 4-year deals, starting at 5M per year, usable every other year (although every other such contract would be limited to a 3-year deal.)
- Sign-and-Trade: The NBA does not want to allow sign-and-trades for teams over the tax. The NBPA does. This one, too, is a major hurdle according to Aldridge.