“We've got a blind date with destiny... and it looks like she's ordered the lobster”
For the full write up of the Big Ugly, here is the link
Summary of Recent Developments
Posturing, spitting contests, and mandatory drug test-inducing CBA proposals seem to be driving the 2011-12 NBA season, crashing right towards the Great Big Acme Anvil.
Militant owners pressuring for offering even less, the union discussing de-certification; this could turn ugly very quickly.
As the wise Reverend Johnson once said… “O Lord, do we have the strength to carry off this mighty task in one night? Or are we just jerking off? “
Proposed Goals for Agreement / Current Status
Contract Length – Agree to 4yr/3yr
Status – Still in work
Bird Rights and the Melo Rule – Agree to no change
Status – Still in work
MLE – Agree to $4m/2yr annual MLE with player Bird rights after the 2years
Status – Battleground. League offers for $5m/3yr or 4yr (non tax teams, alternating years) and $2.5/2yr (tax teams, alternating years). The two sides seem to be going in the opposite direction and making little sense while heading there. A “mini” MLE is now in play for luxury tax teams $2.5mm for two years; every other year. The non-tax MLE is still $5mm available each year; but now the owners are proposing alternating durations; 4year MLE contract length one year, 3year the next, then 4 then 3 and so on.
Really, alternating years? Was yesterday “Bring Your Grandchild to Work and Let Them Takeover Negotiations” Day and I missed it? Or is the reason Michael Jordan did not speak yesterday was because he brought along the supporting cast from Space Jam to do his talking for him?
The “every other year” element is pure goofiness… “Hey Bobby you get a 4year MLE contract because you are a free agent this year. Sorry Timmy, you are a free agent next year so you get hosed”.
The union needs to protect the players and remove the every other year garbage; even if the union gives up a little something in the end
Amnesty – Agree to 1x amnesty contingent on amnestied money does not count against the cap or tax
Status – Tentative agreement for a one time Amnesty – 75% of the amnestied money would fall of the cap & luxury tax (players still get paid in full).
Cap Reform – Agree to positive reforms in areas such as Injury Exception, Contract Buyout and such
Status – Tentative agreement for a "Stretch" Exception allowing team to waive players, stretch out the remaining payoff over several years and reduce the salary cap hit by the team.
I hope the Stretch Exception doesn’t get lost in all of the yelling and spit wad shooting going on.
Luxury Tax – Agree to current luxury tax in place today
Status – Battleground. Taxes on top of taxes, taxes for teams 3 out of 5; confusing, confounding and directly aimed by envious small market owners towards the big boys; the league now offers $1 additional tax instead of $1.50 and the union wants $0.50 tax on the first $10mm then $1 after that.
The Luxury Tax Cliff, compliments of Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Teams who may creep over the tax line are at risk of losing their slice of the tax pie refund. The small market owners… errr, I mean the league offers those teams get a half share.
Free Agency – Agree to current free agency framework
Status – Still in work. There was discussion published about the 125% trade match is being negotiated for a higher ratio; players proposed 225%, the league offered 140-150%.
I hope this doesn't get lost.
Sign and Trade
Status - Battleground. The league wants no S&T by tax teams, the union says “bite me”.
Contract Opt Outs – Agree to player and franchise opt-outs every two years
Status – Still in work, though I’ve read recently that the league wants to limit or remove Opt Outs.
Salary Cap – Agree to plan similar to what is in place today
Status – Still in work, but in recent articles, a $60mm (est) cap for Year 1 is being shopped around by Knicks owner James Dolan.
BRI – 52/48, 51/49, possibly even 50/50 dependent on successful agreement on the other goals
Status – Battle of the Bulge. Frankly the smartest option was the 50-49-1 floated by the union (50%-union, 49%-league, 1%-Retired Player Pension Fund).
The owners’ floating 49-51% offer doesn’t pass the smell test. Golden Rule- if you can’t explain it in 1 sentence, you’re selling a pile of carp.
Contract Roll Backs - No
Status – Still in work, wind seems to be blowing towards no roll backs
Franchise Tag – No
Status – Still in work
Union Decertification - No
Status – In Discussion and appears to be seriously considered by the union; in short, the nuclear option.
NLRB Ruling – Not covered in initial write up
Status – Awaiting Ruling; potential blockbuster either way the ruling goes