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Players union may now seek collusion charge

Apr 16, 2010, 5:22 PM EDT

David Stern announced good news for teams and players today — that the salary cap next year is probably going to be $56.1 million, several million higher than expected. That’s more money to spend this summer.

But the players union sees nefarious deeds afloat. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo was first with the news.

After the NBA released a memo last July that warned teams the salary cap for the 2010-11 season could drop as far as $50.6 million, the union countered the projection could be a mechanism to scare teams from signing free agents.

“A memo of this nature can have a chilling effect on the market for free agent and rookie signings,” Hunter said last July. “If it later turns out that the league did not have a good faith basis for making these projections, the NBPA will pursue all available legal remedies, including a treble damages claim for collusion.”

Welcome to another skirmish in the war that is the Collective Bargaining Agreement coming in 2011.

The salary cap is going down next year by a little over $1 million from this year’s figure. But that’s a sign that the economy has rebounded some, that the doom and gloom of a year ago didn’t quite come to pass.

Isn’t that what we all thought last year? That things sucked but were going to get worse? Were the dire salary cap projections really about keeping salaries down or was it prudent planning in the midst of a recession where nobody knew how deep it would go? It doesn’t seem unrealistic.

But everything is a battle in the upcoming war.

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