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Report: Owners could be open to minor system tweaks

Nov 8, 2011, 9:57 AM EDT

National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern, speaks after taking part in contract negotiations between NBA and players association in New York Reuters

If the owners and players sit down and talk before Wednesday’s deadline set by David Stern, the owners might be willing to make some tweaks to the system they have laid out.

The system has been part of the issue. Union president Derek Fisher has suggested he is willing to move more on split of league revenue (the union’s last offer was 51 percent to the players, down from 57 percent before, the owners want essentially 50/50), but they wanted concessions to keep the player movement and team spending system closer to what was in the last labor deal. The owners want both the money and system changes.

But apparently they’ll listen, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

As one ownership source told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night, “If there were a couple of tweaks needed around the edges – not fundamental deal points – I believe there could be a deal if everything else is agreed upon. But there needs to be a meeting with David and Billy for anything to happen.”

There has been talk of such a meeting, but nothing has yet been set. Which is ludicrous really, but then again this whole lockout has gotten ludicrous.

The system changes the players want would benefit the highest-spending teams — allowing teams paying the luxury tax to use sign-and-trade deals and have a full mid-level exception to use. In the past, teams like the Lakers and Mavericks — big spenders — have used the mid-level to bring in good role players to go around their stars. The sign-and-trade is a different matter, according to Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated that has barely ever been used by tax-paying teams (five times total in the last six years, and Shawn Marion to the Mavs from Toronto is the only example you might recall, the rest were almost pure salary dumps). The sign-and-trades that seemed to freak out owners (LeBron James to Miami, Chris Bosh to Miami, Carlos Boozer to Chicago) would not be impacted because those teams were under the salary cap at the time.

All that said, talking system tweaks is moot if the two sides are not talking.

  1. therealhtj - Nov 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Kurt, please remind me the last time the Lakers used the MLE and it didn’t turn into an unmitigated bust? And one timely 3-pointer from Ron World Metta doesn’t count.

    The MLE should be changed to the underperforming-yet-talented-player-who-overachieves-in-his-contract-year-and-never-lives-up-to-the-contract exception.

    • eaglessuperfan - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      So that would be the UYTPWOIHCYANLUTTCE?

  2. santolonius - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    if the new deal protects big spending clubs and maintains a league where there are 20 teams at the start of every season that everyone knows have no chance of making the championship (pause breath) and if it allows the lebrons of the league to sit down with their buddies and coronate some sexy city with great nightclubs as the next championship town… then i want nothing to do with the NBA. why? because i know my team, which i have pulled for 35 years and which has never sniffed an appearance in the finals, will remain the chum of the NBA. (voice starting to crack) the proper settlement to this lockout could give fans in 20 cities some hope and a sense of participation in this sport. if it fails to create a balanced league, the lockout fails the fans!

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