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What we know about the deal that ended the lockout so far

Nov 26, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT

NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement Getty Images

It’s less than eight hours after a bleary-eyed group of executives and attorneys shuffled into a small conference room at a New York office building to deliver the news: a tentative deal is in place. The lockout is over.

Now begins the process of unraveling what happened and how, and determining what the new CBA will take shape as under the new detail. We have the first of those details this morning, via NBA.com’s David Aldridge on NBATV and Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com. The early signs are that the owners made significant concessions to the players (after already winning the feast) in order to get a deal. In short:

  • The players got a concession on Basketball Related Income, which no one saw coming. The owners’ proposal always called for a band of 49-51 for the players, depending upon revenue. (The players would get 51 percent if revenues exceeded expectations, 49 if they fell below, and 50 percent if they met expectations.) But the players were never going to hit 51 without the greatest basketball-economic explosion in history. Instead, the threshold for the players to reach 51 percent has reportedly been lowered to a point where that figure is reachable for the players.
  • In addition, the players got one of the biggest elements they were looking for, as the extend-and-trade ban was lifted. This means that Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams can all exercise the same kind of leverage to get the extra year on their deals that Carmelo Anthony exerted. It means more player movement.
  • Teams above the cap will have a four-year Mid-Level-Exception granted every year. The owners had wanted it to alternate between four and three-year deals each season.
  • Tax teams will have the sign-and-trade available, though there will be limits, which aren’t known yet.
  • Escrow payments were raised to 10 percent, which the players wanted, against the owners’ desire for 8 percent. They are currently at 10 percent.
  • The deal is a ten-year agreement with an opt-out for either side after six years. See you in six seasons!

The deal represents kind of a “fake” win for the players and a fake series of concessions from the owners. They already chopped off seven percent of BRI, increased penalties for tax teams, got the “repeater tax” put in place for teams that pay the tax year after year, and pretty much everything else they wanted. They set such an extreme position that they were able to concede on the issues they did and still walk away winners. But the concessions were major, especially those regarding player movement. The owners finally caved to get us a season, even if they’d already won the battle.

The owners got what they wanted, the players got to save some face, and the fans get a season. How u.

  1. jollyjoker2 - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    I don’t see how the owners won these negotiations. The whole purpose –at least I thought —-was to grow the league and get a competative balance. A few more percentage points off the split isnt’ going to cut it. I always felt going to a completely random lottery so there is a little more incentive to maintain the current franchise — its not the nfl where players get old after a year , having franchise players so lebron can’t hold your whole team hostage and revenue sharing was going to do a lot more to help small market teams. This is just more of the same drivel.

    • snoopy2014 - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

      “The whole purpose –at least I thought —-was to grow the league and get a competative balance.”

      Then you were unfortunately played for a fool by the owners. This was about businessmen wanting to make profits instead of losing money, and nothing more. The NBA owners were a lot smarter than the NHL owners – instead of coming out and saying so directly, they hid under the banner of “competitive balance” because they knew it would appeal to the majority of small/midsize market fans.

      If they really wanted parity, they would have taken into consideration lottery ideas like yours. The purposes of these negotiations was simple: 1) make more money and 2) save the owners from their GMs stupid contracts.

      • therealhtj - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        Of course this was all about the money. Competitive balance could’ve only been achieved by going hard after non-guaranteed deals by the owners. All markets, big and small, will still get hammered by Eddy Curry-type deals as well as the Grant Hill/Yao Ming injured superstar deals.

        Until teams can shed underperforming or injured players and recoup that cap space to sign at least somewhat productive replacements, teams are still at the mercy of the basketball gods and luck falling in their favor. Regardless, unless you’ve got a couple of top-ten players on your side, you’re chances at a ring are slim-to-none. Big market, small market, won’t matter unless you’ve got those superstars.

        But what do I care? Let’s play ball!

    • mytthor - Nov 26, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      If you consider the BRI change and the other system issues, I don’t think it’s farfetched to say that the average owner just got a 10% increase in income. That’s a win in any situation.

    • 6thsense79 - Nov 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Actually if the owners wanted parity they would have started at the Franchise level and splitting all revenue amongst teams. For example the Lakers just signed a local cable deal worth an estimated $30 million per year for the next 20 or so years that they don’t have to share with the rest of the league. If the league wanted true parity the Lakers and other big market teams that make deals like that would have to share a percentage of that. But of course the big market team would never go for that.

      So instead of doing that they rather put restrictions at the player level. In any case as others have stated….this was all about the money. The owners got the players to hand back about $280 million per year which works out to be a little under $1.7 billion over 6 years before either side can opt out. That is a LOT of money and if anyone tries to tell you that wasn’t the primary reason for locking out the players they’re lying to you. It’s ALWAYS about the money. The owners won this in a landslide.

    • david8726 - Nov 27, 2011 at 2:31 AM

      Interesting that you put the phrases ‘grow the league’ and ‘competitive balance’ in the same sentence.

      The truth is that the league has experienced it’s biggest growth during times of extreme competitive imbalance.

      People love their elite teams in big markets. It was true in the 80s with the Lakers and Celtics, it was true in the 90s with Jordans team’s, and it’s true now with the Lakers, Heat, Bulls, Mavs, and Celtics.

      Unfortunately, the NBA would not grow that much if the Milwaukee Bucks suddenly became contenders. But if the Knicks were true contenders again? You’d see a huge boost.

  2. brooklynbulls - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    My only question at this point is when does free agency start?

    • snoopy2014 - Nov 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      I’ve heard Dec 9 thrown out there by ESPN. Not sure if Hunter/Stern confirmed that or if it’s just a “source.”

    • 6thsense79 - Nov 26, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      Man….I’m going to love the free agency and trades about to hit…..Will Dwight Howard be traded before he becomes a free agent….Which team will over spend despite the new CBA (and you know they’ll be a few that do)…..Which GM will hand out the next dumb contract……Who’ll come into camp looking like the stay puff marshmellow man……I love this league.

  3. jimeejohnson - Nov 26, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    The owners said “let em eat cake”, and the players fell for it instead of breaking out the guillotine.

  4. asublimeday - Nov 27, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    I’d rather have missed the season and blocked the sign-and-trade going forward. You wanna leave? Cool. Enjoy less money.

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