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NBPA VP SAYS LEAGUE AND PLAYERS "VERY CLOSE" TO A DEAL
Published May 2, 1995
NBPA VP Charles Smith told the N.Y. POST's Peter Vecsey that he believes the union and the NBA are "very close" to an agreement on a new CBA. Smith: "In fact, I think it already would have been settled and signed had there been more pressure to get it done by a certain deadline." While Smith attributed some of the delay to the time constraints on player reps during the season, Vecsey notes that NBPA President Buck Williams (whose Blazers trail the Suns, 2-0) "could be freed up real soon for full-time negotiations." WHERE DO THEY STAND? A recent union memo noted the players' acceptance of a cap and the league's acceptance of a one-round draft. Still, NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik noted there are "some very, very important issues still to resolve." On the table, according to Smith: The level and flexibility of the cap; revenue-sharing (the players want a 50-50 split of "everything"); division of merchandise sales; and, the "Larry Bird exception," which allows a team to re-sign its players at any cost. On the properties split, the owners are offering a guarantee of $75M over the next three years, while the players want 40% of all revenue from logo and player likeness merchandise and a guarantee of $50M/year through 2002. Smith called the Bird rule the "toughest issue of them all." While the players would prefer the status quo, Vecsey reports the owners "either want to phase out the exception or limit it so that it's not totally open ended" (N.Y. POST, 5/2).