SBD/Issue 93/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NBA Owners May Slash Salaries Under New CBA; Is Lockout Likely?

NBA team owners plan to "go for the jugular and drop the players' salaries immensely" during negotiations with the NBPA for a new CBA, according to sources cited by Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. The current CBA is set to expire after the '10-11 season, and a team owner said, "The owners are really going to chop the money down." A GM added, "Player salaries are definitely going to take a hit. Players that come up for contracts under the new CBA are going to find themselves getting a lot less money." Broussard noted it is "well-known that owners will try to shorten contracts" under the new agreement. A GM indicated that owners are "looking to shorten the maximum length of a contract to four or five years." He added that they have "actually discussed trying to guarantee only the first two years of a four-year deal, and that the third and fourth years would be guaranteed only if a player reached certain performance-based incentives." Broussard wrote in "other words, it would be closer to the NFL than to today's NBA." One GM said, "Is there a sentiment among some (owners) that they’d like to have it like football? Yeah. But I think that’s out of bounds." The team owner said, "There’s going to be a lockout. There’s not even a doubt in my mind about that." He added NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter is "not going to make a deal like that. Teams are already saving up money for a strike" (ESPN.com, 1/26).

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