SBD/May 12, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA's Latest CBA Proposal Calls For Hard Salary Cap, But Not Until '13

The CBA proposal from NBA owners that the NBPA "rejected last week called for the implementation of a hard salary cap at a figure lower than the league's current cap, but not until" the '13-14 season, according to sources cited by Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Sources indicated that the "central change made by owners to past collective bargaining proposals called for easing in a more restrictive financial landscape over a three-season cycle as opposed to trying to impose a hard salary ceiling with immediate effect next season." The sources added that the NBA "regards this as a major concession." Sources said that the owners' latest proposal, however, "does still call for immediate rollbacks" of 15%, 20% or 25% to current contracts "depending on salary levels, as part of the league's oft-stated desire to reduce payroll by roughly $800 million leaguewide on an annual basis." Sources said that the NBA's "ongoing push for such sharp salary reductions" is what caused the "quick rejection from the players' side." The sources added that the league "likewise hopes to implement even lower salaries for rookies than they currently make based off the league's rookie scale" (ESPN.com, 5/11).

DIFFERENT GAME OF TAG: SI.com's Zach Lowe cited sources as saying that the NBA "proposed to the players’ union last month a version of the 'franchise tag' that it wants to include" in the next CBA." But it would be "very different from the NFL's version." While the NFL's franchise tag "allows a team to essentially block one of its free agents from entering the market," the NBA's recent proposal would allow a team to "designate one player for preferential contractual treatment, including more overall money, more guaranteed money and at least one extra year on his contract." A player "would have to agree to such a designation," and sources said that it is "designed to work as an incentive to get a player to remain with his team rather than as a roadblock to free agency." Sources stressed that this is "one small part of a larger proposal and must be considered as such." Sources also said that the league's proposal "would ban fully guaranteed contracts." All contracts would have "limits on the amount of money a player would be guaranteed to receive, and those guarantees would decline during the life of each contract" (SI.com, 5/11).
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