NBPA Advising Players To Opt For 18-Month Pay Schedule In Preparation Of Lockout
NBA free agents are being advised by the NBPA "to take paychecks over 18 months instead of the usual six or 12 as a way of preparing for a possible lockout," according to Scott Soshnick of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Owners and players "can opt out of the existing labor contract" after the '16-17 season. Acting NBPA Exec Dir Ron Klempner in an e-mail to players and agents wrote that an 18-month payment schedule would "allow a player to continue receiving paychecks" through the '17-18 season, "even if games aren’t played because of a work stoppage." The e-mail read in part, "As we have learned in the past, the owners have made provisions with the TV networks to continue to receive rights fees throughout a work stoppage, and there is no reason the players should not make every effort to take the same precaution." Soshnick noted the union "inserted the 18-month payment rule (36 bi-monthly payments) for the first time in the most recent" CBA (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/1). USA TODAY's Jeff Zillgitt noted the CBA states that the "default payment schedule is 12 months (24 paychecks) but players who make above the minimum salary can choose to be [paid] over 18 months (36 paychecks) or six months (12 paychecks)." All checks are "equal semi-monthly payments." That provision was made part of the CBA "for that very purpose -- to give players financial protection in case of a labor stoppage" (USATODAY.com, 7/1).