Sources — NBA pursuing upper spending limit in new agreement with NBPA

The NBA is pursuing the implementation of a spending cap in its negotiations for a new contract with the National Basketball Players Association, a system change that has met significant opposition from unions, sources told ESPN.

In the wake of big-market rivals Golden State, Brooklyn and the LA Clippers piling up massive payrolls and luxury tax penalties, the NBA is proposing a system that would replace the luxury tax with a hard limit that teams could not cross in order to to pay salaries. sources said.

The league’s proposal has met staunch opposition from the NBPA, to the point that the union is considering them non-starters in discussions, sources said.

Sides often use the early part of negotiations to release wish lists, and that could happen with the NBA’s proposal — as opposed to building a tough stance that could ultimately lead to a work stoppage.

The NBA and NBPA are working to reach an agreement before the December 15 deadline, which requires each side to announce plans to exit the current CBA in December 2023. The seven-year CBA expires after the 2023-24 season.

The NBA believes the current system does not provide a sufficient level of playing field to make more of the 30 teams competitive and claims that the top teams’ spending disparities ultimately made the imbalance unsustainable, sources said. The league puts forward to the union the idea that a more competitive league will bring higher revenues — and higher salaries amid the league’s 51%/49% share of players’ basketball-related earnings.

Beyond the NBPA, there is also skepticism from smaller NBA marketplaces, who fear that a spending cap would not create the competitive parity the league hopes to achieve, and would instead result in well-built teams in smaller markets being cores of the competition Talent will have to disband despite its willingness to enter the luxury tax, sources said.

Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA’s Industrial Relations Committee, including Charlotte owner Michael Jordan and Golden State owner Joe Lacob, have held several meetings with the union, which is led by new chief executive Tamika Tremaglio and President CJ McCollum of the New Orleans Pelicans stands .

The system now allows teams to re-sign their own players and freely add salary through various exceptions to exceed the salary cap. The NBA’s proposed system change would end luxury tax payments shared with many smaller market teams and force the league to find a new revenue-sharing mechanism, sources said.

Twenty of the 30 NBA teams are currently below the $150.3 million luxury tax threshold — the other 10 teams are expected to pay a league-record $697 million in luxury tax penalties in the 2022-23 season. Of that, 61% goes to the Warriors ($176.5 million), the Clippers ($145 million) and the Nets ($108.9 million).

These three teams contributed to 73% of luxury tax penalties in 2021-22.

Among the other top collective bargaining priorities for the league, sources said:

• Find mechanisms to incentivize top players to play in more regular-season games, creating greater competition and value in the league’s media rights deals.

• Working on a “smoothing plan” to gradually add the unexpected revenue escalation in the league’s forthcoming media deal, which would avoid a repeat of the 2016 cap spike that disproportionately rewarded a class of free agents and select teams.

• In order to end the “one-and-done” rule for early entry and allow high school players back into the NBA draft, the league wants a requirement that agent agents can no longer select the teams with which they have potential Providing physical and medical care to patients information. The NBA also imposes some minimum requirements regarding attendance and participation in the draft combine.

Discussions are expected to increase between now and December 15 to announce the cancellation of the current deal in December 2023, and there’s always a chance the deadline could be extended should the sides believe that they make progress .

ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks contributed to this story. Sources — NBA pursuing upper spending limit in new agreement with NBPA

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