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The Lockout & the Raptors: Players approve CBA, Owners too! (1944)

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  • stretch wrote: View Post
    This was from Matt in post #1863:
    "The players kept:
    guaranteed deals
    no hard cap
    no rollbacks for current contracts
    no rollbacks for future minimum and rookie contracts"

    So in essence the players did not get squat in this contract. Nothing but take aways.

    But yes, they are millionaires, and they will continue to make millions playing a game that most people play for fun.
    Yes, but that is the essense of concessionary Bargaining. They were never trying to GET anything.
    But simply protect and maintain what they already had. Which they managed to do quite well, when looking at what could have been the Outcome.


    • joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
      Yes, but that is the essense of concessionary Bargaining. They were never trying to GET anything.
      But simply protect and maintain what they already had. Which they managed to do quite well, when looking at what could have been the Outcome.
      Considering what the owners were initially pushing and the current state of the world economy, the players should feel very good about this CBA in my opinion.


      • An explanation of new MLE rules combined with Bird Rights

        It was perhaps the thorniest “system” issue of all — the one the players were willing to go to war over: Should teams that pay the luxury tax have access to the full mid-level exception, worth $5 million per year over four seasons? The owners had proposed banning any tax team from using the full mid-level and instead allowing them to use a “mini” mid-level worth $3 million per year over three seasons. The players, knowing how many of them get their career-making contract via the mid-level and how many benefit from the leverage that comes when every team can offer it, wanted something better.

        Here’s what they got, according to a source familiar with the deal:

        Every team can use the full mid-level exception, provided doing so does not take the team more than $4 million over the tax line.

        • Sounds great for the players, right? Here’s the rub: If you use the full mid-level to get to or approach that barrier looming $4 million over the tax line, you cannot cross it by re-signing your own free agents via Larry Bird Rights. You can cross it to sign rookies or guys on veteran minimum contracts.

        Let’s use a real world example: The Celtics have about $66 million in salary committed to seven players next season, putting them about $4 million under last year’s tax line of $70.3 million, which we’ll use as a projected tax level for the upcoming season. Using the full mid-level on, say, Jason Richardson, would take the Celtics’ payroll to $71 million–over the tax line. Under the owners’ old proposal, Boston would have thus been prohibited from using the full mid-level.

        Under the current proposal — the one to which the two sides have tentatively agreed — Boston could offer the full mid-level to Richardson. But they would leave themselves only about $3 million of room with which to sign their own free agents — Glen Davis and Jeff Green being the headliners — using Larry Bird Rights. In other words: Using the full mid-level would likely mean losing both Green and Davis.

        The Celtics could continue spending beyond that $4 million barrier provided they do so via non-Bird deals — veteran minimum contracts, for instance. It is unlikely the Celtics could ink either Davis or Green — young guys seeking a payday — with minimum contracts. They might be able to persuade a ring-chasing veteran for that amount, though.

        In effect, the compromise here is that teams just under the tax level must choose between using the full mid-level or re-signing their own free agents to fair-market deals. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It is unclear how many teams this would impact each season. In order to be impact, teams would have to be:

        1) near the tax line;

        2) interested in using the mid-level;

        3) interested in re-signing a key free agent or two.

        As an important aside, the same threshold — $4 million over the tax — applies to sign-and-trade transactions, those much-loathed combination deals in which teams re-sign their own free agents to Bird-level deals and then trade them. The owners initially wanted to prohibit such deals, but have decided to allow them, provided they don’t take either team involved more than $4 million over the tax line. (Teams already spending more than that amount would be prohibited from using sign-and-trades that beef up their payroll, it appears).

        We’ll be learning more and more about all of this over the next few days.

        All teams, tax payers or not, will have a MLE. If the MLE takes you more than $4M over the luxury tax then you get the mini-MLE.

        Via Twitter:
        ZachLowe_SI Zach Lowe
        Just a reminder: Tax teams, all teams, will have the mini mid-level--3 years, $3M annually.
        ZachLowe_SI Zach Lowe
        Now I have confused people. You only get ONE mid-level--the mini or the full.

        At first glance, I can live with this.

        Now what are the rates on the luxury tax system?
        Last edited by mcHAPPY; Sat Nov 26, 2011, 02:14 PM.


        • What also strikes me as wonderful, is that on Christmas Day, Dallas will be playing Miami, at Dallas...

          The day that Dallas will most certerainly be holding its rain ceremony.
          Oh Happy Day.


          • All via Twitter:

            WojYahooNBA Adrian Wojnarowski

            Here's a rundown on tentative labor deal points, via memo that's already being circulated to teams, players and agents for ratification.

            Contract lengths: 5 years (Bird rights), 4 years (non-Bird);

            Escrow: 10% annual;

            Rookie scale: No reduction.

            Minimum salary: no reduction.

            More deal points: Max salaries: only 1 level equal to 30% of cap.

            Extend and trades: Still allowed. (Good news for Dwight Howard-Chris Paul)

            new exception: $2.5M for teams below salary cap to go over the cap. Those teams can't use mid-level or bi-annual exceptions.

            Mid-level exception: non-taxpaying teams can use a $5M MLE for up to 4 years. Taxpaying teams have a $3M mid-level for up to 4 years.

            Teams now have three days to match offer sheets given to their own restricted free agents.

            Minimum team salary increases to 85% in first two years of deal and 90% in years thereafter.

            ZachLowe_SI Zach Lowe
            BRI split: 49-51 band, with players getting 60.5% of BRI above revenue projections--enough, some say, to get them to/close to 51%
            NBA_Labor NBA Labor
            .@sheridanhoops: According to tentative agreement, extend and trades are for 3 seasons
            Last edited by mcHAPPY; Sat Nov 26, 2011, 04:29 PM.


            • Matt52 wrote: View Post

              All teams, tax payers or not, will have a MLE. If the MLE takes you more than $4M over the luxury tax then you get the mini-MLE.

              Via Twitter:

              At first glance, I can live with this.

              Now what are the rates on the luxury tax system?
              It was looking like the owners really folded on the major issues of s&Ts and E&Ts but the 4 mill wrinkle makes for a compromise tthat should balance access to talent. We'll just have wait and see how it all plays out. But I still hate the concept of allowing players to force their way out of teams...grrrr


              • WojYahooNBA Adrian Wojnarowski
                People keep asking about draft age rule: Still needs to be negotiated, but several team executives believe it will remain the one-and-done.
                WojYahooNBA Adrian Wojnarowski
                You won't have front office executives and basketball personnel pushing their owners to fight for change on rule. Most are fine with it.

                Woj is right more often than wrong. Hopefully he is right for at least 2012. I would like to see it changed for 2013 though.


                • Extend and Trades only for 3 years versus 5 years with original team

                  NBA_Labor NBA Labor
                  .@sheridanhoops: According to tentative agreement, extend and trades are for 3 seasons
                  From the horses mouth. Extend and trades are for only 3 seasons - two years less than players could get resigning with original team. That would be a sacrifice of $46M guaranteed.


                  • Via Twitter:

                    NBA_Labor NBA Labor
                    .@WojYahooNBA: According to tentative agreement, $3M mid-level exception can be used for contracts up to 3 years
                    NBA_Labor NBA Labor
                    .@WojYahooNBA: According to tentative agreement, max contracts 4 plyrs w/ < 6 yrs service are 25% of cap (30% if certain


                    • Thanks Matt. You kept me informed throughout the CBA negotiations with the most up to date information and interesting articles. I'm happy that we will soon get to see some basketball. Cheers.
                      Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.


                      • RaptorDan wrote: View Post
                        Thanks Matt. You kept me informed throughout the CBA negotiations with the most up to date information and interesting articles. I'm happy that we will soon get to see some basketball. Cheers.
                        No problem. I hope we get some live Raptors action soon too.

                        File this one under: Buzz Kill

                        If all goes as planned, the free agency period will begin on Dec. 9, the regular season will begin on Christmas Day and the players' and owners' agreement will last 10 years, with each side able to opt-out after six.
                        All may not go as planned, however, as the league and its players -- some of whom are playing overseas -- still have a number of pressing obstacles to overcome in what are shaping up as frantic days ahead.

                        Contentious "B-List" issues remain

                        Put bluntly, owners and players have not yet resolved the so-called "B list" issues and have little time to do so. The "B-list" moniker understates the importance of these issues and why they could throw a wrench into the new-found labor harmony.

                        The list includes the NBA's controversial "one-and-done" eligibility rule, which under the expired CBA required that U.S. players be 19 years old plus one year removed from high school. The NBA would like to see the rule changed so that eligible players are at least 20 years old plus two years removed from high school, as players would then play longer in college and be easier to market when they enter the league. Such a change would mean that two of the top three prospects for the 2012 NBA draft -- Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond and Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis -- would be ineligible until the 2013 draft. The players' association has long opposed raising the eligibility rule on grounds of fairness and irrationality (as's Zach Lowe recently explained), but did so in 2005 when it agreed to raise the limit from 18 years old to 19 as part of the now-expired CBA.

                        The union will probably compromise this time around as well since, A) raising the limit would only directly impact those players not yet in the union and thus those who have no voice and; B) a higher limit would mean that more veterans keep their jobs every year. Still, there are many NBA players who believe firmly in not raising the age restriction and this is not an easy issue to resolve over a weekend.

                        Other unresolved "B-list" items include the NBA's demand for a third round in the NBA draft (another round would allow teams to control and set costs for more of the available labor pool) and a tougher drug testing policy (both NFL and MLB players have agreed to stricter testing, including testing for Human Growth Hormone, in their new CBAs). The two sides similarly disagree about the commissioner's powers to discipline players, the Development League's operations as a true minor league for developing talent and the calculation of pension benefits.

                        While the players and league have made progress in reconciling the B list, their focus has understandably lied elsewhere. Yet they do not have much time to reach a total agreement: If they cannot work out remaining issues, the players are unlikely to withdraw their lawsuit, and free agency starting on Dec. 9 and a season starting on Dec. 25 would become less and less likely.

                        It is possible that owners and players could borrow from the labor-relations playbook of their NFL counterparts from earlier this summer. After resolving the main issues that gave rise to the NFL's lockout, the NFL and its players could not completely agree on HGH testing procedures. Instead of allowing their disagreement to prevent consummation of a new CBA, the two sides essentially punted and agreed to deal with HGH testing later. While their strategy has led to Congressional hearings and further disagreements, they -- more importantly -- played the 2011 season. Particularly in regards to drug testing or even eligibility (the next NBA draft is not until June 2012), the NBA and NBA players could similarly postpone finalized details until a later date. However, the league could be wary of such a maneuver; it would have to be certain to later reach an agreement with players, since the could not impose any additional details without those details being subject to antitrust law and the risk of treble damages.

                        Read more:
                        Article goes on to talk about legal system stuff and ends with:

                        Can all of these steps happen in a mere few weeks? Sure. But even a small hiccup could prevent NBA fans from getting what they want most on Christmas Day.

                        Read more:


                        • Matt52 wrote: View Post
                          From the horses mouth. Extend and trades are for only 3 seasons - two years less than players could get resigning with original team. That would be a sacrifice of $46M guaranteed.
                          That is terrific. We are just going to have to wait for the final document to really assess all the issues. I would be quite surprised if there is not at least one important item that might be contentitious when put into written/legalese form (from what was understood to be discussed). This is a complicated document (understatement!).

                          Thank you for keeping us all informed.


                          • Berger with the most comprehensive breakdown of the proposed 'settlement' I have seen:

                            * BRI: The players will receive between 49-51 percent of basketball-related income based on the extent of revenue growth. But whereas under the owners' prior proposals, the players felt it would've been nearly impossible to achieve the 51 percent ceiling, sources said they'll have a realistic chance of hitting it by the fifth or sixth year of the deal with robust revenue growth. The players will receive 60.5 percent of incremental revenues beyond projections each season, up to 51 percent in aggregate. Previously, the owners were offering only 57 percent of marginal revenues up to a total of 51.

                            * Mid-level exception: For non-tax-paying teams, they're four-year deals starting at $5 million in the first two years, with the starting point increasing by 3 percent in subsequent years. Owners had been pushing for alternating 3- and 4-year deals for non-taxpayers. For tax-payers, the so-called "mini" mid-level will be for three years starting at $3 million in the first two years, with the starting point increasing 3 percent in subsequent years. This is an enhancement of the owners' previous offer of a two-year "mini" mid-level starting at $2.5 million.

                            * Room exception: Teams under the cap get an additional two-year exception starting at $2.5 million (same as previous offer).

                            * Luxury tax rates: The same dollar-for-dollar as in the previous CBA for the first two years. Starting in Year 3, the rates increase to $1.50 for the first $5 million over; $1.75 for $5-$10 million over; $2.50 for $10-$15 million over; $3.25 for $15-$25 million over; and an additional 50 cents for each additional $5 million (same as previous proposal).

                            * Repeater Tax: A dollar-for-dollar additional tax for teams that are above the tax line for a fourth time in five years (same as previous proposal). Owners at one time had been pushing for a $1.50 repeater rate, while the players wanted 50 cents. Voila, compromise.

                            * Sign-and-trades: Available to all teams in the first two years of the agreement. Starting in Year 3, teams that are close to the tax line would only be able to acquire a free agent via a sign-and-trade transaction to the extent that it put the team no more than $4 million over the tax. The maximum length of such contracts will be four years with 4.5 percent annual increases. Previously, the owners had been seeking to eliminate sign-and-trades for all tax teams or teams that would exceed the tax after the transaction. This was a key issue for the players, and the more player-friendly definition of a tax-paying team also applies to use of the mid-level exception. So, if a team is $500,000 under the tax, it could use $4.5 million of the full mid-level. If a team already is over the tax, it would be restricted to the "mini" mid-level.

                            * Extend-and-trades: With the so-called Carmelo Anthony rule, owners were trying to take away a player's ability to force a trade to a team and sign an extension. The compromise is that teams can acquire player via an extend-and-trade but can only offer a three-year deal (including whatever is left on the player's contract) with 4.5 percent increases.

                            * Qualifying offers: The players feel they made significant gains here for restricted free agents. Qualifying offers will be guaranteed with the potential to be significantly enhanced based on performance. So for example, a first-round pick between picks 10-30 would be eligible to receive a qualifying offer as high as the ninth pick's if he's a starter for half the regular season games or 2,000 minutes. Second-round picks and undrafted players could be eligible for QO’s as high as the 21st pick based on the same criteria. Similarly, picks 1-14 could have their qualifying offers reduced if they don't meet the criteria. It's a nice compromise that provides opportunities for players who perform and gives owners protection against having to overpay players who don't.

                            * Escrow: Withholding from player paychecks to account for a potential overage in their BRI share is capped at 10 percent. Owners dropped their demand for an escrow carryover from season to season.

                            * New player benefits pool: One percent of BRI will be used for annuities and welfare benefits (such as health, life and disability insurance, long-term care and education expenses for themselves and their children). In the unlikely event that 10 percent doesn't cover the players' BRI overage, up to 1 percent of the pool could be used to account for that.

                            * Contract lengths: All the same as in the previous proposal. Bird free agents can get five-year deals with their own teams, with other deals being capped at four years. Each team can designate one player eligible for a five-year extension of his rookie contract with his own team. A team can have only one player so designated on the roster at a time. The owners had been pushing for four- and three-year contract lengths until recently.

                            * Annual increases: 7.5 percent for Bird players, 4.5 percent for others. This is up from 6.5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, in the owners' prior proposal.

                            * Minimum salaries and rookie scale: Frozen for the first two years and then will begin growing consistent with BRI growth. Previously, owners were seeking to cut both by 12 percent -- another win for the players.

                            * Maximum salaries: Same formula as in the previous CBA, with this exception in the players' favor: Star players who outperform their rookie contracts will be eligible to extend with their teams at 30 percent of the cap -- up from 25 percent. A player would be eligible by satisfying any of the following criteria: 1) winning MVP; 2) being named first-, second- or third-team all-NBA twice; or being voted as an All-Star starter twice. The Bulls' Derrick Rose, for example, would be eligible.

                            * Player options: Same as in the previous CBA. Owners had been seeking to eliminate player options for players who make more than the league average.

                            * Stretch and amnesty provisions: Same as in the prior proposal.

                            * The luxury tax cliff: Same as most recent proposal. Owners have agreed that a tax-paying team will only lose half the tax money it otherwise would've received by remaining under the tax.

                            * Minimum team payroll: It's set at 85 percent of the cap in the first two years, and 90 percent thereafter. The cap ($58 million) and tax ($70 million) levels can be no lower than last season's levels in the first two years.

                            * Deal length: 10 years, with each side able to opt out after Year 6. (Same as previous proposal.)

                            Source: Berger,


                            • SUMMARY

                              So this is what the players achieved holding out:

                              a few tenths of a percent of BRI if revenue projections go beyond projections;

                              3 year mini-MLE with 3% raise in year three

                              full MLE are 4 years - no alternating 4-3-4-3-4-3-etc years;

                              the repeater tax - tax payer 4 of 5 years - is an additional $1 for $1 (owners wanted $1.50);

                              no restrictions on sign and trades for 2 years, afterwards only for tax teams if doesn't exceed $4M beyond tax;

                              extend and trades permitted but with 3 year deal and 4.5% raises (versus 5 years and $7.5% to resign);

                              increased qualifying offers, especially for players with high performance on rookie deal;

                              escrow will be 10% and owners dropped demand for carryover to future years in any way, shape, or form;

                              players added 1% raises to original proposal (7.5% Bird/4.5% FA versus 6.5% Bird/3.5% FA);

                              no cut to rookie or minimum contracts;

                              player options remain - owners wanted them only to have choice to opt out with $0 owed;


                              • Three things to remember:

                                1. Sign and trade restriction for tax team does not start until 2013-14 (cannot exceed luxury tax by $4M)

                                2 .
                                ZachLowe_SI Zach Lowe
                                League source tells me repeater tax clock starts immediately w/ '11-12 season.

                                ZachLowe_SI Zach Lowe
                                Fundamental thing to remember: Two-year grace period before harsher luxury tax kicks in. Huge for Dallas and the Lakers. Boston, too.

                                Expect things to pretty much run the same for 2011-12 and 2012-13.