Berger on the CBA Talks (The Big Lockout Thread) (Farewell to the Lockout and the Thread, p. 259)
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:58 am    Post subject: Berger on the CBA Talks (The Big Lockout Thread) (Farewell to the Lockout and the Thread, p. 259)

Here is a report from Ken Berger of CBS Sports on the current status of the CBA talks:

Quote:
With the countdown under way to the expiration of the league's collective bargaining agreement on June 30, the two sides remain hundreds of millions of dollars apart, sources told CBSSports.com. The owners have twice offered to delay their vision of at least a 33 percent pay cut for the players, delivered through a hard salary cap with shorter and non-guaranteed contracts -- first through a two-year phase-in and then, in a verbal offer during the Finals, by adding at least one more year to "soften the landing," one of the people with knowledge of the talks said Tuesday. But once the phase-in period ends, the owners are still insistent on their original plan -- proposed in January 2010 -- to deduct approximately $900 million in expenses from the league's basketball-related income (BRI) and reduce the players' share of that from 57 percent to a 50-50 split, multiple sources told CBSSports.com.

Given that league revenues in 2009-10 -- the last season for which final numbers are available -- totaled about $3.6 billion, the players would get half of the $2.7 billion left after expenses, or $1.35 billion. That's $700 million less than the players' share under the current system, or a reduction of more than one-third.


http://ken-berger.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/11838893/30037653?source=rss_blogs_NBA

I keep waiting for some indication that the owners are willing to cut a deal on realistic terms, but I sure haven't seen it. There have been some indications that the players are willing to compromise, but not the owners.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:03 am    Post subject:

I think the owners just have a lot less to lose, considering most of them are losing money in their franchises anyway. They certainly feel they can wait out the players.

But it's quite obvious that this won't get resolved anytime soon. Perhaps not until the end of the calender year, perhaps.

The biggest thing if I'm the players I care about is guaranteed contracts and a soft cap. If they go to a hard cap with no guaranteed contracts then the players have lost a lot more than the BRI split percentage.

If I'm a player, I care a lot more about that than anything else.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:17 am    Post subject:

wolfpaclaker wrote:
The biggest thing if I'm the players I care about is guaranteed contracts and a soft cap. If they go to a hard cap with no guaranteed contracts then the players have lost a lot more than the BRI split percentage.

If I'm a player, I care a lot more about that than anything else.


I don't know about that. The owners basically want a one-third paycut, phased in over a few years. That strikes me as a bigger deal than partially guaranteed contracts.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
wolfpaclaker wrote:
The biggest thing if I'm the players I care about is guaranteed contracts and a soft cap. If they go to a hard cap with no guaranteed contracts then the players have lost a lot more than the BRI split percentage.

If I'm a player, I care a lot more about that than anything else.


I don't know about that. The owners basically want a one-third paycut, phased in over a few years. That strikes me as a bigger deal than partially guaranteed contracts.



Depends upon how they define paycut. In absolute terms a paycut is a huge deal, but it may morph into "salary reduction" which encompasses how much of a contract is guaranteed over how many years.

Who knows... both sides are still in the posturing stage.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:54 am    Post subject:

True, but even if the transition is phased in over three years, there would need to be some element of outright salary reduction in order to bring the league to a $45M hard cap.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
I keep waiting for some indication that the owners are willing to cut a deal on realistic terms, but I sure haven't seen it. There have been some indications that the players are willing to compromise, but not the owners.



My feeling is the owners plan has always been, "Here's our proposal, and we're just going to keep giving you the same proposal over and over for four or five months to see how much losing some paychecks loosens you up." My gut is the owners aren't simply prepared to lose most or all of the season -- they are coming into the negotiations with the expectation that will happen so they don't need to start negotiating until Fall.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

activeverb wrote:
My feeling is the owners plan has always been, "Here's our proposal, and we're just going to keep giving you the same proposal over and over for four or five months to see how much losing some paychecks loosens you up."


Hence the players' NLRB complaint.

Quote:
My gut is the owners aren't simply prepared to lose most or all of the season -- they are coming into the negotiations with the expectation that will happen so they don't need to start negotiating until Fall.


People I've talked to have told me they'd rather lose a year than continue playing in a broken system. I take them at their word on this.

I think they know full well that the longer this goes (especially when they start missing paychecks on November 15), the better the deal they're going to be able to wrest from the players. So there's no reason to start horse trading now. I think they have two positions in mind -- right now they're at what I'll call Point A, which is their opening position. I'll call Point B their bottom-line, best offer. I think they already know exactly what Point B is. Here is what I think is their timeline:

Now through Nov 15: Stick to Point A, with the only thing they negotiate on is a grace period to implement the necessary changes. If the players agree, then we have a CBA. If not, then they continue to wait.

Nov 15 through mid-Jan: Negotiation starts in earnest. They will give up more, but will not go past Point B. Again, if they agree, we have a deal. If not, then they still wait.

Mid-Jan: There will be a specific date on which they decide to cancel the season entirely. Point B becomes their "take it or leave it" offer. If they don't take it, then they cancel the season.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

LarryCoon wrote:
activeverb wrote:
My feeling is the owners plan has always been, "Here's our proposal, and we're just going to keep giving you the same proposal over and over for four or five months to see how much losing some paychecks loosens you up."


Hence the players' NLRB complaint.

Quote:
My gut is the owners aren't simply prepared to lose most or all of the season -- they are coming into the negotiations with the expectation that will happen so they don't need to start negotiating until Fall.


People I've talked to have told me they'd rather lose a year than continue playing in a broken system. I take them at their word on this.

I think they know full well that the longer this goes (especially when they start missing paychecks on November 15), the better the deal they're going to be able to wrest from the players. So there's no reason to start horse trading now. I think they have two positions in mind -- right now they're at what I'll call Point A, which is their opening position. I'll call Point B their bottom-line, best offer. I think they already know exactly what Point B is. Here is what I think is their timeline:

Now through Nov 15: Stick to Point A, with the only thing they negotiate on is a grace period to implement the necessary changes. If the players agree, then we have a CBA. If not, then they continue to wait.

Nov 15 through mid-Jan: Negotiation starts in earnest. They will give up more, but will not go past Point B. Again, if they agree, we have a deal. If not, then they still wait.

Mid-Jan: There will be a specific date on which they decide to cancel the season entirely. Point B becomes their "take it or leave it" offer. If they don't take it, then they cancel the season.


Wow. That practically sounds like the lockout is imminent. How many franchises are "profitable." In other words, how many owners will lose $$$ if there's no 2012 season?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

LarryCoon wrote:
activeverb wrote:
My feeling is the owners plan has always been, "Here's our proposal, and we're just going to keep giving you the same proposal over and over for four or five months to see how much losing some paychecks loosens you up."


Hence the players' NLRB complaint.

Quote:
My gut is the owners aren't simply prepared to lose most or all of the season -- they are coming into the negotiations with the expectation that will happen so they don't need to start negotiating until Fall.


People I've talked to have told me they'd rather lose a year than continue playing in a broken system. I take them at their word on this.

I think they know full well that the longer this goes (especially when they start missing paychecks on November 15), the better the deal they're going to be able to wrest from the players. So there's no reason to start horse trading now. I think they have two positions in mind -- right now they're at what I'll call Point A, which is their opening position. I'll call Point B their bottom-line, best offer. I think they already know exactly what Point B is. Here is what I think is their timeline:

Now through Nov 15: Stick to Point A, with the only thing they negotiate on is a grace period to implement the necessary changes. If the players agree, then we have a CBA. If not, then they continue to wait.

Nov 15 through mid-Jan: Negotiation starts in earnest. They will give up more, but will not go past Point B. Again, if they agree, we have a deal. If not, then they still wait.

Mid-Jan: There will be a specific date on which they decide to cancel the season entirely. Point B becomes their "take it or leave it" offer. If they don't take it, then they cancel the season.



That's my take too. The interesting thing will be what, if anything, the NLRB says and if the union decertifies -- which would probably result in a court challenge by the owners. Either way, I think this is going to end up in the courts.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

LarryCoon wrote:
activeverb wrote:
My feeling is the owners plan has always been, "Here's our proposal, and we're just going to keep giving you the same proposal over and over for four or five months to see how much losing some paychecks loosens you up."


Hence the players' NLRB complaint.

Quote:
My gut is the owners aren't simply prepared to lose most or all of the season -- they are coming into the negotiations with the expectation that will happen so they don't need to start negotiating until Fall.


People I've talked to have told me they'd rather lose a year than continue playing in a broken system. I take them at their word on this.

I think they know full well that the longer this goes (especially when they start missing paychecks on November 15), the better the deal they're going to be able to wrest from the players. So there's no reason to start horse trading now. I think they have two positions in mind -- right now they're at what I'll call Point A, which is their opening position. I'll call Point B their bottom-line, best offer. I think they already know exactly what Point B is. Here is what I think is their timeline:

Now through Nov 15: Stick to Point A, with the only thing they negotiate on is a grace period to implement the necessary changes. If the players agree, then we have a CBA. If not, then they continue to wait.

Nov 15 through mid-Jan: Negotiation starts in earnest. They will give up more, but will not go past Point B. Again, if they agree, we have a deal. If not, then they still wait.

Mid-Jan: There will be a specific date on which they decide to cancel the season entirely. Point B becomes their "take it or leave it" offer. If they don't take it, then they cancel the season.


Care to make an educated guess as to what Point B is?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

composite wrote:
Wow. That practically sounds like the lockout is imminent. How many franchises are "profitable." In other words, how many owners will lose $$$ if there's no 2012 season?


I believe that the NBA claims that something like 22 of 30 teams are losing money. The accuracy of that claim is unclear.

It has been reported that the NBA will still get its TV payments during the lockout, so no one will be losing money immediately. However, there's a catch: The networks will be entitled to credit the TV payments against payments that would otherwise be due in future years. So this isn't a freebie for the league.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

activeverb wrote:
That's my take too. The interesting thing will be what, if anything, the NLRB says and if the union decertifies -- which would probably result in a court challenge by the owners. Either way, I think this is going to end up in the courts.


I doubt that the NLRB will get involved, but you never know. We could very well see a decertification scenario.

Unless this is all a massive bluff, the owners are going to make a run at breaking the union. The owners don't believe that the players can withstand a lockout. They may be right, but on the other hand they may pay the price for tipping their hand so early in the process. The players have had a lot of time to get ready for a lockout, and contrary to stereotypes a lot of them appear to have done so.

The stakes are high. My subjective, unscientific assessment of the odds: 10% chance of a settlement with no loss of games, 30% chance of a settlement with some loss of games, 50% chance of a lost season, 10% chance of a loss of some or all of a second season.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
composite wrote:
Wow. That practically sounds like the lockout is imminent. How many franchises are "profitable." In other words, how many owners will lose $$$ if there's no 2012 season?


I believe that the NBA claims that something like 22 of 30 teams are losing money. The accuracy of that claim is unclear.

It has been reported that the NBA will still get its TV payments during the lockout, so no one will be losing money immediately. However, there's a catch: The networks will be entitled to credit the TV payments against payments that would otherwise be due in future years. So this isn't a freebie for the league.


Wait. That's HUGE. That's exactly what the NFL owners tried to do and the courts struck that down. It means that the owners will have no out-of-pocket expenses to endure during the lockout.

If they get TV payments during the lockout -- even if that means they have to apply that credit to future years -- then the owners can hunker down for a long, long time.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

composite wrote:
Wait. That's HUGE. That's exactly what the NFL owners tried to do and the courts struck that down.


No, not quite the same. The NFL CBA had a provision requiring the league to negotiate TV deals in good faith for the benefit of the league and the players, or something along those lines. The NFL is accused of violating that provision by cutting deals that would guarantee extra money during a lockout. In other words, the NFL took smaller TV deals in exchange for terms that benefited only the NFL.

I don't know whether this issue even exists in the context of the NBA. If it does, I haven't heard anyone mention it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject:

Best case scenario is probably they get a shortened season out of it. Worse case scenario is they lose an entire season over this and a lot of the fans don't bother coming back.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
composite wrote:
Wait. That's HUGE. That's exactly what the NFL owners tried to do and the courts struck that down.


No, not quite the same. The NFL CBA had a provision requiring the league to negotiate TV deals in good faith for the benefit of the league and the players, or something along those lines. The NFL is accused of violating that provision by cutting deals that would guarantee extra money during a lockout. In other words, the NFL took smaller TV deals in exchange for terms that benefited only the NFL.

I don't know whether this issue even exists in the context of the NBA. If it does, I haven't heard anyone mention it.


I meant its huge b/c it gives owners plenty of leverage. The NFL owners are more willing to negotiate b/c they violated that clause and had to give up TV revenues. With TV revenues, they'd probably be able to break the union. They'd have revenue to cover massive out-of-pocket expenses.

If NBA owners have that in their hip pocket, then I can understand their hardline stance.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Berger on the CBA Talks

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
activeverb wrote:
That's my take too. The interesting thing will be what, if anything, the NLRB says and if the union decertifies -- which would probably result in a court challenge by the owners. Either way, I think this is going to end up in the courts.


I doubt that the NLRB will get involved, but you never know. We could very well see a decertification scenario.

Unless this is all a massive bluff, the owners are going to make a run at breaking the union.


That sounds right. I'd be shocked if the players don't decertify.

Personally, I think the lockout will last for a long, long time.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject:

Looks like we need to be prepared for the possibility of no basketball season
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject:

Today's meeting just ended. From Berger:

Quote:
Owners apparently backed away from their insistence on non-guaranteed contracts. But the players don't view that as a concession.


Quote:
After a 4 1-2 hour session with what Melo called "a lot of good dialogue," but little movement, another session scheduled for Tuesday.


Quote:
Players' attorney Jeffrey Kessler: "They didn't move on the hard cap, that's for sure."


Last edited by Lowest Merion on Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject:

Lowest Merion wrote:
Today's meeting just ended. From Berger:

Quote:
Owners apparently backed away from their insistence on non-guaranteed contracts. But the players don't view that as a concession.


Quote:
After a 4 1-2 hour session with what Melo called "a lot of good dialogue," but little movement, another session scheduled for Tuesday.


Of all the concessions, I really, really, really wished the owners stuck to their guns on that one. Or, at least some modified version of a guaranteed contract (say, 70% guaranteed)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:43 pm    Post subject:

Owners need to stick to their guns. They are going softer than the Canucks.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:44 pm    Post subject:

(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject:

composite wrote:
Of all the concessions, I really, really, really wished the owners stuck to their guns on that one. Or, at least some modified version of a guaranteed contract (say, 70% guaranteed)


Sure, but that's a small potato issue in the context of what the league is trying to accomplish. It has no effect on the finances of the league as a whole.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject:

Brandon98 wrote:
(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.


Do you also support non-guaranteed TV contracts, so the owners have to "earn" their television revenue?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject:

24 wrote:
Brandon98 wrote:
(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.


Do you also support non-guaranteed TV contracts, so the owners have to "earn" their television revenue?


Horrible comparison, my friend.

"Performance based" contract is more than common fact of the real life. You wouldn't disagree that guaranteed long term deals disincentiveise way too many players in the NBA, would you? Whikle the owners have a continuous incentive for a league (as a whole) to put the best product possible as they will own the franchise long after TV deal is up.

Similarly thinking, I'd assign the Clippers' share of the TV deal to that franchise on the "non-guaranteed", performance based basis
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