Despite having long been optimistic about the NBA’s chances of avoiding a lockout, even Zach Lowe of ESPN.com is surprised at how positive the talks between the NBA and NBPA appear to be progressing. As Lowe notes, with so much money at stake, neither the players nor the owners have “the stomach for a work stoppage.”
[RELATED: Latest on CBA talks between NBA, NBPA]
Having spoken to sources “across the spectrum,” Lowe believes there’s about a 50/50 chance that the two sides will strike a deal before the December 15 opt-out date, adding that there’s even a slim possibility that an agreement is announced before the start of the regular season. If December 15 arrives without a new CBA in place, and either the league or the players’ union opts out, the two sides would still have several months until the July 1 “doomsday date” to work something out.
Within his latest ESPN.com piece, Lowe provides several other interesting tidbits scattered throughout his 30 bold predictions for the coming season, so let’s dive in and round up some of the highlights…
- The Heat and Kings have had some “vague” trade discussions since July, sources tell Lowe. It’s not clear which players’ names came up in those talks, but both teams have veterans who have been the subject of trade speculation, including Goran Dragic (Heat) and Rudy Gay (Kings).
- While GM Vlade Divac has said he doesn’t plan to move Gay and Ben McLemore, Lowe believes there’s a decent chance the Kings make a deal, adding that the Thunder are one team to watch for Gay.
- The Celtics continue to have “real interest” in Gordon Hayward, multiple league sources tell Lowe. However, the ESPN scribe thinks Hayward will ultimately decided to re-sign with the Jazz next summer.
- According to sources near the Chris Bosh situation in Miami, the most likely scenario is the Heat waiting until after March 1 to waive the veteran big man, so that he wouldn’t be eligible to appear in the postseason for another team. Lowe believes another team would take a minimum-salary flier on Bosh in that scenario though, which could complicate the Heat’s ability to clear his cap hit from their books.