The National Basketball Players Association intends to exercise its right to conduct an independent audit of the books of five teams this year. While the NBPA has rarely called for the audits in the past, the audit is set against the backdrop of coming labor negotiations in 2017, when the union and the league have a mutual option to terminate the existing collective bargaining agreement. Also complicating the next round of CBA negotiations will be the enormous television contract the league signed that will kick in for the summer of 2016, and is expected to create a significant increase in the salary cap.
At issue between the two sides is the definition of related parties with ties to NBA owners. For example, the Nets and the Barclays Center are not considered related parties, even though Mikhail Prokhorov and Bruce Ratner own significant stakes in both entities. This arrangement could allow Prokhorov and Ratner to arrange a deal that hides revenue on the arena side, keeping it out of the NBA’s calculation and lowering the pool of money available to players
The league offered counterpoint to the report by Deadspin’s Kevin Draper by pointing out that a third of the teams in the NBA are still losing money. The NBA called Draper’s article “grossly misleading” and asserts that the collective bargaining agreement expressly addresses related parties in a way that includes arenas and broadcast rights to ensure that the players receive their fair share of basketball related income. This situation warrants close scrutiny as it would appear the league and the union are gearing up for potentially contentious negotiations in the near future.
Here’s the rest of the happenings from the week that was…
2015 NBA Draft News
- The Hawks will indeed swap first-round picks with the Nets, allowing Atlanta to move up to the No. 15 overall spot in the 2015 NBA draft.
- Turkish swingman Cedi Osman indicated that he is most likely two years away from joining the NBA, and that he wishes to gain more experience by continuing to play overseas.
- Projected No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns signed with Creative Artists Agency agents Leon Rose and Richie Felder.
- D’Angelo Russell and Devin Booker chose the Creative Artists Agency for their representation.
- Westchester Community College swingman Luis David Montero has qualified to enter the 2015 NBA draft.
- The Bucks reportedly had significant interest in University of Utah center Jakob Poeltl before he became the highest-profile prospect in this year’s draft to decide against entering.
- The Timberwolves could consider 6’11” Serbian center Nikola Milutinov as a draft-and-stash prospect with either of their second-round picks.
- You can keep up with all of the scheduled and completed player workouts and interviews here.
- The Pelicans fired coach Monty Williams. Williams was under contract through the 2015/16 season. The Raptors will reportedly gauge Williams‘ interest in joining their team as an assistant coach.
- There is reportedly mutual interest in Tom Thibodeau joining the Pelicans as coach to replace Williams if he is let go by the Bulls. You can view all of the recent Thibodeau updates here.
- Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry would be among the front-runners for the Bulls head coaching job if the team were to part ways with Thibodeau after the season.
- Dwane Casey will reportedly return as the coach of the Raptors next season.
- Bulls lead assistant coach Adrian Griffin is also a contender to succeed Thibodeau as Bulls head coach should Chicago and Thibs part ways. This is in the event that Chicago fell short in its likely pursuit of Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg.
- Sacramento picked up its team option on D-League coach David Arseneault Jr..
- The Lakers are expected to be one of several teams preparing a maximum salary offer sheet for Bulls guard Jimmy Butler.
- Kenyon Martin nearly signed a deal to play for Panathinaikos in Greece.
- The Knicks informed the representatives for Thanasis Antetokounmpo that they will likely sign him to an NBA deal for next season.
- The Celtics will reportedly be open to putting together some type of package deal for Blazers free agents LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews.
- The Rockets are reportedly pushing to sign big man Marko Todorovic this summer.
- Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki ruled out the possibility of retiring this season, as well as indicated that he wished to play through his age-38 season.
- The Nets announced that Alan Anderson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle. The swingman is expected to return to basketball activities by July.
- James Dolan’s decision to bring Isiah Thomas back into the fold as team president and a minority owner of the New York Liberty, a WNBA franchise, reportedly hasn’t sat well with Knicks president Phil Jackson.
- Eight NBA teams attended a workout for former Mississippi State center Renardo Sidney, who is a free agent.
- Thunder draft-and-stash prospect Alex Abrines signed a deal with Barcelona of Spain that runs until 2019.
- The Nets aren’t expected to make a qualifying offer to Jerome Jordan, which would make him an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
- Josh Huestis, last year’s 29th overall pick by the Thunder, expressed a willingness to play another season in the D-League.
- Wizards draft-and-stash prospect Tomas Satoransky still dreams of playing in the NBA but intends to finish his contract with Barcelona of Spain.
- Seth Curry will join the Pelicans‘ summer league squad.