And-Ones: Labor, Moratorium, Max Salaries

Commissioner Adam Silver struck an optimistic tone about labor negotiations with a December 15th, 2016 deadline looming for owners and players to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement, writes Sam Amick of USA Today.

“You know, I’m not sure if the players association is going to opt out,” Silver said as he addressed media Tuesday. “[Union executive director] Michele [Roberts] made some early remarks suggesting maybe they were leaning that direction, but she hasn’t told me that she plans to opt out. And I know that in discussions that she and I have had and I’ve had with players association representatives, it’s clear the goal on both sides is to avoid any sort of work stoppage whatsoever and maybe even to avoid the opt out.”

Still, Silver claims a “significant number of teams” are losing money, Amick notes. The commissioner said the league projects that it’ll need to issue a $500MM check to the players after the 2016/17 season because total salaries aren’t expected to add up to the required 50-51% of basketball related income, even as the salary cap surges, as Ken Berger of observes. Berger sees a strong chance that the owners opt out, in spite of Silver’s seeming confidence that such can be avoided. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Owners discussed the idea of changing the July Moratorium to avoid sagas like the one that surrounded DeAndre Jordan as he decommitted to the Mavs to return to the Clippers, but none of the owners could come up with an appealing solution, Silver said, according to Berger.
  • The projected maximum salaries for next season are $20.4MM for players with fewer than seven years of experience, $24.9MM for those with seven to nine years in the league, and $29.3MM for veterans of 10 or more years, tweets former Nets executive Bobby Marks. See this year’s max salaries right here.
  • The union continues to consider a get-tough stance on agencies that represent both players and coaches, but the most likely outcome is a continuance of the same policies, despite the conflict of interest, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. Agencies are allowed to represent both as long as they create separate divisions, with separate agents, to handle player and management clients, as Lowe explains. Still, not all are pleased with arrangement, and when the Bucks, who have close ties to Excel, drafted Excel client Rashad Vaughn last month, some people around the league found it untoward, Lowe writes.
  • The Nets once more led luxury taxpayers for this past season, though it wasn’t the record amount of some $90MM from a year ago. This time, they paid $19.98MM, followed by the Cavs with $6.96MM, the Clippers at $4.8MM, and the Thunder at $2.79MM, salary cap expert Larry Coon tweets. Teams that didn’t pay the tax saw $830K each as a result.
  • The second-round pick that the Celtics are sending to the Thunder as part of the Perry Jones III trade is Boston’s own 2018 second-rounder, but if it falls within the top 55 picks that year, the Celtics’ debt to Oklahoma City is extinguished, according to RealGM.
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