The NBA and the Players’ Association moved closer to a deal on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement during a meeting on Wednesday with most major items agreed upon, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The controversial “one-and-done” draft rule, in which players must be one year removed from high school to be draft eligible, will remain in place. The league retreated on its desire to revise the draft rule to two years after a player graduated high school, Wojnarowski adds.
The pact will be a seven-year deal, according to sports business expert Scott Soshnick (Twitter link).
The encouraging pace of the negotiations has been the biggest story during this NBA preseason. Both sides are trying to avert the December 15 deadline, when either the owners or players could opt out of the current agreement.
The owners and players believe a finalized deal is inevitable in the next few weeks, league sources told Wojnarowski. The NBPA is eager to sell the rank-and-file on the terms of a deal, which needs to be ratified, Wojnarowski adds.
Among the other details that league sources told Wojnarowski:
- The NBA will change the 36-and-over rule that now prohibits players from signing a five-year maximum contract if their 36th birthday occurs within the life of the deal. The NBA and union have tentatively agreed to change the rule to over 38.
- The league will raise rookie-scale, veteran minimum and free-agent exception deals in the 50 percent range over current numbers.
- Two-way contracts between the NBA and the D-League will offer teams the chance to add 16th and 17th roster spots, and pay players differently based upon their assignments in either the league’s minor league or as part of the parent club.
- The NBA and NBPA’s Basketball Related Income (BRI) split will be unchanged.
That’s not surprising, given that the Associated Press reported earlier this month that the BRI would remain in the 49 to 51 percent range. Taking care of retired players is a priority, Cavs superstar LeBron James told the AP recently, and the agreement will include new league-funded programs to help retired players with education and medical expenses. In exchange for those programs, and pending full approval from both sides, the BRI split would remain the same.