There will almost certainly be a new collective bargaining agreement in the NBA after next season. Both the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have opt-out clauses that must be exercised by December 15 which likely spells the end for the current CBA.
But, unlike the last time that the league had to have labor negotiations, commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t expect a lockout.
He says the league and union are engaged in meaningful discussions, and the tone of the conversations has been positive and respectful. Those factors are a big key in looking toward developing a new CBA before the December deadline.
The commissioner spoke about the process to Bloomberg: “I feel fairly confident that, based on the tone of these discussions thus far, based on the sense of trust and the amount of respect among the parties, that we should be able to avoid any kind of public labor issue.”
That kind of optimism has been par for the course with Silver in discussing these discussions. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts offered some similar optimism this week but hasn’t been as open about the discussions as the NBA’s sources.
Roberts has been vocal in her opposition to the league’s salary cap system which limits the possible earning potential players can expect to receive from teams. That is one of the issues on the table which will prove prickly for both sides.
The association is not likely to lift the salary cap but, it does appear that there will some compromise for both sides.
Silver appears willing to make some concessions to avoid a lockout. The league would be smart to avoid that outcome because the league is coming off a wildly successful season.
Finals ratings have never been higher and with the rise of the Golden State Warriors and other storylines, there will be every effort to keep the good times rolling.