Saturday, June 3 2023
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The NBA and NBPA have agreed to delay Wednesday’s deadline for both sides to opt out of the current CBA until March 31, the league announced Monday. That deadline was initially Dec. 15, 2022. It had already been pushed back once, to Wednesday, with the idea that a revised CBA before the trade deadline could have offered teams clarity on the league’s future economic climate while deals were still being made. That ultimately did not come to fruition, though, and the deadline has been extended yet again.

The NBA‘s current CBA expires after the 2023-24 season. Without a new CBA in place, the league is at risk of a lockout. Given the league’s historic revenue right now, neither side wants a work stoppage, so, hopefully, a new deal is reached before any games are jeopardized.

Both sides have a number of significant issues that need to be settled before a new agreement can be reached, though. The biggest is the NBA’s seeming desire to create an upper spending limit—effectively a hard cap—to deter teams like the Clippers, Warriors and Nets with seemingly limitless budgets. According to Wojnarowski, the NBA has softened on this front, though further moves against aggressive spending such as harsher luxury taxes are likely to come out of those negotiations.

Another notable issue likely being discussed is some sort of solution for players missing games. On a micro level, players missing individual games due to load management is increasingly agitating and alienating paying customers. On a macro level, the NBA would surely like to create guidelines for situations like the one Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers endured last season, in which Simmons sat out due to his mental health after requesting a trade. The 76ers withheld salary from Simmons due to his absence, but he filed a grievance trying to recoup it. The two sides eventually reached a settlement, but the situation as a whole is one the NBA would surely prefer to avoid repeating.

The NBA is ultimately a business, and both the players and owners are doing quite well financially at the moment. That is going to motivate both sides to get a deal done. Yet the deadline has been delayed twice already, suggesting a serious gap between these two sides. Hopefully, a deal gets done eventually, but right now, it isn’t clear just how far away they remain.



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