Union chief Billy Hunter said Thursday “it’s obvious the lockout will happen tonight” after players and owners failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, potentially putting the 2011-12 season in jeopardy.
The main issue for the owners is that the league has lost money in every year of the current CBA. Apparently, 22 of 30 teams would lose money, but the players say that the number is closer to 10.
[The owners] want to make a profit, along with developing a system in which small-market teams could compete with the biggest spenders. The Lakers and Mavericks, who won the last three NBA titles, are annually at the top of the list of highest payrolls.
So they took a hard-line stance from the start, with their initial proposal in 2010 calling for the institution of a hard salary cap system, along with massive reductions in contract lengths and elimination in contract guarantees. Though the proposal was withdrawn after a contentious meeting with players at the 2010 All-Star weekend, the league never moved from its wish list until recently.
The league would be better off if contracts were shorter and not fully guaranteed, but the owners are likely to get one or the other, not both. A hard cap (like the NFL’s) would also help promote parity, something that is very much lacking in today’s NBA.
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