Stern Gives NBA Players Take it or Leave it Offer

After an eight and a half hour negotiating session that extended from late Saturday night into Sunday morning, the NBA and it’s players emerged without a deal in place, but there is an open offer on the table.

Commissioner David Stern said that the NBA owners have agreed to recommendations made by federal mediator George Cohen and offered a proposal to the players reflecting those changes.

The highlights of the deal include

– A 49-51% band of basketball related income sharing (BRI)

– A ‘mini’ $2.5 million, 2 year max, mid-level exception for teams that exceed the luxury tax

– No sign and trades for luxury tax teams

– Other modifications to the so-called luxury tax ‘cliff’ level.

The players, however, have made an initial rejection of the latest offer. Union president Derek Fisher characterized the deadline as an “ultimatum” and the proposal as “a system that is not a fair system.” He also that said although it is technically a BRI band, there is almost no chance the players would ever get up to the top end, 51% level of that band. In short, he did not sound optimistic that this was a deal that the players would be willing to accept.

Stern said that the union would have until Wednesday to consider the current proposal, after which time it would be altered significantly, including a 47% BRI share for players and a flex cap system that the players have repeatedly railed against.

With a seemingly make or break deadline in place, it appears that Wednesday looms large as a day that we will either see a path towards a season or these negotiations will devolve into something much darker.

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