NBPA Advises 18-Month Payment Schedule In Case Of Lockout After ’16-’17 Season

Free Agency in the NBA started last night with the beginning of the July moratorium. In a letter sent out to all free agents by the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) obtained by Bloomberg News, they’re advising free agents sign for an 18-month payment structure because the current Collective Bargaining Agreement can be renegotiated after the 2016-17 season.

The conflict between the NBPA and the owners nearly led to a missed 2010-11 season when the league locked out the players over the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that shifted the Basketball-Related Income (BRI) in the owners favor. What was once a 57/43 split is now 50/50, so the players are paid out less of whatever the overall BRI is set at.

With a new television contract likely to infuse the league with billions of new dollars, the BRI will rise, and with it so will the salary cap and luxury tax lines. Then again, the NBPA will also look to renegotiate the owner-friendly CBA from 2011, which the owners and players can opt out of after the 2016-17 season. Hence, the directive to schedule payments on an 18-month basis rather than in the normal 6- or 12-month intervals.


“As we have learned in the past, the owners have made provisions with the TV networks to continue to receive rights fees throughout a work stoppage, and there is no reason the players should not make every effort to take the same precaution,” the email obtained by Bloomberg News states.

Despite the 10-year agreement of the new CBA, the owners or the players can opt out after that 2016-17 season. So contracts signed this summer could be affected by a work stoppage after that season ends. As acting interim NBPA director, Ron Klempner is advising players that the owners were still receiving a revenue stream — the owners make provisions with TV networks to continue receiving rights fees — when the league was locked out last time. The 18-month provision is designed to give players that same sort of security if another lockout does occur.




Will the players opt out of the CBA after teh ’16-’17 season?

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