When the NBA and the NBPA walked out of whatever New York hotel they “negotiated” in last night, we were treated to a doom-and-gloom show, followed by reports that at least part of the preseason going *poof*.
But it’s not all bad. CBS’s Ken Berger got word of some incremental, yet actual, progress.
“It’s moving,” said another person with knowledge of the talks. “Not as fast as some people would want, but it’s moving.”
According to one of the people familiar with the bargaining, here is some of what transpired Thursday: After signaling last week that the players’ offer to move lower than the 54.3 percent share of BRI was a starting point that could lead to a deal on economics, league negotiators came back with their own number. Unsurprisingly, the number was lower than what the players had last proposed, though multiple people involved in the talks refused to specify by how much.
Progress is slow, probably because some hard-liners are slow to embrace any sort of compromise. But the reality is that this is lynch-pin to a deal getting done.
The BRI split is tied to the cap; the harder the cap, the higher the players believe their share needs to be. But as one of the people familiar with the talks said, once a compromise is reached on the split, figuring out a system to go with it shouldn’t be a deal-killer.
“There’s willingness to deal on both points,” said the person, referring to the split and the system. “It’s been said from the beginning: If there’s agreement on the money, the system should not cause us to lose games.”
The bottom line here is that there is still hope. There are three weeks left before we officially lose some of the NBA season. Three weeks. October 14 is when one of us on this site will have to write the story headline “NBA starts cancelling games”. 21 days to sit, talk, haggle, and figure out a way to get basketball back.
I don’t know about you guys, but that’s plenty of time to me, so long as they actually sit down and make use of that time.
We’ll just have to see how serious these guys are.