Its Finally Over: 149 Days of Pain

After 149 long days, the NBA lockout has finally subsided. Just 12 days after the “nuclear winter”, according to David Stern, was supposed to start. I’m sure that we all were in shock when the players decided to “disclaim interest” in negotiating with the owners anymore. They brought the lockout into the hands of the courts and from the look of things now, it brought them plenty of leverage.

Many of us were crying for them to take a bad deal. We were saying they lost; the lockout was over and the owners had manhandled the players. Well it turns out the players had a little bit of fight left in them. The deal may not look as lucrative for them as the last one, but they did win a few key concessions that the owners weren’t willing to give. On Friday, they were negotiating for 16 hours straight. It seems like it was all in pro bono; they aren’t stripping us of our Christmas games on December 25th.

There will be a triple header on Christmas day. It will be The Knicks vs. The Celtics, The Heat vs. The Mavericks, and The Bulls vs. The Lakers. You could imagine my excitement yesterday when hearing this news. I promise you all I don’t want anything for Christmas because the NBA just gave me everything I needed.

On December 9th, free agency and training camp will start. It will be a firestorm of signing people, dropping people, and dealing people. If you love player movement then you’ll definitely love this guys. We all remember how the NFL free agency period played out in that week. I wonder if there will be a team that attacks it like the Eagles did this past offseason.

Getting into the logistics of the deal, the sides agreed to a 49-51 band on the BRI in favor of the players. What that means is that based on the income of the NBA, the players can get more or less. If less, they’ll get the 49; if more, they’ll get the 51. It will likely be in the middle essentially making it a 50/50 split. In a Memo to the players, obtained by Marc Stein of ESPN, Hunter also explains that the players will get a 51.2 percent split this season.

There were key system issues that were won by the players also. For non tax paying teams the MLE is going to be at 4 years steadily each year at $5 million dollars. Also, the mini midlevel users (tax payers midlevel), are allowed to spend $3 million dollars on a 3 year deal for their designated midlevel player. There is also a threshold that the owners agreed upon for teams to go 4 million dollars over the cap with the mid level exception. That gives people an ounce of wiggle room before they are considered a tax payer. You can use that when signing a midlevel player or getting one via sign and trade.

The owners also agreed to not ban extend and trades aka the extend and trade rule. The CBA proposed about 2 weeks ago banned extend and trades all together. You’d have to wait to extend a player 6 months after you acquired them via trade and you couldn’t trade an extended player until 6 months had passed after that extension. They’ve modified that rule; now, you are allowed to do this. However, like sign and trades, your player isn’t allowed to get Bird Right annual increases.

Bird Rights annual increases will be at 7.5%. The normal players without bird rights will have an annual increase of 4.5%. Another few key components, to me, were that the minimum salary player’s wage will not face a decrease and also the rookie wage scale will not be changed. Those were two of the biggest problems with the last proposal made by the owners.

This CBA will hurt the middle class player of the NBA. They’ve all but eliminated that with the stiff tax penalty that is now imposed on the owners. They’ve accepted the same tax penalty from the previous proposal made by the owners. Those guys thrived on teams sometimes overbidding for their skills. Now there will be no overbidding. Most likely teams will underbid or throw a midlevel exception at them. Free agency is no longer what it once was.

Teams will now move more into the realm of advanced statistics. For those of you who have seen the movie “Moneyball” you know what I’m talking about. This CBA will definitely be all sorts of fun. Teams will probably make more trades for players skills and less contracts. Henry Abbot explained the Winners and Losers of the CBA very thoroughly in his Truehoop article.

I don’t know about you all, but this lockout is over and I’m excited. You all just don’t know. I’m ready to write about some real hoops for once. Some real pro hoops. The deal isn’t official yet, but both party leaders say their respective sides will accept it. Lets take this time to welcome the NBA back with open arms!

Michael Sykes is a writer for the #SportsBlogMovement. Follow us on twitter. Use the hashtag.

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