NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he doesn’t anticipate a lockout between the owners and the players union when both sides have the ability to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2017.
Silver said during halftime of Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers that the current deal is “fair” and that he doesn’t have a “high level of concern” with the possibility of a lockout.
The commissioner essentially repeated his stance from March when he said that it’s “premature" to talk about a lockout because he hasn’t talked to the owners about it.
During the NBA All-Star Game festivities in February, the National Basketball Players Association rejected a proposal that would have gradually phased in an increase of revenues from the league's nine-year, $24 billion television rights deal announced last October. The deal starts in 2016–17.
“I think, again, it's a fair deal. If there's things they want to talk about, of course we'll talk about them. But I'm not overly concerned. I think we've got a great thing going right now,” Silver said, according to ESPN.com. “I think both sides recognize that.”
NBPA executive director Michele Roberts has already said that the players plan on opting out of the current CBA in December 2016.
Currently, the players receive 51% of all basketball-related income and the salary cap could go from around $65 million for the 2015–16 season. The cap could jump to as much as $90 million in 2016–17 thanks to that reported $2.6 billion per year television deal.
“I think the deal is designed to pay players a percentage of revenue so it self-adjusts as revenue goes up. And when the new television deal kicks in in 2016–17, the players are going to be averaging over $8 million a year,” Silver said.
- Scooby Axson