NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says that talk of the league’s owners locking out the players after the 2016-17 season is “premature.”
National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts has already said that the players plan on opting out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement in December 2016. The union recently rejected the NBA's salary cap "smoothing" proposal, as the league wants to progressively increase the cap over a number of years.
The salary cap is expected to be around $65 million for the 2015-16 season and could jump to as much as $90 million in 2016-17 thanks to a new nine-year television rights deal worth a reported $2.6 billion per year.
"Believe it or not—I can't speak for the union or anything—but it's not something I'm talking to teams about yet," Silver said to the Indianapolis Star. "I think it's premature."
“We're operating under the current CBA and building stage," Silver added. "There will be a time for that but [now] it's premature."
Silver also talked about trying to improve the health of the players and trying to ease scheduling issues like teams playing on back-to-back nights.
"I'm not looking to reduce the length of the season," Silver said. "It's no secret, it's an economic issue for the league and the players if we were to cut the number of games in a season and I don't think that's the issue. Frankly, as I travel, people only want more NBA, not less NBA.”
- Scooby Axson