At CBSSports.com, I attempted to answer most of the questions I’m seeing so far today. The end of the lockout came on quickly and so that means there’s going to be some scrambling. I don’t know if this answers everything people are wondering about, but it’s at least a start.
What does “tentative” mean? Is there actually a chance that this could fall apart?
There’s a chance, yes, but there’s also a chance that your bowl of cereal starts talking to you one morning. Meaning, realistically, t’s not happening. A vote is required from both sides and while there will likely be some resistance from some parties on each side, David Stern would not have agreed to this deal if he knew he didn’t have the vote. And same goes for the players union.
When does the season start?
Christmas Day, according to David Stern. The league will kick off with a triple-header as scheduled, presumably with the games that were already on the slate. Which includes the Heat being in Dallas to watch the Mavericks get their rings.
How many games will the season have?
When does free agency start?
When do training camps start?
What about preseason games?
There will likely be two or three preseason games each for teams, but that’s not a priority. With only 16 days to get from training camps and free agency to real games, there’s not a ton of time to whip together a bunch of preseason games.
How long did the lockout last?
149 days. Or, 150 I guess since the deal was technically agreed to Saturday morning at about 3 a.m. ET.
Will the playoffs be affected?
It’s very likely the league will extend the regular season and extra week or two in April to try and alleviate some of the pressure of cramming 66 games into four months.
Will the NBA release a new schedule or just start up at 66 from the old one?
It will be an entirely new schedule.
When will the new schedule be released?
That likely won’t be out until the new CBA is voted on and ratified. The league doesn’t want to get too far ahead of itself. But you can be sure they already have a contingency schedule already whipped up and ready to go. It’s just a matter of getting all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted before putting that out. And once it does, tickets will be on sale right away.
What does the new collective bargaining agreement look like?
Details are pretty scarce right now, but some things are leaking out like the full mid-level exception and inclusion of extend-and-trades.
Will the All-Star Game still take place as scheduled?
According to reports, the All-Star Game will still happen in Orlando Feb. 26 as scheduled.
How many paychecks did players miss?
With the league getting 66 games squeezed in, players will only miss two paychecks. Obviously a big part of getting a deal done sooner than later.
How much money did the league lose from this?
Most estimated that losing preseason lost the league somewhere between $200 and $300 million. Each team will lose eight home games and with gate revenue being about $1 million on average for NBA home games, plus concessions and merchandise, I would estimate the league lost some $600 to $800 million because of the lockout.
What happens with those players that signed overseas?
If they had an NBA opt-out, no problems, just exercise that and return to the NBA. That goes for Deron Williams, Lamar Odom, Ty Lawson, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka and players like that. But if they signed in China like J.R. Smith, Wilson Chandler or Kenyon Martin, that could be a bit complicated. It’s not impossible to get out of that contract, but it’ll be a bit more tedious. For the most part though, any player that wants to return to the NBA should be able to.
What’s left to do?
There are still “B” list issues to handle. Age requirement for the draft, drug testing, D-League assignment and other minor things like that. They still need to be negotiated, and will be over the weekend. Don’t worry though — those aren’t things that will cause a deal to come crashing down.
Hard to really know at this point, but Billy Hunter and the players definitely seem to be coming out shining right now. After being backed into a corner by David Stern and the owners will ultimatum offers and threats of NBA “nuclear winter,” not only did they get a few system concessions that they wanted, but they also got a realistic shot at 51 percent of Basketball Related Income.
It’s all relative though, because the owners won a long time ago when they got the BRI number down to 50. Basically the players were getting beat by 40 points and they made a nice little run to save face and only lose by 15 or so.
Did the players’ lawsuit really work?
Sure seems that way, doesn’t it? They didn’t probably have a realistic shot of winning anything, but just the fact that they were done being pushed around by Stern’s demands said enough to the owners. With the pressure of the calendar plus the pending litigation facing everyone, a new sense of urgency was found to quit messing around and finally get down to business.
Will there be lasting effects from this?
Yes, some. But for the most part, like the league already knew, fan support will come back around. And bad blood between owners and players will subside. Negotiations turned extremely contentious for a while, but in the end, this was a business agreement. When money is the thing in the middle, things tend to get nasty. Both sides understand that and will move on.