No deal. But talks resume at 11 a.m. CT today. David Stern said the clock has been stopped in terms of his ultimatum deal, but if negotiations fall apart today, that offer will resurface. As long as they’re talking, there’s always a chance. And not to get crazy with speculation, but last night at 1 a.m. with all the stuff going on at Penn State, it wasn’t exactly the ideal time to make an agreement announcement, if you know what I mean.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Though union officials disputed the media’s characterization of their economic stance, it was clear after Tuesday’s players’ meeting that the players were open to coming down from their previous offer in which they’d proposed receiving a 51 percent share of basketball-related income (BRI). Union president Derek Fisher had made clear that, in return for that willingness to negotiate further on the economics, it was expected that the league relax its position on several system-related deal points — chiefly dealing with additional penalties for repeat offenders above the luxury tax, a prohibition of sign-and-trade transactions for tax teams, and the size, length and frequency of mid-level signings for tax teams.”
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “As he left the news conference early Thursday morning, after 12 hours of bargaining, Stern stopped in the crowded hallway to converse with union economist Kevin Murphy, who says he is trying to arrange his schedule to be here for the next session to start at noon. Stern encouraged Murphy to show up, saying, “It will be a good day to be here.” It was late. Stern was tired. The comment was vague. It didn’t sound like a real promise of a deal. But it certainly didn’t sound like a guy preparing to blow apart the talks with a dramatically lower offer, either.”
ESPN.com’s 5-on-5 looks at the best “seniors”: “Tom Haberstroh, ESPN.com: Russell Westbrook. Statistically, there’s not much separating him and the reigning MVP (Westbrook actually edged Rose in player efficiency rating last season by 0.01 points). I’m putting Westbrook here until further notice because he seems to bring his bad idea jeans to the court too often.”
Larry Coon of ESPN.com: “How much will franchise values increase? It’s hard to say. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the value of a business, and a number of ways to do the calculation. A conservative estimate might be a $3 million to $12 million average increase in franchise values for each percentage point in revenues the league wrests from the players. Decreasing the players’ split of BRI from 57 percent to 50 percent therefore might be worth $21 million to $84 million per team. The owners will only see this money when they sell their teams. But when they do sell, none of it is shared with the players.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “After several days of NBA ultimatums and threats, owners and players made significant progress toward a collective bargaining agreement that would end the lockout, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. With the Players Association agreeable to a 50-50 split of revenue, the sides also made progress on three of the five system issues that union officials said needed to be resolved to complete a deal, sources said. The players are determined to keep system issues which allow them freedom to move to luxury-tax teams, among other issues involving the tax and escrow systems.”