By Chris Sheridan
NEW YORK — Negotiations to end the NBA lockout are resuming today in Manhattan with all the heavy hitters in attendance, so there will be some news before the end of the day. Stay tuned on that front.
In the meantime, chew on these two articles:
In the Oregonian, columnist John Canzano reports an amnesty provision could be part of the new labor agreement, and it would provide some serious cap flexibility leaguewide:
“Two NBA sources told me Tuesday that they believe there’s consensus among owners on a few important lockout issues. One of those issues being an amnesty clause that would give NBA teams the ability to release one player, pay his salary, take no luxury tax liability, and also, not have that player count against the season salary cap. This is different than the last round of amnesty, which didn’t give the cap relief. And if true, it would likely allow Portland to strongly consider releasing three-time All-Star Brandon Roy, creating an additional $15 million in cap relief next season. Which is only to say, the Blazers need a general manager in the chair now, as this develops, if they’re going to fully maximize the advantages of making such a powerful play.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports raises the issue of whether Billy Hunter might make so many concessions, the league’s most powerful agents would encourage their clients to vote against ratification.
“Everyone knows this is Hunter’s final stand as executive director of the Players Association, and he ultimately won’t have to live with the consequences of the agreement. He’ll take his millions of dollars, and go, and that leaves some agents and players suspicious of his willingness to fight NBA commissioner David Stern and the hard-line owners to a determined, defiant end. “There’s a lot of money and control at stake here,” one NBA front-office executive said. “I’ve never seen people who are in negotiations with each other give up those two things easily. There will be a nasty fight at some point among the owners, the players and the agents. At some point, two of those three entities will square off and go to war. It’s just a matter of which two entities it will be.”