NEW YORK – The clock remains stopped, and it will stay that way until the early part of next week — and perhaps even longer.
Eventually, we will learn whether there will be a 72-game season beginning Dec. 15, or a nuclear winter for the NBA.
“”We have made our revised proposal, and we’re not planning to make another one. There’s nothing left to negotiate about,” commissioner David Stern said after the sides met for another 10 1/2 hours Thursday.
Stern would not characterize his proposal as a “best and final offer,” although it sounded as though that was the case. The sides agreed to wait until a meeting is held among the union’s 30 player representatives on Monday or Tuesday to discuss the new offer on the table.
If the player reps agree to put the proposal forward for a vote, it would likely take another several days to have players physically assemble in one spot to cast their votes.
Bottom line: Another week of waiting.
“We moved as far as we could move, and so now we are at where we’re at. And I’m optimistic that the NBA owners will approve it if the union approves it, and we await a response from the union. We’ve done our best,” Stern said. “We both recognize the seriousness of what we are facing. I think both sides would like to start the season Dec. 15, and we’ve done the best we can to make that happen.”
Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the owners made several tweaks to their earlier proposal that would create “a more robust market for free agents.”
Previously, the union objected to restrictions that would be placed on teams over the salary cap threshold, preventing them from offering the full mid-level exception of $5 million and prohibiting them from executing sign-and-trade deals.
“It’s not the greatest proposal in the world, but I have an obligation to at least present it to the membership, and that’s what I’m going to do. Then we’ll collectively decide what it is we should do,” union director Billy Hunter said.
If the players reps reject the offer, Stern said the owners would revert to an earlier offer under which they would be asking for 53 percent of revenues and a flex-cap system similar to the NHL’s system.