|Posted by shawn cassidy on October 10, 2011 at 11:25 PM|
I'm fine with this as a fan. I thought it was being used a little too much as of late,and cutting the money down a little,and the years would be fine.
n one small but encouraging sign in the last-minute negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement, a source who has been briefed on the discussions between the two sides said Monday afternoon that the sides are close to an agreement on one "system" aspect that has proven troublesome -- a new, shorter mid-level exception for free agents.Owners have sought a major reduction in the mid-level, one of the key ways that teams over the salary cap are nonetheless able to add players. Implemented in the 1999 CBA after players agreed to accept maximums on player salaries, the mid-level was designed to give non-superstar players a chance at a good payday during their careers, and it has done just that. Tied to the average salary in the NBA, last year's mid-level started at $5.8 million. With annual 8 percent raises, a five-year mid-level contract would be worth $37 million.
And while some mid-level signings -- like Detroit's signing of Chauncey Billups in 2002 -- worked out, many other players who've been signed to mid-level deals over the years have not performed as hoped by their teams. And because contracts are guaranteed, teams were locked into those deals for several more years than they'd like. Owners have looked to shorten the mid-level to as few as three years and to limit the overall amount that the mid-level could be used for.
<p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p>The two sides spent almost all of their five-plus hours of negotiations on Sunday on system issues, and not the split of Basketball-Related Income that the players will receive in the next CBA.
Even if the sides are close on the mid-level, they still have a number of vexing issues to solve to keep the league from canceling the first two weeks of the regular season on Monday, as Commissioner David Stern said it would do if there isn't a new CBA agreement late today.