Ken Berger of CBS sports and generic ESPN sources both point out that the money split isn't nearly as agreed to as previously stated. However, the league has agreed to try and create a proposal which would include a structure without a hard cap.
During Thursday's negotiations, the league offered players a 46 percent share of basketball-related revenue, 11 percent less than they received in the last deal and 7 percent less than the last proposal by players, a league source told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.
In negotiations, the players' union had offered to reduce its percentage to as much as 54 percent, with the stipulation that a mechanism would be instituted to reward the players if future revenue increased, the source told Bucher.
The owners agreed to try to come up with a mechanism to solve their issues without adding a hard salary cap before the next meeting, according to the source. The owners, who have claimed they lost $300 million last season, have been seeking a hard cap -- a condition the players have been unwilling to accept.
Now it's wroth noting that the statement about the players reducing their BRI percentage to 54% is based on their June offer, and the players have elsewhere reportedly been willing to go down to the 50-52% range. Even these two paragraphs are inconsistent as 46% + 7% is 53% not 54% which makes you wonder how accurate the 46% number is if the rest of the facts aren't straight.
Still, the owners willingness to come up with a non hard cap proposal for the next bargaining session is a good sign.
Per Ken Berger, CBS Sports:
The two sides are communicating Friday to schedule another bargaining session for next week, when the owners' gesture -- however small -- to move off the $2 billion-a-year players' share for the first eight years of a 10-year proposal is expected to accelerate negotiations on the economic portion of the agreement.
This is the first time the league has formally offered a number in terms of the BRI split since they proposed an annual guarantee of $2.01 billion as part of a 10-year proposal in late June.
The numbers offered by league negotiators Thursday amounted to an average share for the players that was still less than 49 percent and provided what one person familiar with the numbers described as a lesser decline in their percentage over the years.
So what Ken has said is that while the owners have moved off their "flat cap" idea for ten years, they aren't staying with a constant BRI either. The average BRI is higher than the last deal, but it's still declining over time. The owners need to move off of this theory IMO and go with the flat percentage of BRI, but we'll see.
Either way, Berger says the average BRI is somewhere in the 45-48% range. Let's assume for that the 46% number is fairly accurate and that previous reports of the players willing to move down to the 51% range are accurate. That still leaves the sides 5% apart on the overall number.
While the owners have agreed to come off of a hard cap that doesn't necessarily mean the structure they do come up with will really be any more appealing to the players as they'll still likely look to make extensive changes to the status quo.
As such, the view that's been stated recently that the sides were within reach on money but held up over structure seems a bit of a misnomer. They're still pretty far apart on money as well as structure, but the league's willingness to discuss non hard cap solutions is a good start.