In a bid to save Christmas games and a 66 game season, the NBA and its players have resumed negotiations. Rumor has it that David Stern is attempting to rally owner support to improve the last offer in a new final [this time we mean it!] offer.
The sides have agreed on BRI, but the players insist that the BRI loss not accompany massive changes to the system while the owners are looking for a way to save money and keep all teams competitive.
The primary hang ups are:
1: Full MLE for luxury tax teams
2: Sign and Trade for luxury tax teams
3: Punativeness of the luxury tax as teams go into it.
Will the leverage be any different with a law suit pending? Hard to say.
Both players have called the present scenario nuclear winter with good reason. A win in the law suit would bankrupt all of the small market teams and force them to sell to the highest bidder and give the money to the players. A free market would permanently crush the ability for any small market team to compete again.
This could ultimately hurt the players as much as the owners as interest in the league might drop considerably. Unlike baseball, if you could add the top 4-5 players to one team, you would never lose. You'd never see a small market team win a title again.
Once you go nuclear no one wins. As such, expect both sides to work this out, but will it happen this time around? Who knows. The league says they won't do a 50 game season, but the league is full of crap. The owners make all their money come playoff time, and a 50 game season probably generates 80% of the revenue of the season while having to pay the players a far lesser share than normal.
Is there reason to get excited for talks today? I think most, including myself, are skeptical anything gets done. However, they do need something done in a few days to get Christmas games, and Christmas games are a big deal for the league so there is some extra motivation to get this done.