The NBPA will meet today to discuss labor strategy with players invited. This is the players best chance end this thing by convincing their union leaders to go for the 50/50 split on revenue.
How many players will show up? How many will be conciliatory? Perhaps the answer to both questions is not many.
However, the union isn't doing a good job of representing its players right now. They are watching the best deal they're going to get float away from them while Derek Fisher defends himself against allegations that he was working out a separate deal with the owners on a 50/50 split.
Fisher proclaims innocence. Maybe he tried such a thing, maybe he didn't. However, if the union doesn't come to a deal soon, they'll look back at this and wish he did, wish he went to them with the deal, and wish they took it.
The union has three main paths it can go down right now:
Stand strong, decertify now, start your lawsuits, be prepared to sit out for two plus seasons, and wait for the owners to break [they will eventually].
It will take two plus years, but the players could "win" this thing, and by "win", I mean lose upwards of four billion in present money plus two billion more in devaluation of the league, tv contracts, and everything else that lowers BRI. However, after all of that, they'd be able to bend the owners to their will.
Of course, you'd probably contract some teams at that point too which wouldn't be so hot for player jobs.
Hard ball -- oops
Attempt to play hard ball, but either come to the realization that it's unbelievably stupid or have your union cave in on itself because 25-30% of the players are bankrupt after one year out of the league.
In this scenario, the players probably only lose two billion dollars up front, and probably a bit less on the backend of the deal. The league won't be damaged as much on a go forward basis, but the system and BRI split will be worse than if the owners break.
They'll probably lose an additional billion dollars or in reduced BRI% and lowered league revenues with this plan.
Go into this meeting and decide it's time to make the next move. Go to the owners and offer 51/49 with the system rules the league proposed for their 53/47 split. The additional give of 1% on BRI should get talks moving again. Hope to move to 50/50 on BRI with the system rules you want or 51/49 with the system rules the league wants.
However, it's only likely a matter of weeks before the league goes NHL style on you and pulls the opportunity for 50/50 off the table, so it's important to get talks moving again with some type of concession.
So this labor meeting is key. This is the best chance for union ownership to quietly admit to itself that the union isn't strong enough to win this thing, and even if they do win it, they'll lose far more money than if they lose it.