Bar­gain­ing pact given ini­tial OK

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Tim Reynolds

mi­ami» The NBA and its play­ers have agreed in prin­ci­ple on a new col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment, one that still needs to be for­mally rat­i­fied by play­ers and own­ers in the com­ing weeks.

The league an­nounced the ten­ta­tive agree­ment Wed­nes­day night, one day be­fore the sides faced a dead­line for opt­ing out of the cur­rent deal.

That dead­line for opt­ing out has now been ex­tended to Jan. 13, with the NBA say­ing that’s “in or­der to give both sides enough time to re­view the terms of the agree­ment and vote to rat­ify.”

Talks have gone on for weeks, and un­like those sur­round­ing the most re­cent deal be­tween the league and its play­ers, these were mostly am­i­ca­ble. Most of the ma­jor is­sues — such as keep­ing the split of bas­ket­ball-re­lated in­come the same as it is in the ex­ist­ing deal — were agreed upon weeks ago.

Still, some is­sues needed to get ironed out, in­clud­ing ones re­lated to li­cens­ing and mar­ket­ing. The sides con­sid­ered ex­tend­ing the opt-out dead­line even be­fore com­ing to the ten­ta­tive agree­ment, and now only the vot­ing re­mains be­fore la­bor peace is en­sured for up to seven more years.

NBA of­fi­cials and play­ers ex­pressed op­ti­mism through­out the process, point­ing to the league’s sky­rock­et­ing rev­enue and salaries — thanks to a mas­sive new tele­vi­sion deal — and ris­ing TV rat­ings.

“I think they will get to a de­ci­sion that’s good for every­body,” Mi­ami guard Go­ran Dragic said in re­cent weeks.

Other is­sues known to be ad­dressed in this new pro­posed CBA in­clude an ear­lier start to the sea­son — to fur­ther trim back-to-backs and prob­a­bly re­move some pre­sea­son games — along with the league helping fund pro­grams to help re­tired play­ers with ed­u­ca­tion and med­i­cal ex­penses.

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