Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, who is the team’s player representative, greeted the news positively. “That’s good. Better than last time,” he said. “They did a good job communicating and were able to come to an agreement tentatively. That’s a great start for both parties.”
“Yippee!” said Brooklyn Nets forward Trevor Booker, the team’s players association representative. “I am just glad that we could come to an agreement. I am going to look over the deal and make sure everything is fine for my crew.”
The union was willing to accept this because BRI has risen from $4 billion to an estimated $8 billion in the next couple of years, in part due to the $24 billion television contract that has commenced between the league and its national partners, ABC/ESPN and Turner (Turner Sports operates NBA.com). NBA players will also get a larger percentage of revenue streams such as arena signage, according to sources.
For now, the NBA will keep its one-and-done rule, allowing college players to enter the NBA draft one year from their high school class graduating, sources said. Nevertheless, the league and union will continue discussing alternatives to the draft-entry rule and could agree to change the early-entry rule over the course of the labor agreement, league sources said. The NBA has been advocating a rule that forces American players to spend two years in college – or outside the NBA – before becoming eligible for entry into the NBA draft.
With two-way contracts between the NBA and NBA Development League, teams can control the development of younger players in the D-League without the fear of losing them to other teams. The union gets more jobs for players with each team able to have 16th and 17th roster spots for players shuttling between leagues. For some players, this will make it more financially feasible to pass over more lucrative overseas contracts to stay in the NBA/D-League.
The NBA and its players have agreed in principle on a new collective bargaining agreement, one that still needs to be 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. It ensures the two sides will avoid the kind of ugly labor dispute that led to a lockout and missed games in 2011.
As part of the tentative new collective bargaining agreement, ESPN sources indicatethere are plans to form a wearables committee staffed by league officials and players’ union representatives who will manage and regulate the use of biometrics and biometric data of players.
Per The Vertical’s Adrian Wojanarowski, the rule would allow veteran stars to sign five-year extensions with a year left on their current contracts. The rule, per Wojnarowski was created “in an effort to incentivize players to re-sign with their own teams.” If Westbrook were to re-sign under the proposed designated veteran rule, he’d be under contract for another six seasons following the 2017-18 season. In addition, the rule would apply to restricted free agents and players coming off their rookie contract, allowing them “to be guaranteed more money to stay with their current teams over testing the free-agent market,” if they hit certain benchmarks such as All-NBA selections and individual awards like Most Valuable Player.