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 In Letter to Union, Stern Details His Ultimatum

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In Letter to Union, Stern Details His Ultimatum Empty
PostSubject: In Letter to Union, Stern Details His Ultimatum   In Letter to Union, Stern Details His Ultimatum EmptyTue Nov 08, 2011 10:18 am

The ultimatum issued by the N.B.A. to its players over the weekend not only threatens them with a worse labor deal, but also a massive pay cut if they do not make a deal by Wednesday afternoon.

A letter sent by David Stern, the commissioner of the N.B.A., to the players union Sunday contrasts the proposal on the table — highlighted by a 50-50 split of revenues — with a “reset” proposal that would cut the players’ share to 47 percent, roll back current contracts, impose a hard salary cap and reduce contract lengths.

The salary rollback, which was part of the N.B.A.’s first controversial cheap jerseys proposal in 2010, had not been included in any league proposal since the weekend of Oct. 1, and it was not publicly mentioned by Stern when he announced the ultimatum early Sunday morning.

But the rollback was included in the letter Stern sent to Billy Hunter, the union’s executive director. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.

The union has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to accept the N.B.A.’s last proposal or have it replaced by the reset proposal, Stern wrote.

“Rather than simply proceeding, as we could have, to offer a less wholesale jerseys favorable proposal at this time, the N.B.A. is providing an additional period of time for the players association to consider our 50/50 proposal,” Stern wrote. “We are hopeful that the prospect of a less favorable outcome for the players will prompt the players association to realize that the best deal that can be reached is the one the N.B.A. is prepared to make right now.”

Stern closes, “Billy, I sincerely hope that we can reach an agreement over the next few days.”

The N.B.A.’s current proposal to the players includes a soft salary cap, a 50 percent share of revenues for players and these features:

¶ Salary-cap and luxury-tax levels in Years 1 and 2 of the new cheap jerseys agreement will be no less than they were in 2010-11. By Year 3, they will be adjusted downward to conform to the new system.

¶ Sign-and-trade deals and the biannual exception will be available only to nontaxpaying teams.

¶ Extend-and-trade deals, such as the one signed by Carmelo Anthony last season, will be prohibited.

¶ The midlevel exception will be set at $5 million for cheap nfl jerseys nontaxpaying teams, with a maximum length between three and four years (alternating annually). The value of the exception will grow by 3 percent annually, starting in Year 3.

¶ The midlevel exception will be set at $2.5 million for taxpaying teams, with a maximum length of two years, and cannot be used in consecutive years. Its value will also grow at 3 percent annually.

¶ A 10 percent escrow tax will be withheld from player salaries, to ensure that player earnings do not exceed 50 percent of league revenues. An additional withholding will be applied in Year 1 “to account for business uncertainty” stemming from the lockout.

¶ Maximum contract lengths will be five years for “Bird” free agents and four years for others.

¶ Annual contract increases will be 5.5 percent for “Bird” players and 3.5 percent for others.

¶ Players will be paid a prorated share of their 2011-12 salaries, based on the number of games played once the season starts.

¶ Team and player contract options will be prohibited in cheap jerseys new contracts, other than rookie deals. But a player can opt out of the final year of a contract if he agrees to zero salary protection (i.e., if it is nonguaranteed).

The “reset” proposal features a flex-cap system that contains an absolute salary ceiling — to be set $5 million above the average team salary. In addition, the N.B.A. would roll back existing contracts “in proportion to system changes in order to ensure sufficient market for free agents.”

The other major differences in the “reset” proposal are:

¶ The midlevel exception would be set at $3 million in Year 1, with a maximum length of three years, and would grow at 3 percent annually.

¶ Maximum salaries would be reduced.

¶ Sign-and-trade rules would remain consistent with the 2005 labor deal.

¶ Contracts would be limited to four years for “Bird” free agents and three years for others, but each team could give a five-year deal to one designated player.

¶ Raises would be limited to 4.5 percent for “Bird” players and 3.5 percent for others.

¶ Changes requested by the union on restricted free agency rules and salary-cap holds would not be included.
Both proposals include an “amnesty” provision that will allow every team to waive one player and have 100 percent of his salary removed from the cap.
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