Report: Owners Seek to Cut NBA Salaries By 20 Percent
This season, that would have devoted roughly $1.4 billion to player salary instead of the $2 billion actually paid out, better than a 20 percent difference.
Given that revenue grew 2.5 percent last season and isn't expected to fall more than 5 percent this season, the league has tough sledding making its case. Salary growth has indeed outpaced revenue growth over the past decade, but not so much that the league can with a straight face argue that this is the vital fix. Obviously, there's no way teams are losing a combined $600 million a year, which is roughly what this split would save teams if instituted in revenue conditions similar to those of today.
CBA negotiations will be as much of a game as Lakers-Celtics, and obviously -- if the league actually presents the split rumored -- it will be a starting point. ESPN's Chris Sheridan talked to union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers, who beyond being a good face of the group is really sober in his statements about these things. Fisher makes it clear, if it wasn't already, that the union isn't giving up that much cash.
But the owners want to break the players, just as the NFL has over the years. We'll see how successful they'll be.