More details of the long-awaited deal between NBA team owners and players emerged over the weekend as the final contract was being hashed out, with players taking a smaller cut in revenue but earning key concessions.
The tentative agreement, first announced early Saturday morning, ensures that a shortened 66-game season can finally begin Christmas Day. Fans will be treated to an opening-day tripleheader, which includes the Knicks hosting the Celtics.
As part of the deal, according to reports, players will earn 49% to 51% in annual basketball-related revenue - the exact number would depend on how well the league performs. That's less than the 57% under the previous contract, which owners wanted lowered.
Players, however, reportedly persuaded owners to compromise on the so-called luxury-tax cap system and other complex issues. NBA officials hope the changes mean all teams will have an equal shot at signing big-name players.
"This was not an easy agreement for anyone," NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters Saturday.
While the contract doesn't completely satisfy both sides, according to reports, it is expected to put an end to the second-longest lockout in NBA history. After five months of talks, there was a major impasse this month, when players moved to disband their union and take their grievances to court.
There also remain minor issues to be finalized in the 10-year contract, including the minimum age to play in the league and a rookie salary scale. A simple majority of the league's 430-plus players must approve the deal before training camps can open Dec. 9.
The contract may not be inked for another week.
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By the numbers
149 Days the lockout lasted before a deal was announced
$3B How much more owners will earn over a decade through the contract
$300M The total reduction team owners won’t have to pay in salary costs because of the new deal
$400M Amount players and owners have lost because of the shortened season