OKC Loud Links: 95% Done?

On the one hand, we are getting word that a new CBA deal is about 95% done and that the end is eminent. On the other hand, we have a report that the owners are preparing for checkmate. 

I guess those are kind of the same thing.

Deal is Close, Last Hurdle is the Big One | NY Times

Beck runs down the list of components of the CBA that are more or less ironed out. For some further analysis on this, check out Celticsblog's analysis

Union Left With Only One Choice | NBA.com

Aldridge lays out the chessboard quite nicely, and I am appreciative of that. However, this game situation that he describes is not a sudden one; we've been writing here extensively of the league's leverage for months now, and how they would use it to get what they want. To borrow a phrase from Herm Edwards...

The Status of the Deal | Sports Illustrated

From an accounting perspective, I am not a fan of this "stretch" concept. If it is to happen, I feel like we're in for multiple bath sessions down the road.

Say the Word | Sheridan Hoops

I didn't realize there was a "safe" word in this whole ordeal.

Markets Over Owners | Hardwood Paroxysm

I really like this usage of MSA statistics to figure out ideal market scenarios for teams, but the ending I find a bit confusing. I'm not sure how you can argue about MSA's and then include Donald Sterling in the same thread as Clay Bennett.

Should Players Be Responsible for the Owners' Debt? | SB Nation

I think Ziller gets his headline slightly wrong here; I think it is more a question of whether the players should bear the burden of the owners' risk. Ziller distinguishes well the difference between investment risk and operational risk, and how the owners are attempting to conflate the two when they describe their concern for the future.

Is Fisher in Stern's Back Pocket? | Fox Sports

No.

Why can I be so certain of this? Because, as much fun as it is to imagine real life scenarios through the lens of "The Wire," at the end of the day, real life doesn't work like "The Wire."

How Top PG's Are Defended | NBA Playbook

Pruiti takes a look at some of the best point guards in the league and examines how they all are defended in the pick and roll situation. He doesn't address Russell Westbrook, but we got a good examination of successful tactics during the Mavericks series in the playoffs.

Scary-Good NBA Illustrations | Hoopism

I personally love comic-book renderings, and now I will never have to wonder what would happen if Vlade Divac ever got bitten by Eric Northman.

More links after the jump.

World All-Star Classic Implodes | CBS Sports

Say what you want about the true essence of NBA owners, but at the end of the day, players need the NBA in order to pull off something like this. 

6 Cities That Could Support Teams | Wages of Wins

WoW now takes a look at some areas that do have the muscle to handle a pro team. Surprisingly, the always quiet New York City shows up.

Talks Fizzle Despite Progress | Sports Illustrated

Lowe recounts the progression we seem to have fallen into, each time leading to a stalemate. It is almost as if one side is not really interested in settling this mess.

Expect a Shortened Season | NewsOK

Mayberry thinks the shortened season would help the Thunder, noting that the older teams might benefit from fewer games, but if those games are played closer together the advantage would be neutralized.

3 on 3: Locked Out | Daily Thunder

Young poses three questions to the DT guys to get their take. I personally think the shortened season hurts the Thunder because if you look at last year, they needed about 35 games to get their team organized. 

Season Takes Another Hit | CBS Sports

I know this story is old, but I just want to use it to highlight one of my personal delights in this whole CBA ordeal - every picture of Adam Silver, a man who looks like his head got stuck in a vice. Give him a mustache and he's Tobias Bluth. I think I just blue myself.

Ranking Rookies | Basketball Prospectus

Have rookies been undervalued in the past?

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