NBA Lockout: Owners' Official Proposal in Full; Union Initial Response Not Positive

The NBA owners submitted their latest proposal to the NBPA over the weekend, a proposal that may come up for a vote by the players on Monday. USA Today obtained the proposal in full:

Summary of Principal Terms of NBA's Collective Bargaining Proposal (made on 11/10/11)

The players requested the weekend to examine this latest proposal, and the initial sentiment appears to be that they're not thrilled with it. One of the big reasons why appears to be the escrow fund feature that the owners drew up:

Union Has Issues With Offer | ESPN

The sticking point, according to ESPN, is that:

If teams spend more than the allotted percentage [of BRI], they not only retain the 10 percent of each salary held in escrow, but if that 10 percent doesn't cover the excess then the additional funds can be deducted from a one percent of BRI dedicated to "post-career player annuity and player benefits."

If the excess still hasn't been satisfied, future benefits and escrow funds can be utilized to cover it. In essence, it assures the owners that no matter how much they spend in any one season, they will not have to pay more than the stated percentage.

So if I'm reading this correctly:

  • If the total spending falls below BRI, then the funds get returned to the players (just like in this past season)
  • The escrow fund gets bumped back up to 10% of player salaries
  • If the team spends more than they are allowed under the given BRI, they get to keep the escrow fund
  • If the escrow fund is insufficient to make up the difference, the teams can then deduct funds from a) the 1% that is set aside for pension funds, and if that still isn't enough, then b) future escrow funds
In other words, they owners will keep shifting the risk of their overspending to the players under this proposal. The owners would have zero incentive to ever save money in a given year, because they know that the savings would get returned to the players. 
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