Could we be headed towards a lockout?
The NBA is expected to announce a $24 billion deal today that will continue their broadcasting partnership with ABC, TNT and ESPN through 2025. The extremely lucrative deal will begin in the 2017-2018 regular season, and will significantly raise the salary cap, which could lead to some interesting and tense negotiations come time for the new collective bargaining agreement, which is tentatively set to happen prior to the 2017 season. The last lockout, which came just before the NBA Lockout of 2011-2012, the most major issue being discussed was the owners’ will, or lack thereof, to share more of their revenue with their roster. This time around, there will most certainly be a conversation centered around how much of this large $24 billion sum will be designated to raise the earnings of NBA players, like LeBron James for example, who we’re 99% sure signed a short term deal with Cleveland in order to renegotiate his contract before the 2017 season considering there will be much more money on the table.
Should we expect a lockout in two summers? It’s too early to tell, but there will certainly be a playing field for it. Greedy owners and NBA stars’ increasing interest in being the highest paid at their position, be it for gluttony or status, coupled with the NBA’s exponentially expanding popularity and international reach could be a hot topic during these negotiations. Prior to this news breaking, the NBA Players’ Union already advised it’s members to prepare themselves for a potential lockout in 2017.