I hope everyone is having a great morning! Why wouldn't you be?
If you are like me, you came downstairs and turned on ESPN to see the great news.
The NBA and the players' attorneys reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout. A 66-game season will start on Christmas Day. And, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, an NBA representative says the 2012 All-Star Game will happen as scheduled in late February.
There are still steps the league and the players need to take. First, and foremost, the players have to reorganize their union and have it certified as the bargaining representative for the players. Then both the owners and the players must ratify the deal. The owners' negotiating committee is expected to meet later today, but are expected to approve the deal for presentation to the full board of governors. Then the players have to approve the deal by a majority vote.
The plan appears to have games beging on Christmas Day with training camps and free agency opening December 9. There is still a lot to do, both from a league perspective and from a team perspective.
A lot of what will happen as the league moves forward will be dependent on what is actually in the deal. The details have not been released, although bits and pieces have been leaked.
Larry Coon of ESPN reported that the two sides were prepared to break off talks when the players said they would not go beneath a 51 percent split of basketball related income. Then the bargaining began and the two sides have reported agreed to a 49-51 percent band of the split determined by revenues. There are also requirements that teams spend 85 percent of the cap in the first two years and then 90 percent in the subsequent years of the deal.
The more punitive luxury tax is in place, although how much more punitive is still unknown. The Magic, of course, have the second highest payroll in the league and will be one of the heavy payers of this new luxury tax. Although, Rich DeVos might not mind if it makes his team champions. Nobody is sure if this deal will actually prevent the big-spending teams from spending money like they have in the past.
I imagine, although no details have been leaked, that contract lengths will be shorter. There is no word whether there is going to be an amnesty provision or whether the stretch provision or the so-called 'Melo Rule' exists to prevent extend-and-trades.
All these details will come out in the coming days as the league works to approve the deal and get back to operations.
I will have more details once I come down from this cloud and throughout the week. As pieces of the agreement leak out, I will try to figure out how it relates to the Magic and what it means for our future. Immediately, there will be free agency to parse out and plan and everything else to analyze. The speculation is over.
It is time for the 2011-12 season.