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NBA, NBPA Delay CBA Termination Decision

The league and players association will have until Oct. 15 to decide whether or not to terminate the current collective bargaining agreement.

NBRPA Legends Brunch Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have agreed to extend the deadline for either side to terminate the league’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to Oct. 15, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Woj further cited a desire to finish the season without interruption and hope that the league’s big-picture financial picture will be clearer by October as motivation for this decision.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN that she is optimistic both sides will be able to re-negotiate the CBA before the deadline, preventing outright termination of the deal.

The two parties previously extended the CBA termination window in May. Central to the ongoing conversations and negotiations will be the likelihood of fans safely attending games during the 2021 calendar year. NBA commissioner Adam Stern told ESPN the league will consider pushing back the start date to next season if it means filling seats in home markets:

“I’d say Dec. 1, now that we’re working through this season, is feeling a little bit early to me. I think our number one goal is to get fans back in our arenas. [...]

My sense is, in working with the players’ association, if we could push back even a little longer and increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that’s what we would be targeting.”

Teams make roughly $1.2 million per home game during the regular season, a significant portion of the league’s revenue.

What about the Blazers?

The end result of the CBA re-negotiation will be of particular interest to Trail Blazers fans — with several players locked in to high-salaried long-term contracts the franchise can ill afford an unexpected dip in the cap without some kind of compensatory adjustments.

Translated to real numbers, the Blazers have about $100 million in guaranteed salary for nine players next season. The salary cap this season is about $109 million. If the cap stays flat for next season — a best case scenario predicated on the league believing revenue will rebound over the next year or two — general manager Neil Olshey will be able to fill out the roster with various salary cap exceptions (e.g. the mid-level exception). Restocking Portland’s bench under the pre-existing model, however, will become incrementally more difficult as the cap decreases.

From the players’ perspectives, two Blazers are currently caught in a lurch until the cap situation for next season becomes clearer. Zach Collins is eligible to sign an extension on his rookie scale contract and Hassan Whiteside will be a free agent. It’s nearly impossible to predict how either of those negotiations will play out until the NBA and NBPA finish re-negotiationg the CBA this fall.