NBA Owners Budge on Hard Salary Cap Demand

New proposal would place a higher premium on luxury tax charged for exceeding salary cap.

Posted: 09/28/2011 08:45 AM EDT
Filed Under NBA

 NBA players union executive director Billy Hunter speaking to reporters after a meeting with the NBA,

After two years of insisting on some type of hard salary cap, it appears NBA owners are willing to soften their stance. This could be the first significant step toward ending the nearly three-month-old lockout.

 

Sources told Yahoo! Sports that during Tuesday’s two-hour negotiating sessions between owners and players, the owners floated a salary-cap plan similar to one in place now that allows teams to exceed the threshold. The penalty for exceeding the cap would be much higher under the new proposal.

 

That idea still sounds like a form of a stricter salary cap and has a similar affect of a hard cap, which the players have been against from the beginning. Under the system that was in place prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement on June 30, teams paid a dollar-for-dollar tax for exceeding the cap.

 

The owners want to discourage each other from going over the salary cap to retain their own players or pursue big-name free agents, a move that would ultimately come at the players’ expense.

 

But where there was no movement Tuesday was when it comes the basketball-related income percentage. The owners want the players to accept about 46 percent of the league revenue down from 57 percent in the old contract. The players have proposed dropping to a 5446 percent split.

 

Talks are expected to resume Wednesday.

 

Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

 

(Photo: AP/Mary Altaffer, File)

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