Tuesday , Jun , 21 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

NBA and players’ union agree on CBA

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – The National Basketball Association and its
players’ union have scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon to
reportedly announce the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner David Stern and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter will be on
hand for the 5 p.m. (et) announcement at the SBC Center, which comes less
than two weeks before the current seven-year agreement was due to expire.

The sides have been attempting to reach compromises on several key issues. The
owners want to set a minimum age of 19 for draft-eligible players, shorten the
maximum length of long-term contracts from seven years to six and reduce the
extent of annual salary increases in those long-term deals.

Meanwhile, the players have asked for a cutback in the so-called escrow tax
in which 10 percent of their salaries are withheld if the amount of revenues
devoted to players’ salaries exceeds a specified percentage.

In regard to the issue of salary cap, the owners had already offered to
increase it from slightly more than 48 percent of revenues to 51 percent. That
would raise the amount each team can spend on player salaries.

The agreement will still need to be approved by the league’s Board of
Governors and the members of the players’ union at next week’s meeting in Las
Vegas.