NBA Veterans Anticipating Lockout
Miami forward Jermaine O’Neal is confident one can be avoided. Chicago guard Lindsey Hunter, who won’t have to worry too much about it once he plans to retire after this season, is undecided.
"It’s very, very possible there’s going to be a lockout,” said Billups, a second-year man during the last one. "The only thing I tell guys is, ‘Save your money so you’ll be able to withstand however long it is.”’
The sides will hold a negotiating session in Dallas during All-Star Weekend. The owners have presented a first proposal to the players union, and the initial reaction hardly has been positive.
With the economy faltering, owners want to drastically cut salaries and to go to more of a hard salary cap rather than the current soft cap, which places a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax on teams surpassing a certain threshold. With profits down, owners will tell players they need to accept a good bit less than the current figure of 57 percent of basketball-related income.