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The Last Hope For A Salvageable Season? - The Downbeat - #618


Last night the players and league emerged for separate joint conferences with Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter announcing that the league had proposed a modified deal -- not the reset offer -- with some concessions from the owners but not enough to where the NBAPA felt that it could accept the offer. What they will do according to Hunter is take it to the player reps and possibly put the deal to a vote.

David Stern later stated that with the proposed offer, the goal is to start games December 15th if the deal is accepted. Stern stated that it had been approved by everyone on his side including the labor committee and the board of governors. He believes that it would pass an owners' vote. While he didn't come out and directly call this the last best offer, Stern said that if the offer was not accepted, then the new negotiations would center around their offer of 47% (for the players). So in all likelihood, this is the best that the players would get.

So from here, the players have a few options. They can accept the latestoffer, they could possibly decertify (which could happen to day according to Adrian Wojnarowski, or the NBAPA could disclaim interest meaning they no longer represent the players.

The players have been given until 11/15 -- a month before games would start -- to present it to the team reps and then possibly to the players. As has been noted by most of the media covering this, they could decide to decertify this weekend yet still accept the latest offer. The actual decertification vote wouldn't come until 45 days later.

If everything were to get accepted and the league starts on December 15th, we would have a 72-game season which has already been mapped out according to Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. The playoffs and finals would be pushed out one week in that case.

So if you're looking for something that resembles a full season, then this weekend is it. By next Tuesday at the latest we'll know what the future holds for this season.

Devin Harris has been going back to Wisconsin to continue working on his degree while the lockout has been going on. He and Michael Finley have also been working out with the mens' basketball team including full practices. And just how hold is Michael Finley?

All eyes were trained on the entertaining match-up of UW's past All-American, Harris, against this year's version, Jordan Taylor. Another noteworthy head-to-head battle featured the 38-year old Finley facing 18-year old Traevon Jackson. Finley was teammates with Jackson's father, Jimmy, on the Dallas Mavericks.

Sheridan Hoops has their take on what the Jazz should do once the lockout is lifted,

UTAH: Should the Jazz throw the kids to the wolves? In the next year, they could easily transition their frontcourt from Andrei Kirilenko, Al Jefferson and Mehmet Okur to Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Throw in Gordon Hayward, rookie Alec Burks and a veteran point guard in Devin Harris, and the time seems right. It would start with a trade of Jefferson, who has value as a low-post scorer.

Nothing prevents the teams and GMs from talking with each other right now about potential deals. My hunch is that the Jazz won't trade anyone between the time the CBA is accepted and the season starts. If someone is dealt, it will be after a month or so of playing time with proper evaluation so that the team can determine which way they're going to go. They're in no hurry to deal anyone. They won't be over the luxury tax this season so they'll be content riding out the year with what they have. Now should an opportunity present itself to acquire more draft picks or other assets that are too good to pass up, they'll make a move. But it will be on their time.

There will be someone dealt eventually as the team moves into a new era, but it will be later rather than sooner.

We all want basketball, but Tom Ziller points out that the 72-game proposed deal would be worse than the 50-game season in 1999,

A 72-game schedule starting December 15 and ending after the third week in April would give us 72 games in 4.25 months, or 17 games per month per team

As we saw with the Jazz in 1999, it really impacted them come playoff time. They had a 60-win season (adjusted for 72 games) but faltered in the first round. While this Jazz team is younger, don't expect it be of any benefit to them.

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