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Deal Or No Deal - The Downbeat - #585

     If you were on twitter/Facebook/online yesterday, you know that the owners and players had a relatively short meeting of 2-3 hours yesterday and by all accounts, went well (relatively speaking of course). 

I've posted all of the links and clips after the jump so as to not clutter up the post.  But from those, we learned that both sides have moved quite a bit since their last meeting.  The players have reportedly come down to 48% -- from their current 57% -- for their share of the BRI.  The owners have dropped their insistence of a hard cap but with some other demands such as only one player per year with Bird Rights, a more punitive luxury tax, and changes to the mid-level exception.

It's hard not to get your hopes up for news like this.  Compared to the stagnant movement we've had over the past two years, they might as well these negotiations for scenes in the upcoming Fast and the Curious 6 movie. 

They're expected to meet again this morning where new proposals will be exchanged.  If a deal is to get done in time to save missed regular season games, this appears to be the last chance.

    Bill Simmons and Jonathan Abrams discuss who they would pick with the amnesty clause that's coming.  For the Jazz,

Abrams: Mehmet Okur, who suffered through an injury-plagued 2010-11 and would save the Jazz $10.9 million in 2011-12 by being Curry Cured.

Simmons: Agreed. Could more things be falling Utah's way? It fleeced New Jersey with the Deron Williams trade, won a top-three lottery pick and shed Andrei Kirilenko's onerous salary, now it's dumping Memo's last year ... oh, wait, we're not going to have an NBA season. I keep forgetting.

Of course Simmons writes later that he wants Memo to sign with the Celtics, so there could be a bit of a bias there.  I wrote about this earlier and picked Al Jefferson given that the potential savings would allow the Jazz to make a FA splash if they wanted to.  Of course that while it wouldn't count against the cap, the Jazz would still have to pay him nearly $30 million to accomplish that.  For a big market, that might be feasible, but for the Jazz it probably wouldn't be.  Al still has a lot of value and the same thing might be accomplished via a trade.  Then again, if you're looking for salary cap savings, you'd have to find a team with cap space to facilitate that trade.

With the loaded front court, someone has to go.  If it's Memo, I don't think they just let him go either.  Getting assets in return would be the best move for the team, but it's a lot harder that way.

   I have to admit that when I first read this part on TrueHoop's article on the NBA and Moneyball, I immediately thought of Jerry Sloan,

Is today's NBA like "Moneyball"? - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN
When George Postolos saw the movie Moneyball, which opened last Friday, he had some qualms. The former president of the Rockets noted that in por

I don't think it's him.  My money would be on Greg Popovich.  Some of the comments though from GMs and coaches in that article are mind-blowing.

  Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap a top duo?

Top Five Emerging NBA Tandems | HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors
The Utah Jazz have as solid a pair of big men as any team in the league with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Unfortunately the roster doesn’t have enough depth in other positions and the power duo isn’t always complementary.

Too bad neither may be with the team.  I think the duo that will emerge -- or at least I'm hoping so -- for the Jazz will be Hayward and Favors.


Team executives cut and paste the 2011 NBA lockout | Utah Jazz Notes | The Salt Lake Tribune
Rigby's entire letter is below, as are sections from personal letters to fans from Portland's Larry Miller, Houston's Tad Brown and Atlanta's Bob Williams. All four letters appear to rely upon NBA talking points concerning ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations, with each executive inserting small individual sections about their teams in their messages. The sentence "The NBA’s goal is to secure a sustainable business model that enables all 30 teams to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans," appears almost word for word in all four letters.

Sources -- NBA owners move slightly off hard-cap demand - ESPN
In last week's negotiating session, the owners proposed that the players' share of basketball-related income, or BRI, be sliced from 57 percent to 46 percent, and a source told's Chris Broussard that the players were offered 48 percent of BRI on Tuesday. The owners also want a five-percent reduction on all existing salaries for this season, a 7.5 percent reduction of all 2012-13 salaries and 10 percent reduction of 2013-14 salaries, a source said.

Sources: Owners drop insistence on hard cap -
The flexibility in the owners' longstanding insistence on a hard team-by-team cap, first reported by Yahoo Sports, comes with significant strings attached. Among the many concepts league negotiators proposed Tuesday were a more punitive luxury tax and adjustments to two key spending exceptions that teams had under previous agreements: the Larry Bird exception and the mid-level exception. Both would have been eliminated under the owners' original proposal from two years ago, with many of those dramatic systemic changes living on in subsequent proposals until Tuesday.

There is a feeling among two people who have been briefed on the talks that the owners will come forward Wednesday with an enhanced version of the concepts proposed Tuesday. According to the sources, among the additions could be a proposed 50-50 revenue split, which to this point the league has not reached in terms of the players' average share over the life of a new CBA in its previous proposals.

NBA owners budge on hard cap demand - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
The owners didn’t budge on a desire to change the basketball-related income percentage (BRI) to a split that takes the players from 57 percent to the mid 40s, sources said. The players had offered to drop from a 57-43 split to 54-46 at a meeting last week in New York.

NBA lockout update: Owners seeking four luxury tax levels.
Here is another one: has learned that the owners have proposed four different levels of the luxury tax, with the tax increasing from a dollar-for-dollar levy on teams slightly above the luxury tax threshold (which was $70.307 million last season, when the Lakers, Magic and Mavericks were reportedly the only tax-paying teams), up to a 4-to-1 tax for teams that go more than $10-15 million over the threshold. There are also separate triggers for a 2-to-1 tax and a 3-to-1 tax.

Fisher: 'Maybe we can put a deal together' -
Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Players Association, said the two sides "talked extensively about ideas and concepts. These are things that if we could get into the range or get into the zone, maybe we can put a deal together." ... What is there to think about? That is the $4 billion question. At last check, the two sides appeared to be about $1.9 billion apart on the economics and were getting ready to tread on the hallowed ground of system issues -- the hard salary cap vs. the existing system with a plethora of exceptions and a luxury tax. Sources have told that both sides have signaled a willingness to negotiate system issues, with one person connected to the talks saying that a deal is "there for the taking."

NBA Lockout talks update: Short meeting to discuss "ideas and concepts"
Again, I must stress that this is a financial negotiation much more than it is a systemic negotiation, and when there is a deal on how many aggregate dollars are devoted to player salaries, the rest of the agreement will fall into place over the course of 2-3 days.

NBA, union meet for short labor session; is proposal on table? - NBA - Sporting News

SBJ: Could fear of decertification drive NBA labor deal? - NBA - Sporting News
An NBA player agent who has had conversations with but is not part of the group of agents who want to decertify the union also said the fact that agents are not on the same page as the union could spur a deal. The agent said that because the threat of decertification is legitimate, it could bring together the owners and union leaders, both wanting to avoid what could be a chaotic and uncertain situation. "Giving the NBA and the union a common enemy, that being the agents, is not necessarily the worst thing for a negotiation," said this agent. The agent said that although he does not favor decertification currently, that could change if Hunter and NBA Commissioner David Stern are unable to strike a deal. He said he believes, as of last week, the majority of players were not for decertification, although a majority of agents did favor it as a strategy.