V NBA se dohodli na kolektivní smlouvě
SAN ANTONIO (USA) - Zástupci NBA a hráčské unie se dohodli na nové kolektivní smlouvě, a zažehnali tak hrozbu výluky, jaká v uplynulé sezoně ochromila hokejovou NHL. Komisionář basketbalové ligy David Stern a zástupce hráčů Billy Hunter o dohodě informovali na tiskové konferenci před začátkem šestého finálového zápasu mezi San Antoniem a Detroitem.
Dohodu se podařilo uzavřít po čtyřech dnech intenzivního jednání zhruba týden před vypršením staré kolektivní smlouvy, která stanovovala pravidla v uplynulých sedmi letech. Nový kontrakt bude platit šest sezon, detaily o jeho podobě zatím nejsou známy.
Podle předchozích zpráv obě strany usilovaly o kompromisní řešení ve sporných bodech. Na přání majitelé klubů by se měl minimální věk basketbalistů na draftu zvýšit jen o rok na 19 let. Maximální délka víceletých smluv by se měla snížit o jeden rok - na šest let při podpisu nového kontraktu se stejným klubem a pět v případě přestupu do nového.
Omezen bude i růst platů. Basketbalisté si budou moci polepšit o deset procent při uzavření nové smlouvy se současným klubem a o osm procent při odchodu jinam. U nováčků budou první dva roky smlouvy garantované, na třetí a čtvrtý budou mít kluby opci. Platový strop by se měl zvýšit a v příští sezoně by se měla částka na mzdy basketbalistů pohybovat mezi 47 a 50 miliony dolarů na klub.

NBA's collective bargaining agreement finalized and signed

NEW YORK (AP) 30.07.2005 — The NBA's new collective bargaining agreement was finally completed and signed early Saturday, clearing the way for free agent signings to begin Tuesday. Lawyers for the league and the players' union had been working nearly around the clock for the past several days on drafting the documents for the six-year agreement, which was agreed to in principle more than a month ago. There already were two delays in the date for free agents to begin signing. League attorneys will spend the next few days reviewing the agreement with teams, and signings will begin at noon ET on Tuesday.

The salary cap will be set at $49.5 million, an increase of $5.63 million from last season. For the first time, teams will know before the season begins what the luxury tax threshold will be — $61.7 million. Teams with payrolls over that will have to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax on the amount of their payroll that exceeds the $61.7 million. Under the old luxury tax system, teams did not know until the season ended whether the luxury tax would even kick in, or what the threshold was. The new rules provide a level of cost certainty to replace the cost mystery many owners complained about.

Free agents signing under the midlevel exception, which can offered by teams who are over the salary cap, can sign contracts beginning at $5 million annually.

Among the details:

• Teams will have a one-time chance to waive a player under contract and be relieved of any luxury tax liability. Waiving Michael Finley could save Dallas at least $51 million; the Mavs would be barred from re-signing him until his contract expires after the 2007-08 season, and they still would have to pay his full salary.
• The minimum age for draft eligibility increases by one year. U.S. players must be at least one year removed from their high school class' graduation to be draft eligible. International players must turn 19 during the calendar year of that draft.
• The minimum team salary is now $37.125 million.
• The players will receive no less than 57% of basketball-related income, a percentage that will increase as revenues increase.
• The maximum length of any contract drops from seven years to six. Free agents changing teams can sign for five years, down from six.
• The maximum annual salary increase drops from 12.5% to 10.5%.
• Teams may assign players to the NBA Development League during their first two seasons.
• Veterans are subject to four random drug tests. The old rules called for one test during training camp. Rules are different for rookies.
• Players can now appeal suspensions longer than 12 games for on-court misconduct.
• The second-year Charlotte Bobcats, as part of their expansion restrictions, have a salary cap of $37.125 million next season, and a minimum salary of $27.84 million.

NBA, NBPA Reach Agreement in Principle on New Collective Bargaining Agreement

SAN ANTONIO, June 21 -- The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced today that they have reached an agreement in principle on the key items of a new 6-year collective bargaining agreement.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter and President Michael Curry announced the agreement prior to Game 6 of The Finals in San Antonio.
“This new agreement creates a strong partnership with our players, which is critical to our prospects for continued growth on a global basis,” said Stern. “Once the deal is finalized, the NBA and its players will be able to focus on the enormous opportunities we have together.”
“Although a definitive written agreement must still be completed,” Hunter added, “we believe we have reached the framework for a deal that preserves and enhances gains that the players have made under the expiring agreement. The new CBA deals fairly with the issues that are important to the league, and gives our sport the continuity that will be so important to its growth and to its fans.”
The agreement includes an increase in the salary cap, a lessening of the impact of the luxury tax, a decrease in the escrow withholding over the term of the deal (to 8 percent), and a guarantee by the league that the players will receive no less than 57 percent of basketball related income (a percentage that will increase as revenue increases). The maximum length of player contracts will be reduced to 6 years, from their current 7, and maximum annual increases in salaries will be reduced from 12½ to 10½ percent for teams resigning their own players and from 10 percent to 8 percent for teams signing free agents.
On non-economic matters, the minimum entry age will be increased from 18 to 19 years and teams will have the ability to assign players with less than 2 years experience to the NBA Development League. The number of random drug tests as well as the penalties for violations will be increased. The league will guarantee that, on average, all teams will have 14-player rosters, and players suspended for more than 12 games for on-court misconduct will be able to challenge the suspension before a neutral arbitrator.
While the agreement is being reduced to a definitive writing, the moratorium on free agent signings presently scheduled to expire on July 14 will be extended to July 22. During this period, summer leagues may be conducted, rookies may be signed, and free agents will be permitted to negotiate, but may not sign, new contracts.
The agreement is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors and the membership of the Players Association.

The following are the key points agreed to by the NBA and the Players Association in their new 6-year collective bargaining agreement:
· Players will be guaranteed to receive 57 percent of league revenues (BRI), the same percentage paid to players the last two seasons. (This is the first time the league has ever agreed to guarantee the players an agreed-upon percentage of revenues.)
· The Salary Cap will increase from 48 percent of BRI to 51 percent of BRI. All Cap exceptions will remain unchanged, including the Mid-Level Exception ($4.9 million per team this past season).
· The amount of money that can be withheld from player salaries under the “escrow” system will be reduced from 10 percent of salaries in year 1 of the new deal to 9 percent in years 2 through 5 and 8 percent in year 6. The 57 percent escrow level will increase with revenue growth.
· The effect of the existing luxury tax on teams will be reduced and there will be no additional taxes. The tax level will be set at 61percent of league revenues (the same level as in the 2001-02 – 2003-04 seasons). Tax treatment for injured players and minimum salary players will be liberalized.
· The maximum length of a player contract will be reduced by 1 year, from 7 years for a team’s own players and 6 years for other players to 6 years and 5 years.
· The league will guarantee that, on average, all teams will have 14-player rosters.
· The maximum annual increases in multi-year player contracts will be reduced from 12.5 percent for a team’s own players and 10 percent for other players to 10.5 percent and 8 percent.
· Players will be subject to 4 random drug tests per season and penalties for use of performance-enhancing drugs will be increased.
· The age limit for entering the draft will increase from 18 to 19 (plus one year removed from high school).
· Players will have the right to an arbitrator’s review of Commissioner suspensions for on-court misconduct of more than 12 games (currently, no arbitrator review is permitted regardless of the length of the suspension).
· Players in their first two seasons in the league may be placed on teams in the NBA Development League for skills development.
· There will be an increase in the minimum salary and benefits. Pension benefits will be increased subject to IRS approval.