The NBA have announced that the player’s union have formally rejected a “cap-smoothing” proposal, a plan to manage the level of revenue from the new TV deal.
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With a new TV deal worth $24 billion coming into effect ahead of the 2016/17 season, the two parties held a meeting this week to try and reach a compromise that would pay the players the same 51 percent of basketball-related income but with a plan in place to manage it better.
However, with the move being rejected, it is expected that it will have a significant impact for potential free agents in 2016 including LeBron James and Kevin Durant, while teams will also feel the impact with the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks concerned having positioned themselves to have cap space.
It is expected that the salary cap will jump to between $88m and $92m per team, which in comparison to the cap set last season at $63m per team results in a huge increase that will allow the franchises more flexibility to get their desired targets.
However, in turn the players will also demand more and so it remains to be seen how the teams manage their cap space effectively.
Owners have been trying to avoid such a spike given that such a dramatic rise would inevitably lead to players expected salary levels to increase significantly, with the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011 cutting the players’ portion of the revenue generated from 57 percent to 51 percent.
Effectively, free agents this summer will now look to sign short-term deals in order to re-test the market in 2016 while many believe that the likelihood of a lockout in 2017 has increased.