Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“It’s moved to a very good place,” one source briefed on Thursday’s 7½-hour bargaining session told Yahoo! Sports. “There’s a strong expectation [within the negotiations] that hands will shake [Friday].”
Negotiations will resume at 10:30 a.m. ET Friday with talks expected to quickly progress to the proposed revenue split between the league’s owners and players. Both sides sounded optimistic they could soon settle the major issues separating them from a new collective bargaining agreement.
“I think we’re within reach – and within striking distance of getting a deal,” Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said. “It’s just how receptive the NBA is, and whether they want to do a deal.”
NBA commissioner David Stern declared it will be a “failure” for the league’s owners and players if a new labor agreement isn’t finished within the next few days.
I vowed not to have my optimism get the best of me following the last few negotiating sessions. But after watching a smiley David Stern and Billy Hunter in the post-session press conferences last night, I can't contain myself. They've pulled me back in. This is happening – the NBA season is happening!
Adrian Wojnarowski breaks down the finer points of the deal; salary cap, luxury tax, mid-level exceptions, Bird rights, etc. BRI wasn't even discussed last night because the union's economist was out of town. But it appears the players are conceeding a 50-50 split:
The players would be willing to move closer to a 50-50 split on basketball-related income (BRI) if they can maintain comparable exceptions to the ones they had in the previous labor agreement – and a luxury tax that doesn’t too punitively discourage big-spending teams from exceeding the salary cap, sources said.
Don't F this up, guys.
The rest of the links:
TrueHoop: Three reasons for the new mood | CBS Sports: Friday's the day | Hoopsworld: Getting the Celtics under the tax | CSNNE: Friday FTs – Delonte's new ride, Rondo bored | ProBasketball Talk: Antoine back in the D-League