Throughout these negotiations, I have firmly been optimistic every step along the way. That has been a mistake as the NBA has disappointed me every step of the way. Despite holding marathon meetings after marathon meetings, the NBA and its players have failed to come close to making a deal much less punching a deal across the goal line. They have gone three and out every drive for the past two years. Despite how poorly talks have gone, there is once again a great deal of optimism surrounding this weeks discussions. Once again I feel confident a deal will be struck soon but this time I feel more confident than ever.
I believe there is a 70% chance that a deal, in principle of course, will be struck by Sunday night. There are multiple reasons for my optimism on this.
- When a deal in principle is reached, there will be a 30 day period in which free agency will begin, training camps will begin, the exhibition season will occur and the new CBA will be drafted and ratified. If the NBA is to squeeze in an 82 game season, they will need to have the season start in early December at the latest. If a deal in principle is reached by Sunday, October 30th, the season hypothetically could start December 1st. That would save the NBA’s trademark Christmas Day games and would allow the NBA to potentially fit in an 82 game season.
- Multiple NBA stars have dropped out of the “World Tour” that was supposed to take place promoting the game all over the world. This was something the stars had their eyes set on and were excited for. What possible reasons would make them drop out? Maybe they know something we don’t. Maybe a deal is close.
- I believe the players must by now realize that they have very little leverage in these negotiations as reality has begun to set in with them. Owners are willing to miss a season. Players need a season.