Union rejects deal as owners' deadline looms


Union rejects deal as owners' deadline looms

The NBA and the NBA Players Association continued their high-stakes game of chicken Tuesday, with the NBAPA rejecting the NBA's take-it-or-it'll-get-worse ultimatum, which came with a Wednesday deadline of 5 p.m.

"The current offer on the table is one that we can not accept," said Derek Fisher, president of the NBAPA. "We are willing to continue discussions on a compromise."

Added Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the NBAPA: "Players are still of the mindset they will not accept a bad deal. That's the message we have to send to the other side."

The union made it clear it is very much in the mood to continue to negotiate and work towards a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But it's unclear if NBA commissioner David Stern will stick to the take-it-or-it'll-get-worse mantra he adopted following the most recent bargaining session.

Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBAPA, said he'll place a call to Stern Tuesday night night to try and have another bargaining session prior to Wednesday's deadline.

"I anticipate we'll have a meeting before 5 p.m. (Wednesday)," Hunter said.

In an interview with NBA-TV, Stern said he would take a phone call from Hunter. But he did not say whether or not he would meet with Hunter, adding that he would have to first talk with the NBA's Labor Relations Committee.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Stern outlined several key components of the deal currently on the table, such as a 50-50 split of the basketball-related income, a "mini" mid-level exception, as well as mechanisms geared toward steering teams away from surpassing the luxury tax threshold so frequently.

"If we're unable to make a deal on those terms," Stern said at the time, "By the close of business on Wednesday, we will be making a new proposal . . . which is multifaceted, but for purposes of this press conference, suffice to say, it will be a 47 percent proposal and a flex cap and lots of other issues that you have become familiar with in the course of these negotiations. We hope that this juxtaposition will cause the union to access its position and accept the deal."

The union has made a number of concessions on the economics of a new CBA, and is looking for concessions on the league's part on system-related issues.

"There are certain things in the system we have to have," Fisher said.

Some of the system issues include:

Length of mid-level exception contracts (NBA wants the length to be four years, and then three years the following year; the union wants it to be four years, every year).

Tax-paying teams being able to use the full mid-level exception (the NBA wants them to have a "mini" mid-level which can be used once every two years; union is opposed to this).

Sign-and-trades for tax-paying teams. (The NBA wants to eliminate it; the union wants to keep it.)

Escrow funds withheld from players paychecks (players want a maximum of 10 percent withheld, while the owners are looking for a significantly larger chunk to be withheld).

So when Hunter says that the differences between the two sides involve more than just a few "tweaks," he's not kidding.

Hunter has been given the go-ahead to continue negotiating with the NBA on economic issues, which essentially means the union is now willing to accept a 50-50 split of the BRI, provided certain system issues are addressed.

In an interview with NBA-TV following Hunter and Fisher's press conference on Tuesday, Stern did not sound as though there was much, if anything, left to negotiate.

When asked about whether there was any wiggle room remaining to negotiate on regarding system issues, Stern responded, "As of Saturday, or Sunday morning as of 3 in the morning, there was nothing left."

Isaiah Thomas goes 12-for-12 in Seahawks free throw contest


Isaiah Thomas goes 12-for-12 in Seahawks free throw contest

Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has a career free throw percentage of .863 in six seasons in the NBA.

But in a free throw contest against Seattle Seahawks wideout - and free throw champion - Tyler Lockett, Thomas went a perfect 12-for-12.

Celtics waive guard/forward John Holland


Celtics waive guard/forward John Holland

BOSTON –  The Boston Celtics moved one step closer towards trimming down its overcrowded roster with the waiving of John Holland.

The 27-year-old would have gone into training camp with a very slim shot at making the roster. He signed a two-year deal that would have been worth $874,636 for the 2016-2017 season.

However, the contract was non-guaranteed and would have more than likely been used as part of a potential trade.

But no such deal materialized.

So rather than have the 6-foot-5 guard/forward in training camp with the odds heavily stacked against him making the team, Boston waived him now so that he has enough time to either go to training camp with another NBA team or sign with a team overseas.

Holland, who starred at Boston University, has already played overseas in France, Spain and Turkey in addition to having played with the Development League’s Canton Charge last season.

He played in one game for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics now have 18 players in training camp, 16 of which have guaranteed contracts.

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown voted most athletic by fellow rookies

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown voted most athletic by fellow rookies

The NBA’s 38 rookies had their annual photo shoot and were polled by NBA.com with a couple of questions about their class. When asked which rookie was the most athletic among them, the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 pick overall last June, won in a landslide.

Here are the results of that question:  

1. Jaylen Brown, Boston -- 38.7%

2. Brice Johnson, L.A. Clippers -- 16.1%

3. Marquese Chriss, Phoenix -- 9.7%

T-4. Malik Beasley, Denver -- 6.5%

Kay Felder, Cleveland -- 6.5%

Gary Payton II, Houston -- 6.5%

Providence guard Kris Dunn, No. 5 pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves was the freshman class’ pick to win rookie of the year honors, with 29 percent of the vote, followed by No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram of the Lakers and No. 1 pick Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Click here for the complete poll.