Labor talks update

It’s all about the salary cap.

The owners and players met today in New York and made some progress toward a new collective bargaining agreement. But they remain far apart when it comes to re-writing the rules for the league’s salary cap. The owners want a greater share of the league’s revenues and hope to impose a hard cap, like the ones in the NFL and NHL. The players want to continue with a soft cap, with teams able to exceed it.

The current CBA expires June 30.

Here’s more from ESPN.com:

The union made the first proposal, asking to retain the current “soft” salary-cap system but with a reduction of several hundred million dollars in player salaries over the life of a five-year proposal. The owners, who are asking for a 10-year agreement, then came back with a counterproposal of their own. Owners offered what they called a “flex cap” system that would earmark at least $2 billion per season toward player salaries.

The owners also moved their position on cap exceptions, saying the Larry Bird Exception and the mid-level exception would remain in a new system, although teams could not exceed an as-yet-determined maximum team salary. The sides agreed to meet again Friday in New York.

“Today was productive and there was movement, but we’re still very far apart and … the hard salary cap system is still something that we’re really having difficulty trying to get past,” players’ association president Derek Fisher of the Lakers told reporters in New York. “Our players just don’t see that as the best way to tackle some of the things at least we’ve been given by owners as to reasons why we need a hard salary cap.”

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