Yesterday, NBA commissioner David Stern came to the players association with a brand new proposal which showed that the owners are willing to work with the players a little bit more. 

ESPN reports that the owners aren't willing to give a final answer on a salary cap, but they have eased up on their previous stance a bit.  On Tuesday their new plan for the players union had some changes that the owners are willing to do if they follow these conditions:

  • "The Larry Bird Exception" would allow teams to exceed the cap to retain their own free agents, regardless to the already committed salaries.  They can use this on one player a team and only once a season.
  • "The mid-level exception"which the league valued at $7.4 million last season and could be extended by as many as five years, is reduced in length and size
  • The current luxury tax, the $1-for-$1 penalty a team must pay to the league for the amount it exceeds the salary cap, is to be severely increased.

Sources say that this is nothing more than a negotiating ruse though, since the owners haven't really given a final stance on the matter. The Lockout is at day 89 and some things are already being cancelled.  Earlier this summer experts said that this would be much uglier than the NFL lockout, and would last much longer.