Celtics

NBA, union 'within reach' of new CBA

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NBA, union 'within reach' of new CBA

Finally, there appears to be some light - dimly lit, but light nonetheless - that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and the players union is on the horizon.

In fact, both sides said a new CBA could be agreed upon as early as Friday.

"We're within reach, within striking distance of getting a deal done," said Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the NBAPA. "It's just a question of, how receptive the NBA is and whether or not they want to do a deal."

Commissioner David Stern, who addressed the media shortly after Hunter, was a bit more cautiously optimistic in discussing the importance of Friday's bargaining session.

"There's no guarantee that we're going to get a deal done," Stern said. "But we're going to give it a heck of a shot."

While both sides agree that there's still plenty of key issues that have yet to be ironed out, it appears a deal is very much within striking distance.

Stern was asked if he had a concrete idea of what a new deal would likely look like between the NBA and the union.

"Yes," was his reply.

When asked to elaborate, he declined.

Both sides have spent the past couple days working towards reaching a consensus on several system-related issues, the biggest being the implementation of a new luxury tax system.

Under the old CBA, teams paid a 1 penalty for every dollar they exceeded the salary cap threshold, which was 70.3 million last season.

In a new CBA, the league wanted a system in which teams pay 1.75 per dollar for the first 5 million they exceed the luxury tax threshold. An increase of 50 cents would be tacked on for the next 5 million they were over.

For example, the Boston Celtics were about 6 million over the luxury tax threshold last season, so they paid about 6 million in luxury taxes.

Under the new system, a similar payroll would cost the C's about 11 million - 8.75 million for the first 5 million, and another 2.25 million for the other million.

According to NBA.com's David Aldridge, the union has "moved toward the league's numbers."

Hunter said reaching some consensus on the system was critical in moving forward in tackling the biggest issue of them all - how to split up the basketball-related income.

The union has insisted that they can not get into discussing BRI unless they had a better handle on they system-related issues.

However, the NBA has seen the two have two separate matters.

"One goes to the overall economic health of the league," said deputy commissioner Adam Silver. "The second issue goes to competitive balance and parity. We need to resolve both issues, but one is not dependent on the other."

Hunter sees it differently.

"Definitely have to have some agreement on the system," Hunter said. "Because if the system's not right, then as we've indicated before, the numbers aren't going to work. The two are inter-related. As we negotiate, we're also keeping in mind what we feel the number should be and we'll raise that tomorrow."

The union received 57 percent of the BRI under the old CBA, and have offered to have their take reduced to 52.5 percent. Meanwhile, the owners have put out several proposals, with the most recent being a 50-50 split of the BRI.

The union countered with a band that would give them at least 50 percent of the BRI, but no more than 53 percent.

"We're prepared to negotiate over everything," Stern said. "We're looking forward to it."

Both sides acknowledge that progress has been made, but it'll only get rougher now that the end is, for the first time, in sight.

"It's a tough process," said Derek Fisher, president of the NBAPA. "As we move through and try to close the gap in as many places as we can, it gets tougher towards the end."

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.