Adam Silver Comments on State of NBA, Labor Deal, Rise in Salary Cap

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2016

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference after an annual NBA basketball owners meeting, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn't overly excited about the sudden increase in salary-cap space teams will receive as the league's new television deal goes into effect next season. He's hopeful the situation doesn't lead to another stoppage of play, though.  

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today passed along comments Silver made on the outlet's NBA A to Z podcast about a wide variety of issues facing the league. He doesn't think the projected jump in the cap from $70 million to around $89 million will be a positive:

It will be disruptive and having been around the league for a long time, I only know it's going to be disruptive in ways that we can’t even predict. It's not the way we modeled the CBA going into the last collective-bargaining agreement. We thought we would have more regular increases from year to year (in the salary cap).

Although the infusion of television money into the league is helpful on the surface, it does have the potential to impact the overall level of competitive balance. Even a team like the reigning-champion Golden State Warriors can contend for a big-name free agent.

There's the potential for a star-studded group to find themselves on the open market this summer, too. Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Nicolas Batum and a multitude of other notable names are possible unrestricted free agents, according to Spotrac.

How the situation could impact the next CBA talks is a key question. Both the league and the Players Association have until Dec. 15 to opt out of the current agreement, and Silver told USA Today he expects the players will exercise that option if no new agreement is reached.

He hopes it doesn't get to that point, however.

"My cause for optimism is based on to me the spirit of the discussions and the directness in which we've been dealing with each other," Silver said.

Ultimately, there's a lot of pressure on both sides to figure out a way forward over the next 10 months without bringing the possibility of a work stoppage into play. Even if Silver isn't pleased with the cap issue, the major television deal highlights the health of the game.

Any time there's a lockout or a strike, however, that interest in the game is put at risk. So Silver, who told the NBA A to Z podcast he's lucky "that the league is in such great shape," must do everything in his power to ensure it remains that way with CBA discussions looming large this year.