Report: Lockout Could Be Looming As NBA Wants 'Upper Salary Limit'

It sounds like labor peace in the NBA is going to be tested very harshly in the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations. The league wants a hard upper limit put on salaries for teams. Needless to say, the players union is not in agreement. And that's putting it mildly.

"There will be a lockout," a players' source told NBA Insider Marc Stein, "before there’s a hard cap." 

According to NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the league wants to impose an "upper salary limit", (while avoiding the term "hard cap"), which has been met with "significant union resistance." He adds that the massive luxury tax bills that some teams have recklessly racked up is the impetus for the proposal. 

Citing the massive payrolls that teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers have run up, Woj says the NBA wants to replace the luxury tax with a hard limit that teams could not exceed to pay salaries. That can easily be interpreted by players as a "hard cap" and is basically a non-starter for the NBPA. 

Stein says "there is a strong desire from some corners of the league map to implement a much more onerous system to limit overall team spending while the values of individual contracts and t league's average salary are expected to keep rising with an influx of TV money looming."

Stein adds, however, that this push isn't unanimous among teams, as there are some that are "fearful that an actual payroll line that absolutely can't be crossed... could make it even harder to retain their best players."

This is undoubtedly something that will be front and center in these CBS negotiations, and we'll be hearing a lot more about it. 

Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports