NBA Considering Team Contraction as Option to Cut Operating Costs

Player salaries might not be the only thing the NBA wants to cut under a new collective bargaining agreement.

A source close to the negotiations told CBS Sports that the league “will continue to be open to contraction,” which would eliminate teams in some of the less profitable markets.

Commissioner David Stern wants to cut between $750 million and $800 million in player salaries, and one way to do so would be to eliminate the most unprofitable teams.

The worst teams in the NBA the past two seasons, based on gate receipts, were the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats. Those teams would be the most likely candidates for contraction.

The league lost $380 million last season and is projecting a loss of around $350 million in the upcoming season, even with the increase in season-ticket sales during the summer.

Executive director of the NBA Players Association, Billy Hunter, has said that the NBA’s position on salary reduction is “regrettable.”

It’s clear that both sides are gearing up for a potential labor battle.

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