Even if changes are proposed, nothing will happen for at least three years. The Collective Bargaining Agreement runs through the 2010-11 season. NBA Players Association spokesman Dan Wasserman said it’s rare to re-negotiate during the contract.
"Last year the leather ball we had to negotiate, but usually we don’t get involved in those things,” Wasserman said. "If it were something as drastic as players rehabbing in the D-League I’m sure the league would come talk to us.”
Still, the NBA is inching closer to a Triple-A baseball-like setup.
Stu Jackson, the NBA’s executive vice president for basketball operations, said the goal is to have all 30 teams affiliated with a Development League team over the next five to 10 years. Right now only three NBA teams, including the Thunder, have direct affiliations.
College programs and overseas leagues technically are the NBA’s version of minor league baseball. It’s not a bad setup.
But with younger players joining the league, plus a tune-up following injuries, it could benefit dozens of players if the Players Association was willing to compromise.