NBA and CBA officials have met for the first time since the summer of 2015 to hammer out a deal that will end the current three-year lockout that has forced many players to seek work elsewhere.
The talks were held behind closed doors Wednesday morning in Detroit, the league’s second-largest market, which is expected to sign off on a deal to end the four-year deal that has seen NBA players make nearly $9 billion in salary.
In the past three years, the NBA has lost nearly a third of its revenue and the salary cap has skyrocketed to more than $70 million a season.
Players’ salaries have been rising at a record rate in recent years and the league has been forced to shed some key stars and coaches in free agency.
The NBA has also struggled to make up for some of the lost revenue, as more than 20 percent of its TV revenue comes from outside the U.S.
A deal will give the NBA more time to work on a new TV deal with ESPN, Fox and TNT and would also allow the league to extend the TV deals for several seasons.
The new deal is expected in the first half of 2018.
Cleveland Cavaliers center LeBron James, left, talks with Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings during a game on March 2, 2019, in Detroit.
The NBA also hopes to make some tweaks to the current collective bargaining agreement, which has forced the league into more expensive player contracts.
Under the current agreement, teams are required to spend $30 million per year to keep their players on their rosters.
The Cavs have been spending more than double that amount per year since 2015.
The Cavs, who have spent about $80 million this year, could have made significant money had they signed the new CBA last season.
But it’s unclear how the Cavs could make a deal without breaking the existing agreement.
Under this deal, teams can sign up to four players, but can only do so once per season, instead of every year.
The players would remain under contract for the duration of the CBA.
The league would also be able to re-sign players for one year.
The league has yet to finalizes the deal with the Cavs, which would make it difficult for teams to rebrand under the new format.
The CBA has been controversial for years.
Players have protested the new league rules and said they want the NBA to allow them to rejoin the league for free agency if they are not signed to a new deal.
The new CAB is expected at the bargaining table this summer.