With the NBA lockout "on the cusp" of being solved, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the biggest remaining issues on the salary cap system end of the negotiating spectrum is not with luxury tax reform itself, but with limitations on the use of the popular mid-level and bi-annual salary cap exceptions.
The exceptions were created in 1999 as a way to allow teams to add a couple of players above the minimum salary, even if those teams were over the cap. (In fact, teams could only use those exceptions if they were over the cap or less than the value of the specific exception in question under the cap.) The mid-level, in recent years, grew to as much as $32 million over five years. The bi-annual exception -- available for use by teams every other season -- is worth close to $4 million over two years.
Woj reports that owners still want to place limitations on the use of the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions for teams over the luxury tax line. There may be other issues with new regulations for teams above the tax, such as restrictions on sign-and-trades. But Woj indicates that the nature of the new tax -- which is expected to be more punitive than the dollar-for-dollar system used in the past -- is not a major issue in negotiations at this point.
The sides reconvene at 10:30 a.m. ET.