They should accept it
Should the players accept the offer? Yes. Not because it's fair; because it's mostly not. The players have made virtually all the concessions. They should take the offer because the owners aren't bluffing. They will present a far harsher proposal if this one is rejected that likely would lead to the loss of the entire 2011-12 season.
Will the players accept the offer? I have no idea. This whole mess has been brought on not only by the economic model being broken but the disparate factions in each group. I guarantee there are multiple players out there that would have taken this current proposal weeks ago. They just want to play. But the specter of decertification looms large. And there's plenty of time between now and Monday for agents to muck it up.
It will only get worse
Los Angeles Times
The current deal the NBA owners have offered is nowhere as good as the one that expired June 30, when the players got 57 percent of the basketball-related income.
As one can see during these negotiations, the proposals being offered have gotten incrementally worse for the players, and it won't get any better. The players should cut their losses and take this deal.
No, it's not a good deal for them. But the NBA owners are steadfast in making sure they come out on top this time.
I'd bet if the players put it to a vote, the vast majority would vote in favor of the deal.
They still will be millionaires and still get to play a game they all have maintained that they love.
They don't have a choice
At this point, do they have any other choice, beyond losing a season and salary they never will be able to recoup?
The reality is the two prime holdups are mid-level and sign-and-trade concerns. But even with the most liberal guesstimates, that might affect, at most, 50 players each season (including those using the processes for leverage).
That leaves about 400 not affected. So why exactly would they push aside this latest proposal, considering it is clear that a 50-50 BRI split is the accepted ratio moving forward?
Beyond that, the NBA has said the cap and tax would remain at current levels for the first two years of a new deal, with a union escape after the sixth year. So we're essentially talking about a four-year period of concern.
Looks like trouble ahead
Yes, the players should make the deal because whatever is behind doors 2 and 3 won't be pleasant.
Will they? Doesn't sound like it.
Their next move: Risky decertification. Anti-trust lawsuit. And no season.
Since Commissioner David Stern's last ultimatum, the players must see the owners' threat and raise them another. Decertification is the only card they have left to play after being routed in these CBA negotiations.
The union called Stern's bluff after his first take-it-or-leave-it threat that promised an even worse deal. He can't cry wolf again.
Players had better calculate what it means to go a season without pay. It's over. The owners are dribbling out the clock.