Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Disclaimed interest by NBPA? Here's what it means to labor squabble

Matt Moore
CBSSports.com Senior NBA Blogger
  •  

Meet the new faces of the NBA players' labor fight -- David Boies (left) and Jeffrey Kessler. (Getty Images)  
Meet the new faces of the NBA players' labor fight -- David Boies (left) and Jeffrey Kessler. (Getty Images)  

So the NBPA decided to circumvent any more playing footsy with the NBA and just decertified. Only they didn't decertify. They "disclaimed interest." Here's what that actually means.

What's the difference between decertification and a disclaimer of interest?

Collective bargaining was established to protect employers in their negotiations with unions and vice-versa. Subsequently, it was established in U.S. law that employers are exempt from antitrust litigation, provided they stay within the framework of collective bargaining. So if you want to sue your employer for antitrust, you need to dissolve your union.

You can do that two ways. You can decertify, which involves what we've been talking about, where union membership petitions for a vote to decertify the union; the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) verifies that petition; and then a vote is held to decertify, needing a simple majority to pass. Or you can disclaim interest -- which means union leadership dissolves itself. Decertification is bottom-up; disclaimer of interest is top-down.

So which is better, disclaimer of interest or decertification?

There are advantages and drawbacks to both. Decertification takes longer, which is the primary reason the NBPA elected to go the other route. A disclaimer of interest essentially goes into effect immediately upon paperwork being filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. The National Basketball Trade Association's new lawyers told reporters Monday that should they elect to file suit against the NBA (which they will), they won't be seeking an injunction, but a summary judgment.

More on NBA lockout
Analysis

Stories

Disclaim of interest brings with it a greater threat the court will rule it a "sham" negotiating tactic, but to counter that the agents behind the recent decertification movement will submit their petitions for an involuntary decertification as counter-evidence. Disclaim of interest also removes the NLRB from interest in the case -- without a union, the NLRB has no jurisdiction. In short, disclaimer of interest is faster, but doesn't carry the weight decertification does.

Can the players and league still negotiate?

In the interim, between the disclaimer and the suit being considered, negotiations can take place ... but not with the players as a whole. They no longer exist as a collective entity. Teams can negotiate only with individual players. And of course the teams won't, since they consider this to be a "sham" dissolution meant only as a negotiating tactic. Also, the NBA would lose its protection from antitrust laws if it negotiated with individual players instead of a union.

The only way a new CBA is ratified is if the threat of legal action -- or a summary judgment with substantial damages -- forces the league to abandon its position and cave to the players.

I'll let you determine the odds of that based on your working knowledge of, you know, logic. But if you want the legal perspective, based on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in the NFL case as well as antitrust standards, David Scupp, an antitrust litigation expert, says that while the players may not have a lot to lose in this pursuit based on where the CBA negotiations were, "their prospects are not great."

Why didn't the players decertify?

Because it takes longer. But the other thing to consider is that an involuntary decertification provides protection from the "sham" argument. A movement from within the players against union leadership to dissolve the union is pretty unlikely to be determined to be a sham. In contrast, the disclaimer of interest is more succeptible to that, although the players have have substantial evidence that disclaiming was their only option after the league negotiator repeatedly issued ultimatums and informed them that negotiations were over unless the players accepted their offer. That's one of the many questions to be answered.

What happens next?

If we assume the players are going to file suit -- which is what's going to happen, that's why you do this -- then the first question is where the case will be heard. The players will want California, the 9th Circuit, which is more favorable toward unions. The league will push for the same court they filed suit in, the 2nd Circuit in New York, which has been their friend in the past. From there, the players will ask for a summary judgment. The court proceedings regarding the actual suit cannot begin until the issue of where the case will be heard is settled, a process that takes more time off the season's clock.

A summary judgment? Not to get too technical on you, but it's basically looking for the court to say, "Obviously! Of course the NBA is wrong! Here you go!" It seeks to circumvent a trial in cases with no disputes of "material fact." Scupp told CBSSports.com that a summary judgment is granted when the court rules there are "no issues of fact" and that a trial is not needed. In short, the players want to get around the wait of a trial and gain a decision in their favor as quickly as possible. There still have to be motions, exhibits, discovery, etc., so a summary judgment could take longer than an injunction -- but it potentially has more value. The NFL players got an injunction lifting the lockout in their antitrust case against the NFL, but it was lifted in a matter of days while the 8th Circuit considered the appeal.

Scupp says the players could file for the summary judgment specifically on the grounds that the NBA's lockout is illegal. In that scenario, if granted, the players could earn triple their lost salary in damages -- as opposed to an injunction, which would simply lift the lockout and force the players to resume play. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that if the summary judgment was granted in 60 days, which is the soonest it could be (and even that is a stretch), the league could face damages as high as $2.4 billion. As the 8th Circuit ruled that the court could not enjoin such a lockout, the players are looking to dodge that question and instead focus on the fact that the court did not rule on whether the lockout was in fact legal.

In any instance, Scupp says it's likely the NBA would file a counter-motion for its own summary judgment. Such a ruling would block any further efforts by the players outside of appeal on the grounds of the lockout being illegal. The NBA also would appeal a possible summary judgment against it, but the impact of having a potentially multi-billion-dollar judgment against the owners might be enough to prompt them to settle.

Also, there are expected to be at least two lawsuits -- a class-action suit challenging every aspect of the NBA business, such as the salary cap, luxury tax and draft as antitrust violations, and another one specifically on behalf of rookies and free agents.

Why the second one? In the majority opinion in the NFL case, the 8th Circuit panel specifically questioned whether employees who are not under contract can be locked out. It could be on behalf of such rookies and free agents that the players would be able to achieve their quickest and most decisive legal opinion rejecting the NBA's operations as illegal.

From there, we start to answer the question of whether the players have a case here, and what legal victories they can obtain. Then the league will appeal, and the question will be whether the impact of the initial ruling will be sustained during the appeals process. Then the players need to survive the appeals process, and likely more until the league either decides to cave or it runs out of courts to appeal to.

It could take years for the case to wind through the appeals process, something that neither side will want to sustain given the current state of negotiations.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Andray Blatche heading to China
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/20/2014) Free-agent center Andray Blatche has signed a one-year deal with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers in China. Blatche's deal with pay him almost $2.5 million, and he'll be able to rejoin an NBA team in March, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Report: Kings add Ramon Sessions
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/20/2014) The Kings have agreed to a two-year, $4.2-million deal with free-agent guard Ramon Sessions , Yahoo! Sports reports.

The team is reportedly using its bi-annual exception provision to sign Sessions, who averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 83 games between two teams last season.


Omer Asik ready to clean up in return to starting role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Last season was a rough one for Omer Asik, who had to deal with returning to a reserve role after really shining as a starter the previous year. He should be much happier with his role this season, as the Pelicans acquired him this offseason with the intention of installing him as the starting center.

The Pelicans should have a fearsome frontcourt with Asik starting next to Anthony Davis, and Davis' presence should free Asik up to do the kind of work he excels at. Asik isn't a great offensive player, but he can be a dominant offensive rebounder, and should have many chances to clean up the boards with teams keying in on Davis offensively. Among players who have logged at least 5,000 minutes in the NBA, Asik is 22nd all-time in offensive rebounding percentage.

Asik had trouble staying healthy last season, but that was the first time he had ever missed a regular-season game in his career, so we can probably write that off as a fluke. He averaged a double-double with 1.1 blocks per game in 30.0 minutes per game two years ago, and should be capable of similar production as he returns to a starting role.

Asik should be viewed as a starting Fantasy option this season, though he may not have the upside of some other younger centers at this point. 


Tobias Harris' Fantasy value a mystery at this point
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Perception is a funny thing. Just ask Magic forward Tobias Harris, who enjoyed by far the most productive season of his career in 2013-14 but was somehow viewed as a Fantasy disappointment.

Part of that stemmed from Harris' issues with availability, as he missed 20 games and got off to a slow start to the season as a result. It really took until January for Harris to find his stride, but he averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game from Jan. 1 on, without missing a contest.

Harris was probably better than the general perception of him a year ago, but the power of expectations hurt him. And now he enters his fourth season as something of a career crossroads, and it is hard to say just how Fantasy owners should approach him this season.

The Magic added Channing Frye and Aaron Gordon to the roster this season, further confusing what was already one of the most crowded frontcourts in the league. Harris can play both forward spots, but he is probably best used as a small-ball power forward; the presence of Frye, one of the league's elite stretch-fours certainly complicates matters for Harris, then.

At just 22, Harris still has a world of potential ahead of him. However, he probably profiles best as a reserve Fantasy option heading into the season, given concerns about his role.   


Hype may be too high for Giannis Antetokounmpo
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) No matter what he accomplishes in his second NBA season, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to be a historical outlier, given his age. The question is, how much of a leap can the now-20-year-old take next season.

Only 15 players in NBA history have logged as many minutes in a single season as a teenager as Antetokounmpo's 1,897, so he is occupying fairly rarified air already. His age is a big part of why he is considered a big-time breakout prospect for Fantasy purposes, but he has a long way to go from a statistical standpoint.

Antetokounmpo was good for a 19-year-old rookie, but his season averages of 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game left a lot to be desired. It is easy to dream about a Antetokounmpo taking a big step forward, but that next step is never guaranteed -- for every Anthony Davis there is a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist whose development follows a slower, less linear path. 

Antetokounmpo was very good -- for a 19-year-old. However, Fantasy owners don't get extra points, rebounds or assists if the degree of difficulty is higher, so you are betting on Giannis taking a huge step forward at the age of 20. Antetokounmpo has become something of an internet darling, and his play in Summer League and the FIBA World Cup dominated much of the offseason discussion, which only helped build the hype to potentially unsustainable levels. 

He is a lottery ticket, for sure, but he is one that might not be worth the cost at this point. 


Improved jump shot all Jimmy Butler needs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Bulls guard Jimmy Butler had the breakout season many expected from him a year ago, but there were still plenty of flaws apparent in his game as he finished his third NBA season. With a better team around him, Butler just might have enough help to vault him to stardom.

Butler's jump shot abandoned him last season, especially after a toe injury forced him to miss 11 games in November and December. He was shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range prior to the injury, but connected on just 39.3 percent of his shots overall and 27.1 percent from three-point range from that point on.

We can blame Butler's season-long shooting slump on the injury or his increased offensive role, but he should have neither excuse available for him this season. Butler should be healthy, and the Bulls added plenty of offensive firepower this offseason, in the form of Pau Gasol and Doug McDermott, not to mention a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose. Butler took 154 shots off the dribble last season, per Stats.NBA.com, and made just 30.7 percent of them. With a better team around him, Butler should get many more opportunities to shoot with his feet set.

Butler has the skill set to be a tremendously efficient offensive player, given how often he bullies his way to the free-throw line. Last season, Butler filled up the box score extremely well, but his poor shooting limited his Fantasy value somewhat. If a new role helps his efficiency, he could be one of the very best guards in the league in category-based formats. 


Lance Stephenson set for bigger role in new setting
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Though there were fits and starts, Lance Stephenson finally began to live up to his considerable promise last season. Now in a new home in Charlotte, will Stephenson take another step forward in 2014-15?

By the end of last season, the Pacers were a mess, and Stephenson caught plenty of the blame for that. Still, he might have been arguably the team's most consistent player throughout the season, averaging between 25.8 and 29.7 Fantasy points per game from before and after the All-Star break as well as the playoffs. For as much of a mess as that team was, Stephenson emerged as something of a rock, at least for Fantasy purposes.

The Hornets are actually built in a somewhat similar way to the Pacers, so there wont' be much of a stylistic shift for Stephenson to get used to. Per MySynergySports.com, 11.8 percent of the then-Bobcats' possessions ended in post-ups, actually down from the 13.2 percent mark the Pacers' posted. Stephenson struggled at times with his post-entry passing, though his off-target feeds might find their mark more often when being lobbed in to the soft hands of Al Jefferson, as opposed to Roy Hibbert.

The Hornets might lean even more heavily on Stephenson than the Pacers did, since Indiana liked to spread the ball around with their starting five. The Hornets, on the other hand, look to be extremely top-heavy, and Stephenson will get plenty of chances to be the second or third option. We have him projected for 29.1 Fantasy points per game, and consider Stephenson a borderline top-50 Fantasy option for this season.  


Move to Houston won't alter Trevor Ariza's trajectory
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Trevor Ariza parlayed a career-year into a lucrative free-agency contract with the Rockets this offseason -- stop me if you've heard this story before.

Ariza was largely a disappointment in his first stint with the Rockets, though it did lead him to the best per-game numbers of his career. Still, Ariza was obviously miscast as a primary offensive option the last time he was in Houston, and that won't be a problem this time around.

Ariza joins a Rockets team with two established stars, and will likely spend much of his time trying to fill the departed Chandler Parsons' role. That should suit him nicely, as Ariza has just enough of an off-the-bounce game to serve as the team's third ballhandler when the shot clock gets deep. Ariza attempted 11.1 field-goal attempts per game last season, and should see a boost given Parsons' role; he attempted 13.3 shots per game.

Ariza's improved three-point shot seems legitimate, as he is shooting 38.6 percent from long range over 738 attempts since 2012. However, he will no longer have John Wall feeding him for juicy corner 3-pointers; Wall to Ariza was the league's most productive corner-three combination last season. His shooting numbers may take a hit with his move.

Even acknowledging the loss of Wall's help, we know the Houston offense is set up to get every player the most efficient shots possible, so Ariza shouldn't see much of a dip in his efficiency. His ability to fill up the box score makes him a perfect No. 2 option at forward in category-based leagues, especially now that he is a high-volume shooter. 


Despite new role, don't write off Isaiah Thomas entirely
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Suns guard Isaiah Thomas might see one of the biggest dropoffs in his Fantasy value from last season to this, as he joins the crowded Suns' backcourt.

The Suns might have three All-Star caliber guards in the backcourt now, with Thomas likely to backup Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe this season. That should put a serious dent in Thomas' value; Thomas finished 13th in Fantasy scoring among guards a year ago, but is projected to finish just 43rd this season.

Still, Thomas is definitely someone you'll want to add to your team when drafting, and almost certainly before the rest of the No. 4-type guards he is grouped with. Thomas is likely to see his numbers fall off from the 20.3 points and 6.3 assists he averaged a year ago, at least at first. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him end up starting upwards of 25 games throughout the year, given Bledsoe's injury-proneness. Bledsoe has missed at least 25 games in two of the last three seasons for knee issues.

Thomas probably profiles as more of a bench option for Fantasy purposes next season, but you'll be targeting him much earlier than nearly any other reserve. His upside as a handcuff option for either Bledsoe or Dragic is sky-high, and will make him well worth your attention on Draft Day. 


Eric Gordon cleared for contact
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has been cleared to take part in full-contact offseason drills ahead of training camp, The Times-Picayune reports.

Gordon underwent season-ending knee surgery last April, but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. 


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings