NBA owners push for 'flexible' salary cap

June 21, 2011 at 8:40 PM

NEW YORK, June 21 (UPI) -- NBA team owners Tuesday proposed what they call "a very significant offer" for a flexible salary cap in talks with players on a collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner David Stern said owners introduced the "flex cap" in their latest bargaining session. He said it included a targeted team payroll of $62 million that would be bracketed by minimum and a maximum amounts, NBA.com reported.

"We made what we think is a very significant offer to the players to avoid a work stoppage," Stern told the Web site. "This is virtually the best shot we think we have to both demonstrate to the players our good faith (and) our desire to go as far as we can to avoid a lockout."

However, Los Angeles Lakers guard and National Basketball Players Association President Derek Fisher called the owners' proposal a "hard" salary cap -- something players are determined to avoid -- in which teams are not allowed to spend above a certain amount under any circumstances.

"Today was productive," Fisher told NBA.com. "There was movement. But we're still very far apart."

The current bargaining agreement expires June 30, with a lockout likely the next day if no new agreement is reached.

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