There has been a heightened optimism recently that a new CBA will be negotiated soon, far before the opt-out deadline of Dec. 15.
Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association Carmelo Anthony shared his thoughts on how the D-League should factor into this new agreement, calling for a complete “rebrand” so that the league is not viewed as a “punishment”.
Anthony is clearly invested in increasing the job opportunities accessible to young athletes and in developing these athletes in the best way possible. The D-League has continued to expand the last couple years with an apparent goal of having one-to-one affiliations.
Here’s more on Melo’s take, per ESPN:
Anthony said a major issue he has been emphasizing in collective bargaining talks is increasing the number of “two-way contracts” that allow players to play for both D-League and NBA teams, thereby creating 44-60 more jobs. He said he also has been addressing increasing pay for D-League players to make it as lucrative to play domestically as abroad, and language that will encourage all 30 NBA teams to have a D-League affiliate.
The D-League will grow from 19 to 22 teams this year, but the players eventually would like to see all 30 teams with their own affiliate, Anthony said.
“I’m a big advocate of developing our own players. If you look at soccer, for example, a lot of those clubs have top-notch academies,” said Anthony, who co-owns a professional team in Puerto Rico. “By me being in soccer now, I’ve started to understand the dynamics of developing your own players. We’ve got to keep our players here. We don’t want them to have to go overseas.”