WNBA, WNBPA Move Close To An Agreement To Resume Season
Significant movement on player salaries, out-outs key
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Paid subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
WNBPA Executive Committee President Nneka Ogwumike. (Chris Poss photo)
The WNBA and the union representing its players have moved to the cusp of an agreement, with the league making significant concessions on both player pay and participation, multiple sources have confirmed to The Next.
The scope of the latest offer from the league was first reported by Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.
The largest new parts of the offer from the WNBA is an increase from 60% of player salaries paid up to the full 100%, a move on par with the agreed deal is between the NWSL and its players. A source familiar with negotiations told The Next that the NWSL’s effort helped lay the groundwork for the WNBPA’s ask.
Also key to the new proposal: players can get certified as high-risk for coronavirus, and still receive their salaries. Just as significant: players who aren’t certified as such, but still view the resumption of play as too risky, can opt out as well, though they will not be paid.
Around the league, optimism that the two sides would find common ground has shifted to an assumption that the next steps are largely a fait accompli.
Assuming both sides agree, in-market workouts should soon begin, followed by what is expected to be a 15-day training camp, according to sources familiar with the current offer, and the established July 24 start date.