It’s not just Britain’s public sector feeling the pinch…the NBA is considering cutting player salaries – and even scrapping teams – to survive these tough economic times.

The League lost $380 million last season – and is projecting a loss of around $350 million in the upcoming season – so something clearly needs to be done.

With the next Collective Bargaining Agreement currently being thrashed out by league bosses and player agents, David Stern says he wants to dramatically cut player wages.

“What we told our players initially is that we’d like to get profitable and we’d like to have a return on our investment,” the Commissioner said. “And there’s a swing of somewhere in the neighborhood of between $750 and $800 million that we would like to change. That’s our story and we’re sticking with it.”

That’s a THIRD of NBA salaries!

But it doesn’t end there. An NBA source has told CBS Sports that the League is “open to contraction” – in other words, reducing the number of teams.

The worst teams in the NBA the past two seasons, based on gate receipts, were the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats. Those teams would be the most likely candidates for contraction.

But would that really be such a bad thing? One of the main gripes of NBA fans in recent years has been the lack of competitiveness in the League…and the number of expansion franchises has been blamed for this. Perhaps a cull would balance things a little more…resulting in a better product for the fans, and a better bottom line for the accountants?

Whatever happens, a lockout next summer is certainly looking possible.

The Executive Director of the NBA Players Association, Billy Hunter, has described the NBA’s position on salary reduction as “regrettable.”

It’s clear that both sides are gearing up for a battle.

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