While everyone involved with the NBA celebrates the league's new $24-billion media rights deal, and analysts consider how the added revenue will affect the salary cap and free agency, another work stoppage looms in the distance.
The players' cut of basketball-related income declined from 57 percent to 50 under the current collective bargaining agreement, set to expire at the end of the 2016-17 season. After coming out on the short end of negotiations during the most recent lockout, you can be sure the players won't be making many concessions this time around.
"There's no way they can sit in front of us and tell us that right now," LeBron James told the Northeast Ohio Media Group Monday, regarding claims made by league owners during the lockout that they were losing money under the previous CBA.
"As we continue to see teams selling for billions of dollars, being purchased for $200 million, selling for $550 million, $750 million, and now $2 billion ... so that will not fly with us this time."
James also said that he hopes the two parties can start working on a new CBA now, just as the league worked on its new TV deal well before its previous one was set to expire.
The league and its TV partners - ESPN and Turner - reached the new nine-year agreement with two seasons remaining on their current contract. There are three seasons remaining under the current CBA.
If the league and the players' union can't reach a new deal before 2017, commissioner Adam Silver and Michelle Roberts, the National Basketball Players Association chief, could be forced to entertain another lockout.
"I feel like we made a lot of concessions last time, and it's going to be hard for us to do that again," Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams said, via the New York Daily News. "With the new leadership we have and (former NBAPA president Billy Hunter) finally being out of the picture, which is a great thing, hopefully things will go better for us."
"We just have to start preparing early as a union (for a work stoppage)," Williams added. "When we had a meeting in July, that was the focus of the meeting. We'll be better prepared this time, we'll be more ready to take different actions if need be."
Roberts will be looking to unite the players ahead of that potential doomsday scenario, but some players still don't appear to have much faith in a historically-divided union - as Paul Pierce of the Washington Wizards can attest.
"Actually, I want him to be a baseball player. They've got a better union," Pierce told NBA.com when discussing his future advice for his young son.
Silver and Roberts plan to meet Monday to discuss how the new television deal will affect the salary cap.