I don't think it is this high, but the problem is that the players' share is salary and benefits - we're not privy to the benefits numbers. Neil Greenberg tweeted that there's 53.4% of HRR committed to players now. There's a few notable unsigned players but not that many. So they could go to 55% this year, unless benefits comprise that much more.
I don't think it's very hard. The trouble would be with coming up where the cap number would fall - that could be agreed to beforehand, like the luxury tax in MLB. So say they put the cap at $65M in year 1, $66M in year 2, then in year three it's 50% of 2013-14 revenues.
I mean - really? That's what the whole damn problem with this lockout has been. I recognize that escrow does not mean that players' contracts are fully guaranteed, but for the most part players have made what their salary says. Players are upset that they signed big deals which the owners are going to take money from, in addition to continuing the escrow system which jeopardizes that money too. The players recognize 57% isn't happening. So, again, I think guaranteeing deals and moving to 50/50 (or even 49/51) could be where a deal lies. I would still like to see, if a CBA can't be agreed to by say, September 15, 2019, the 2019-2020 season cap is set at 57% of revenues. This gives the players some lockout protection and incentivizes both sides to cut a deal before then.
They accepted linkage and should understand how it works by now. Yes, 12% off the top is too much. They need to find a way to get to a happy medium. If they want to fight linkage altogether, that's another thing and they are entitled to that. Just as the league is entitled to change the linkage %.
And if they don't understand why they may not get the same on their deals as they did under 57% linkage.... they don't understand how linkage works.
Just find a way to do it that doesn't penalize them too heavily on the way down. 54, 52, 51, 50, 50, 49 would be 51% exactly to the players over the lifetime. Seems pretty easy. The initial haircut would be insignificant and hopefully revenue would keep future ones away. Instead we have 12% haircuts and bizarre financial systems thought up out of thin air.