NBA Monday: No NFL For Nate Robinson
No NFL For Nate Robinson: Thunder guard Nate Robinson made headlines for his open affections for the NFL and his comments about wanting to play defensive back for his hometown Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll allowed Robinson to attend some training camp dates, but that’s about as far as the love affair went.
According to Robinson’s agent Aaron Goodwin, the NFL was never a real goal for Robinson but finding a deal in Europe is very much on the horizon.
“The NFL is an alternative but he did not say he wanted to play in the NFL,” Goodwin told BasketUsa.com as translated by HoopsHype. “He just wants to play basketball for now. He is interested in coming to Europe during the lockout.”
“We have talked with many teams but we have never been close to a deal. I can’t name the teams, but we have been in contact with teams playing in Greece, Russia, Turkey and China. There will also be an out-clause for his NBA contract. I won’t let any of my clients come abroad without a return clause for the NBA.”
Goodwin’s biggest client is Thunder forward Kevin Durant who has been barnstorming the nation playing in pickup games and Pro-Am tournaments.
Goodwin was clear that at this point he is not looking for opportunities for Durant, but if the lockout starts the claim regular season games there are options out there for Durant.
“I am not looking for opportunities right now. If he receives an offer that fits everyone, then he could go to Europe. Clearly, China is not a viable option for him unlike Europe. So we will try to explore Russia, Spain, Turkey and Italy.”
Nate Robinson has one more year worth $4.5 million remaining on his deal with the Thunder. Kevin Durant has five years and $82.2 million remaining on his deal and will be entering the first year of his new extension when/if the lockout lifts.
A Little More On Maggette’s Deal: In case you missed it on Saturday HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy reported that Bobcats’ swingman Corey Maggette has been given a $5 million offer by Greek powerhouse PAOK (Pan-Thessalonian Athletic Club) to join the team for next season. The deal includes a salary of roughly $415,000 per month and a percentage of jersey and memorabilia sales.
Maggette and his advisers are considering the offer as it does come with some level of risk. Last season as Greece’s economy started to melt down a large number of Greek players were not paid on time and some are still trying to recover back wages. An agent with several players in Greece said that the bulk of non-Greek players were paid on time, so that may bode well for Maggette who would become one of the higher priced additions as the NBA enters the 66th day of its player Lockout.
Maggette has two years and $21.1 million remaining on his NBA contract and is roughly a year removed from significant ankle surgery. Maggette’s camp and PAOK have been exploring what insurance is going to cost given his age and injury history.
The NBA has implied that should players be injured while playing abroad it could have serious ramifications on their existing contracts.
Several agents have commented they believe teams would look at voiding contracts of seriously injured players, especially for non-marquee guys. Most agents are advising their clients not to explore Europe simply because of the injury risk.
If Maggette passes on PAOK, which is unlikely unless he cannot secure adequate insurance, expect PAOK to make a similar offer to other players.
HOOPSWORLD’s Mark Nugent took a look at all of the deals that have been done outside of the NBA so far, which revealed 46 NBA Players have agreed to deals abroad. If the on-going NBA labor talks don’t start to pick up soon, expect that number to more than double especially if NBA pre-season games get cancelled.
On The Chopping Block: There has been a lot of conjecture and questions lately about what the next NBA labor deal might look like. As the calendar gets ever so close to October and the planned start of the NBA season, there still doesn’t seem to be much of a road map yet.
It is hard to say that anything regarding the next NBA Collective Barging Agreement is close or even clear. In fact, sources close to the situation continue to say that getting into the mechanical parts of a deal has never gained any transaction as the real core issue of how to split revenue is still dominating the process.
There are a couple of concepts that appear to heading out the door once a deal on revenue split is reached and those exiting concepts could really change the landscape.
The first is Luxury Tax. Sources close to the thinking remind that Luxury Tax was meant to be a revenue sharing mechanism and a spending/cost deterrent. Neither of which it has done a good job with.
Sources say removing Luxury Tax is all but a given, and that it will be replaced with a more robust revenue sharing platform. The NBA Owners want a harder, more defined salary ceiling instead of a Luxury Tax, and in order to share revenues the Luxury Tax will be going away.
Don’t read that to mean unlimited spending; it does look that there will be some kind of harder ceiling on salaries that may be just shy of the $70.3 million Luxury Tax line in place now. The NBA Owners proposed a ceiling of $65 million in their last offer to the players, so moving it closer to $70 million seems logical.
The second would be the concept of an Amnesty Cut. For months reporters and fans have speculated on which bad contracts their teams may be able to cut in order to meet a new salary landscape.
Sources close to the thinking continue to say that Amnesty cuts really have not been discussed and given that the last Amnesty cuts were about reaching the Luxury Tax line and avoiding a dollar for dollar penalty that likely won’t exist in the next deal. No one seems to believe cuts will be in the new deal, mainly because there will not be a penalty for carrying contracts.
Sources have said it’s more likely that some kind of grandfather system is agreed upon before teams are urged to write massive go-home checks to players.
The last concept is the sign-and-trade deals.
The NBA for years has allowed teams to use a Players’ Bird-Rights to exceed the salary cap in order to keep their own player. Teams can also use this right to extract value out of a player they may lose via free agency. This has also become a huge loophole in the salary capping system and its believed sign-and-trade deals will be removed in part to reduce the ability to radically escalate salaries, but also as means of competitive balance.
The belief is if teams cannot sign and trade a player there is more incentive for that player to stay with his existing team, especially if removal of sign-and-trade is amplified by a Franchise Player provision, which the Owners seem to want in the next deal as well.
There is a give and take in all labor deals, so while a number of concepts will be traded for concessions in the deal, it does look like Luxury Tax, Sign and Trades and the possibly of an Amnesty Cut won’t be part of whatever deal is reached.
The NBA and its Players are expected to resume labor meetings later this week and the frequency of future meetings is said to be based on how the next two meeting go.
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