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NBA PM: Another $58 Million Salary Cap?
Posted By Alex Raskin On November 1, 2011 @ 9:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
NBA PM: Another $58 Million Cap?
Those who expected a new financial landscape in the NBA coming out of the latest work stoppage might be in for a surprise. “Multiple sources” have reportedly told New York Post Knicks beat writer Marc Berman that the league and the union have come to an agreement on a new salary cap for the 2011-2012 season, and it looks remarkably similar to the last cap: $58 million.
What’s particularly interesting is that threshold will reportedly grow to $60-$61 million the following season which means large-market teams such as the Knicks—who, as Berman writes, could be around $20 million under that cap figure if they don’t re-sign Toney Douglas—will be given the freedom to outbid small-market clubs for the services of Chris Paul and/or Dwight Howard next summer. Despite commissioner David Stern’s earlier public overtures fostering competitive and financial balance, the NBA’s reigning class could enter the next collective bargaining era with the same, competitive advantages.
Throw in the possibilities of amnesty cuts—something wealthier teams are inclined to take advantage of—and it appears league’s elite may have beaten basketball’s version of Occupy Wall Street. Back when this lockout business was in its infancy there was speculation that the cap could be drastically reduced and exceptions (primarily the Larry Bird clause) would be sacrificed in the name of basketball equality. Now the pendulum might be swinging in the opposite direction.
There still remains a possibility that tax-paying teams will be forbidden from using exceptions, but that seems like something the players would reject wholeheartedly. As Ken Berger of CBSsports.com writes, “players don’t want tax-paying teams, which typically are big-market and/or high-revenue teams, eliminated from the pursuit of free agents through restrictions…”
Berger also mentioned that tax-paying teams could pay heftier finds for continuing to be above the threshold season after season. Such rules would obviously persuade teams to shed payroll, but the ultimate effect would be disastrous from a fans perspective. Imagine your favorite team gutting its roster every so often to avoid a third-consecutive year of luxury tax payments. Again, the players would surely oppose such restrictions.
Of course, everything is negotiable until a deal is finalized so there’s no sense in declaring a total victory for the Lakers or Bulls (for instance). That doesn’t mean small-market teams shouldn’t be worried, though.
Specifically the Hornets should be very concerned about a potential $61 million salary cap in 2012-2013. With star point guard Chris Paul set to hit the market next summer, they’d be forced to weight the pros and cons of life without CP3 against the ramifications of devoting most of their salary cap to him. And if there is a stiffer luxury tax, would Paul be inclined to stay in New Orleans if he didn’t believe the Hornets would have the financial flexibility to find him high-caliber teammates?
Orlando might be better situated to re-sign Dwight Howard depending how the player amnesty cuts are handled. Logically the team would try to get rid of Gilbert Arenas’ deal (although Hedo Turkoglu’s contract is no peach) but this is all hypothetical at this point.
In any case, a $61 million cap in 2012-2013 leaves the possibility open for teams to bring three superstars together, such as Miami did before the start of last season. And that begs the question, was the lockout really worth it? Did the league and union throw out regular season revenue only to walk back into the same financial landscape it left last summer?
If owners weren’t given the structural, mechanical changes they were looking for, then all they really scored were shorter contracts and better percentage of basketball-related income.
No, you can’t buy your way to an NBA title like you can in Major League Baseball. But, if the cap and exceptions stay the same under the next CBA, then teams like the Hornets and Grizzlies will continue to fight an uphill battle.
Happy Opening Day!
As you may or may not know, the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks should be hosting the Chicago Bulls tonight to open the regular season. The lockout, of course, is preventing what should have been a thrilling opening to a potentially riveting season.
So instead of enjoying Derek Rose vs. Dirk Nowitzki, check out ESPN.com’s take on The Opening Day That Wasn’t.
Here’s a quick quote from Scouts Inc. and ESPN.com contributor (and a friend of HOOPSWORLD) David Thorpe on what he’d say to the NBA Owners:
Shame on you, all of you. The next time I read about a former owner who went bankrupt and homeless five years after “retiring” from owning a team, it will be the first time. Study up and learn about the business and stop hiring people who can’t wait to spend your money on low-value deals. Start running the tam like you do your successful businesses.
The Lockout Cuts Deep
The Bergen Record Nets beat writer Al Iannazzone caught up with currently unemployed NBA assistant head coach Pat Sullivan, who worked with the Pistons last season, to give a full picture on the effects of the NBA lockout.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Sullivan told The Record. “Now my basketball is talking to coaches, watching stuff on TV, watching old games, going into the driveway and playing and going and helping fifth- and sixth-grade boys.”
Sullivan, who Pistons coach Lawrence Frank says has a future as a head coach, has plans to coach an AAU team this year because teams aren’t going to start hiring assistants until he lockout has ended. And even when the lockout does end, the already difficult job of finding a spot on an NBA bench won’t get any easier.
“If the lockout ended and I didn’t have a job, I think I would look to find work in something out of basketball,” Sullivan said to Iannazzone. “Just to do anything to try and make a couple of bucks here and there, just for the mental health and just to get out of the house.”
Sullivan might have a future as an NBA coach, but he’s currently weighing his options outside the league and outside of basketball completely. Yes, he was fortunate to make a living coaching basketball at such a high level. It’s just sad that when the NBA comes ringing again, he might not be there to answer the call.
It’s a good piece by Iannazzone and worth a few minutes of your time.
Texas Legends Hire Hall of Famer Marques Haynes
Marques Haynes, the first Harlem Globetrotter inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, has been added to the basketball operations staff of the D-League’s Texas Legends.
“I am honored to be able to join such a first class organization as the Texas Legends,” said Haynes, who was once considered the game’s greatest dribbler. “To be able to join such people as Donnie Nelson, Spud Webb, Del Harris, and Nancy Lieberman is a great opportunity. Basketball is constantly on my mind—and I have seen more than my fair share of players over the years—and I can’t wait to assist in any manner necessary.”
It’s not certain what his role would be, but during a time when so many people in the game are losing their jobs, it’s nice to see a legend getting some work.
The D-League season is scheduled to start in late November.
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