NBA PM: Players Give Back $57 million
The 2011/12 NBA Season almost never was. The lockout between the league and players looked deadly, especially after the players disclaimed their union.
Ultimately late dealings and compromises led to the 66-game season that culminated in a second title for the Miami HEAT.
Through the first 10 days of July the NBA runs through a lengthy audit to close out the books on the previous season. The result was a sizable giveback by the players.
The league’s total Basketball Related Income (BRI) was $3.375 billion. Players received a total of $1.61 billion in salary plus $173.8 million in benefits.
At a total of $1.784 billion, the players earned 52.8% of BRI but the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) dictated players were entitled to a maximum of 51.15%. Each year, the league holds back 10% of player salary in escrow to make sure the amount paid in total is the right percentage of BRI.
The result is that the league will keep $57 million of the funds withheld while $105 million will go back to the players themselves. Each team will receive a cut of that $57 million or about $1.9 million a team.
Additionally, the NBA sent out last year’s tax bill and the Los Angeles Lakers were hit with a league high $12.6 million luxury tax. Five additional teams will pay as well: Boston Celtics $7.4 million, Miami HEAT $6.1 million, Dallas Mavericks $2.7 million, San Antonio Spurs $2.5 million and Atlanta Hawks ($666k). Taxes need to be paid into the league by July 20th.
The total tax bill for 2011/12 season was $31,971,788. The payments will be used in full, just this one time, to help fund the league’s revenue sharing system. In the future, the CBA calls for only 50% of the total tax payments will go to revenue sharing. The remaining 50% will sent out to each non-tax-paying team in equal shares.
That might be why the Hawks weren’t as concerned about their slight tax bill as they’re not losing out on the team distribution by being over.
As far as the salary cap itself? It remained flat at $58.044 million with the luxury tax at $70.307 million. Maximum salaries climb a bit with players at 0-6 years of service eligible for $13,668,750 (up from $12,922,914); players between 7-9 can be paid $16,402,500 (from $15,506,632) and anyone with 10+ years in the league can earn up to $19,136,250 (from $18,091,071).
The league is estimating that the cap will climb to $60 million next season with the tax threshold jumping a bit to $73 million – both numbers are subject to changer according to the NBA.
Practicing with Team USA, Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin has returned to Los Angeles after suffering a left-knee injury.
While there wasn’t a specific incident on the court, Griffin reportedly woke with knee swelling.
The Clippers have announced that he’ll miss Team USA’s game Thursday night in Las Vegas against the Dominican Republic to undergo an MRI. On Sunday, Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic will examine the injury.
At this early stage, there can only be speculation as the severity. Common knee problems include bone bruises, torn meniscus and ligaments but none may relate to Griffin’s issue. Blake missed his initial rookie season with a knee injury.
New Orleans Hornet rookie Anthony Davis, the assigned alternate, will be called up in Blake’s place although Davis is still recovering from a sprained ankle
Recently Blake Griffin accepted the team’s five-year extension offer. Presently he’s eligible for $78.6 million but his starting salary next year can climb with the salary cap. Additionally if Griffin is voted in as an All-Star starter, wins league MVP or is picked for an All-NBA team, he’ll get a sizable jump via the Derrick Rose rule that could push the extension closer to $100 million.
Nash Gets a Trade Kicker
Deals were struck over the first 10 days of July but now that they’re starting to be announced officially, some of the numbers have come in.
The Los Angeles Lakers gave Steve Nash a starting salary of $8.9 million via sign and trade (which technically could have been as high as $9 million). Over three years he’ll get $27.9 million.
The Lakers also gave Nash a 15% trade kicker. Technically both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have the same but since they both make more than the maximum salary, the trade bonus becomes completely moot . . . as if they have no kicker at all.
Bryant also has a no-trade clause. Metta World Peace is the fourth Laker with a 15% kicker which would impact his salary if dealt.
Atlanta Hawks Get Trade Exception
The Hawks dealt Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets which yielded then a $5 million trade exception.
The team is expected to sign Lou Williams with their Mid-Level Exception which will lock in a hard cap of $74.3 million.
Before re-signing Ivan Johnson (presuming they do), the Hawks have about $62.3 million in committed salaries including Williams.
Recently acquired Guard Jordan Farmar is expected to be bought out of his $4.25 million contract for $1.5 million which will add even more spending power . . . although look for the Hawks to spend carefully with an eye on cap room after this coming season.
Bobcats Pull Qualifying Offer to D.J. Augustin
The Charlotte Bobcats are close to signing point guard Ramon Sessions, recently of the Lakers, to a multi-year contract.
With that in mind the team pulled their $4.38 million qualifying offer to D.J. Augustin who will new become an unrestricted free agent.
A qualifying offer can naturally be accepted by the player so Charlotte wanted to make sure they didn’t simultaneously invest in both Sessions and D.J.
HOOPSWORLD has learned that the Indiana Pacers are already making a play for Augustin.
UPDATE: According to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, Augustin will sign with the Pacers on a one-year deal.
Clippers Summer Roster
The Clippers have three of their contracted players participating in Las Vegas NBA Summer League – Eric Bledsoe, Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie.
With Jamal Crawford joining the team and Chauncey Billups returning (once his Achilles heals), the Clippers will have 11 players on their roster. All 11 have guaranteed salary although only $250k of Leslie’s is locked in.
The league minimum is 13 so LAC will certainly add at least two more players to the roster before opening night. Some hopefuls on the summer team include Hilton Armstrong, Adam Morrison, Antoine Wright, Terrico White, Marcus Hubbard and Chris Hunter.
The Clippers will also get a look at rookies Talor Battle, Mickey McConnell, Gary McGhee and Cameron Moore.
Robert Pack will run the team as head coach with assistants Dave Severns, Howard Eisley and Raman Sposato.
So far the team has about $68.2 million committed. Since they’ve used their Mid-Level Exception of $5 million on Crawford, LAC will have a hard cap this season at $74.3 million. One way to increase their spending power and/or avoid luxury tax would be to amnesty (or trade) Ryan Gomes who will make $4 million this season.
Jeff Foote Hoping Spot Open with Nets
Joining the Brooklyn Nets and their summer squad in Orlando, center Jeff Foote hopes all the player movement in Brooklyn will give him a shot at a roster spot.
Foote played briefly last season with the New Orleans Hornets (four games) after he spent time with the NBA D-League’s Springfield Armor.
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