What are the Selling Points to the Players?
There may be some salesmanship in how (Billy) Hunter, Derek Fisher and the Players Association handle the next few days.
If I were doing the selling, these are some of the points I’d make:
*NBA free agency — the bedrock of every players’ market value — is not everything it once was, but it’s alive and well. There is no hard cap, and every team will have at least some kind of mid-level exception every year.
*The Bird exception has led to some of the league’s best-paid, winningest, happiest players, and is essentially untouched.
*Minimum team payrolls will be climbing. The league instituted this in the name of competitive balance. But it will be in effect whether or not better players are available for stingy teams to sign, and whether or not owners know how to spend that money wisely. That’s a win for free agents. The Grizzlies reportedly signed Zach Randolph in part because they had to get their salaries up to the league minimum. There will be more deals like this in the future.