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Latest News, NBA / Nov 14, 2011 / 11:00 am

The NBA Owners Want To Remake Future Rosters

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Rob Hammer)

You can call out the owners for being greedy, condescending and unreasonable during these lockout “negotiations.” But you can’t say they don’t know what they’re doing. The ultimatums, demands and all of the posturing has the players backed into a corner. Yesterday, David Stern and Adam Silver took to Twitter to answer questions on their most recent proposal – one in which has many players in New York at this very moment. Nothing surprising was revealed. Everything was shaded in “the players are the bad guys” coloring.

Perhaps this week is when we’ll finally get an answer to all of our questions, and truthfully, the answer everyone wants – actually, it’s an action – is to just shut up about the lockout. Most basketball fans that I know have moved on to college. Either that or they never moved from the NFL at all. The general consensus seems to be the players are not thrilled about their position: take a bad deal or no deal at all. Still, Orlando rep Chris Duhon tweeted just a few hours ago that the Magic would accept this deal. So there’s some hope.

The only somewhat interesting information I found from yesterday was a list in a slideshow presentation from the NBA. Meant to educate frustrated fans on what all of this means, it was a sample from the NBA of what a current team would look like under the new deal in 2013-14. Broken down by salary, team’s would look like this:

1) Superstar (max salary) – $17 million
2) All-Star – $14 million
3) Starter – $10 million
4) Starter – $8 million
5) Starter – $8 million
6) Sixth Man – $5 million
7) Rotation Player – $4 million
8 ) Rotation Player – $3 million
9) Rotation Player – $2 million
10) Rotation Player – $1 million
11-15) Remaining Players – $3 million total

Sounds reasonable. But it isn’t. As has been pointed out by others, what championship team are they basing this off of? With a formula like this, the Lakers, Celtics and Heat, among others, wouldn’t be able to exist. The numbers look okay on first glance, but when you break it down how many teams outside of perhaps Oklahoma City would work in this format? The league would start over. The very best players would scamper into every corner of the league. The super team would cease to exist.

Small market owners want a bigger piece of the pie. With a template like this, they would get it. But this isn’t fantasy basketball. You can’t stick a price on everyone’s head. You can’t limit maneuvering.

I’m not a small market fan. I’m not a big market fan either. It doesn’t really matter to me who consistently wins or who can’t get themselves out of the cellar. What I do know is a system like this would neither be fun or interesting. Parity is cool, every league needs some of it, but at the end of the day I enjoy my villains. I do feel for the people associated with the teams struggling right now. But I don’t think this would be the answer the game needs.

Would this be a good idea?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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  • Detroit Dave

    Sounds like the owners are need to police themselves. I tend to disagree with the whole competitive balance argument that the owners make. The bad teams are bad because they make bad decisions year aftter year. The owners of bad teams not only overspend on marginal players but they make bad decisions within management. Think about the teams that always suck. Milwaukee, Clippers, Bobcats, Nets, T-Wolves, Kings.

    These places not only aren’t desireable living conditions but the managment sucks. I think their are about 4 teams that should be eliminated from the NBA anyway.

  • Detroit Dave

    Good teams have good GMs. The T-Wolves GM is the Matt Millen of the NBA.

  • First & Foremost

    So basically the owners are saying Chicken is the new Steak.

  • Detroit Dave

    The OKC vs Memphis series might was just as exciting game to game as the finals. Who cares what city is represented? As long as the quality isn’t comprimised. And how can Stern argue that the League is losing money, isn’t he trying to expand the NBA to Europe?

  • mo.B.bad

    I’m with Detroit Dave, they need to cut down on the teams in the league. that alone will provide more talent (and money) to be spread around.

    that said, I kinda like the owner’s proposals. it would limit free agency n’ all that, but free agency needs an overhaul anyway.

    I think you need to allow for two superstars on a team, though. because then you’ll never be able to truly build a big team. even if you do like OKC and build through the draft, what happens when your #2 player gets so good he’s almost as important as your #1 guy? you can’t drop him down that much & you can’t give him parity with #1, so he’ll leave to go be #1 somewhere else and all that hard-work is ruined.

    so, go with what the NBA is currently suggesting, but allow for a bit of rejigging so you can have 2 superstars if you want. then it’s all good.

  • Sean Sweeney

    ^^ Yeah that OKC/MEM series was my favorite one of the whole playoff run. A ton of talent, and two cities that seemed to rally around their teams.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    This is a great idea.

    First of all, David Kahn is fine. He’s made a bunch of moves that have panned out – Kevin Love over OJ Mayo, Darko for cheap, etc.

    What everyone needs to realize about Kahn and the other “boneheaded GMs” that are supposedly the ones running teams into the ground is that they’re heading teams that DON’T HAVE THE SAME OPTIONS THAT THE BIG TEAMS DO. They’re not making boneheaded moves – they simply can’t pay 20 million to LeBron.

    LeBron wasn’t going to Milwaukee, Utah, or Indiana. Those teams might have had the same money to offer, but he had only a couple cities on his radar. Are we suggesting that only MIami, L.A., N.Y., and Chicago have teams? Please.

    This plan makes perfect sense in that light. It’s like this: the best player gets paid the most, the next couple guys get paid almost as much, and the players that are essentially interchangeable get paid less.

    Why is that so hard to grasp?

    I’m with the players in one respect, though. The owners had better be willing to make concessions here or there considering that the players are giving back so much BRI.

  • Nic

    Bottom Line:

    Contract should be performance based. In real life workers who do a good job get rewarded with raises and bonuses, if a worker does not meet their expectations they don’t get bonuses, and they could get fired.
    We’ve all seen players in contract years put 100% effort, get signed a ridiculous deal, only to have dips in their stats and effort once they have that big deal. We’ve all complained about how much a player has made, how they’re not good anymore etc…yes the owners did sign the contract BUT they were expecting a different product.
    It’s sad when certain players who have BAD contracts are only assets bc of a expiring contract. Therefore going by a performance based contracts, players have incentives, rewards, and most importantly accountability.

  • TJ 2

    parity cant exist and that is funny to me that the owners keep talking about it because there have always been bad teams, REALLY bad teams! they are pretty consistently bad in some cases! thats just how it is, there will never be all teams have 40 wins!

    Another thing is sooo what happens when guys take less money once again to play with friends?? so your saying veteran player Y wouldnt take 8 million a year to play with veteran player Z for 8 million and tell veteran player X to join them for 8-10 million? they still wont do that?? instead of stuck in bad city A losing every year?!?!?

  • Nic

    Furthermore, if someone has a serious injury and is not that same player again (Gilbert Arenas) his performance is going to go down as should his pay. Just like in the REAL world, if someone gets sick, injured, etc. and misses a lot of work, at some point the paychecks stop coming in and hopefully you have insurance to cover it. If you’re a small business owner you should not be on the hook for someone who becomes injured/sick and misses large periods of time.

    Players life span….Don’t want to hear it, YOU WERE PROBABLY OFFERED A FULL RIDE COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP someplace. Should have hit the books like the rest of the world, OR lived within your means and learned to invest your money wisely….you don’t need multiple houses, mansions, multiple cars, etc.
    In the end players have exceptional talent, but they live in the same world as the rest of us. They get paid to play FREAKING BASKETBALL…they should be happy with what they make, have they read about the economy lately? Child please.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Old School Baller

    In the late 80s famed Wall Street trader, Michael Milken, was given an “exploding offer” by the US Attorney General (Rudy Giuliani) for insider trading and racketeering charges. (i) The first offer was a guilty plea on a single felony, but Milken dragged his feet.

    (ii) After Milken’s co-workers testified against him, injuring his case, the second offer from the feds was a guilty plea of two counts, three counts if the deal included immunity for Milken’s brother. Milken again dragged his feet and the offers got worse.

    (iii) Fired from Drexel and separated from his trading desk, a broken Milken finally pled to six felony counts and a payment of $600 million – the worst trade of his life. How would Milken advise the NBA players on their lockout with the owners?

    TAKE THE DEAL! >> http://clicky.me/6gYW

  • jayb

    i kinda of agree with performance based contracts but oweners have to be accountable too1 no one told anyone to sign travis outlaw to $45 mil or rashaard lewis to $90 million. just because the market says so does not mean it is a good buy. take the tech bubble in early 2000’s. stocks were trading at 300 times earnings cause companies did not have any. buyer beware! if half these owners ran their regular businesses like their franchises. they would be out of biz..period! a superstar should be entitled to earn more than $17 million thou! without say dwade, dorse, and bron there is no league. i did not include kobe cause he only has 3 years left tops! you get my point. league is marketed around the starts. no rose..the bulls are unwatchable! sorry!

  • beiber newz

    @jayb i believe the 17 mil is for a single season’s pay, with percentage increases or decreases depending on the contract/cba.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    This isn’t the answer for parity.

    The league needs to install a ridiculous luxury-tax… like 3:1 at the very least. If the rich teams want to spend money, let them – but at an insanely high tax. Then they take that luxury income, and disperse it to the league teams in a way that’s proportionate to their profits
    .
    Explanation: In a 5 team league (hypothetically speaking) Team A goes $10mill over the cap… at 3:1 that’s 30mill. Team B goes over the cap by 5mill… at 3:1 that’s 15mill. Nobody else goes over, so the pot is $45mill.
    Now at the end of the season they look at the teams’ financial statements and the profits are ranked as follows:
    1)Team A, 2)Team C, 3)Team B, 4)Team E, 5)Team D.
    The highest profiting team gets nothing. #2 get 10%, #3 gets 20%, #4 gets 30%, and #5 gets %40 of the $45Million. (In this example 40% is high because of the number of teams. In the NBA it would be something like 8-10% for the lowest profiting team.)

    This way, it deters the rich teams from going over in 2 ways…. nobody likes the tax-man, and the money goes directly to the poor teams. If the rich teams have a problem with the small profit organizations getting all that loot, then stop going over the cap. If the poor teams have an issue with the nigger markets hoarding the stars, shut up, you got their money. The rich teams can still build their superstar teams (if they still want), and the broke teams can still make money.

    It’s a win-win.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Sean – it may be uninteresting, but the breakdown looks legit to me.
    Look at Miami for instance. They got 2 max players and an all-star player, but all 3 making max money. That leaves your other two starters making role player money. That’s exactly what the Heat have right now. Joel Anthony n Mario Chalmers gets low end money, the bench is basically Haslem, Miller n scraps n the team sacrifices the ability to improve thru free aency.

    The NBA’s payscale is only a suggestion. U can still have 2 max players, 3 really good starters and then try to save money on the bench with cheap free agents n rookies.
    Look at Chicago for example. Rose is your max player, Boozer is overpaid as the number 2, Deng n Noah are your other 2 starters. Since Bogans is makin walkin around money, they can afford to throw good solid money (10+ mil) at a free agent 2guard to star with them.
    If your gm is smart, the NBA model can work. It’s not the NBA’s fault that the Lakers thought giving Walton 6 mil per was a good idea…

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    “so your saying veteran player Y wouldnt take 8 million a year to play with veteran player Z for 8 million and tell veteran player X to join them for 8-10 million? they still wont do that??”

    @TJ
    It’s still possible but it’s less likely to happen. Especially with younger players, ie Bosh, Lebron and Wade. Players still need to take care of themselves and their families first. If another team is offering Bosh 8-10 million more than what his friends’ team is offering him, that’s a pretty easy decision for any family oriented person. You thank your boy for pushing for you, give him some daps, and be on your way. 8 mill per year is difficult to leave on the table when you have a wife and kids.

  • K Dizzle

    @ JAY – one problem. What’s the incentive for the low-earning team to spend money?
    If I’m the Clippers, for example, n I’m not making any money or spending to keep my own players and I know the Lakers are gonna spend to win, what’s the incentive to spend?

  • matt

    These players are the luckiest professional athletes in the world. They get GUARANTEED SALARIES. Go ask other athletes and overseas basketball players if they’d like GUARANTEED $$$. They should take whatever they can. Also, MLE should be a lot higher for non-luxury tax teams.

  • The New Guy

    @JAY
    Why do people insist that they know how to be successful GMs? You are making absolutely no logical sense. You may think you are sounding all high and mighty with your big words and difficult little words, but K Dizzle is right. Get a grasp of what you want to convey before you try to “enlighten” the world on your bumbling idiocracies.

  • Patrick

    These numbers look pretty good to me. Bron, wade and bosh all did take pay cuts to 14M to play for the heat. My only problem with this scenario is the misleading titles for the categories. The league is in trouble because it believes in these titles. There probably only 10 “superstars” in the league. There are probably 30 “all stars” 10 of which are those previously mentioned “superstars”. This breakdown assumes that there are 60 of those players. That assumption gets Raw Lew paid like a “super star”. When Orlando signed him they had to put someone in that slot, and since there are only 10 of those guys in the league everyone else needs a filler.

    I am a huge believer in freedom of contract, and in general am against restraints in trade. But if you want to compete in the NBA you have to convince a bunch of 25 year old entitled prima donas that you are going to spend money. Everyone complains that donald sterling is terrible because he doesn’t pay his players. Who was he supposed to pay? elton brand? corey maggette? darius miles? Q rich? busted and broken danny manning? danny ferry? If he would have locked up these guys to big deals it would be exactly what we all complain about the other owners for. Over paying for mediocre product. If you want to win in the nba you have to be lucky, not necessarily good. San Antonio (tim duncan and robinson), OKC (durrant). You have to be in the right place at the right time and get one of the best players. No matter what there will always be bad teams. But if the league is going to function all of the teams need to either on the same economic footing, or be able to lock up their prospects in a minor league until they are good enough to play big league ball.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    And thanks New Guy. It was a SUGGESTION bud. Wow. Seems like you were offended. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, girl. That time of the month, huh? I understand.
    FYI, something like I suggested has been done in the past, and they will continue to do it. It’s called “profit sharing”. You may have heard of it…
    The lower-profiting teams have always received a bigger piece than the large market teams. That’s just how they do it to help the teams who needs it. My suggestion is a bit different because it deals strictly with the luxury tax.
    Change the tampon.

    @K Dizzle
    The figures I posted are examples. Make it 2:1 if that works better. I just have a problem with the LEAGUE income being at an all-time high while some teams are struggling to make profits. That doesn’t sit well with me. The luxury tax system, as it stands right now, is broken. It’s a good idea, bad implementation. The NBA is getting the whole pot. Why not give all of it(or at least SOME) to the lower profiting teams? Aren’t those items two huge sticking-points in this lockout?? Parity and profits?? This helps a bit with both. Fuckit… let the league take 50%, and the other 50% is divided amongst the teams. It’s a crime, to me, that money received from the luxury tax is kept at the league level. Let the money trickle down to the teams somehow.

    I guess “New Guy” likes the fact that Stern and the NBA is keeping all the luxury tax loot and making perverse amounts of money, while some small market teams are struggling.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    I just realize a typo in my #14 post that would make BRUCE proud. My bad.

  • Big Island

    The superteam could still exist with these numbers unless the NBA only allows one max contract per team. I am too lazy to watch the presentation, and quite honestly don’t care anymore. The owners will offer a guy who is a midlevel dude the all-star salary anyways, and that’s what got them into trouble to begin with. Dumb.

  • 2cents

    @Nic has it on the money, so to speak. As with any big performing employee, a suitable reward/bonus should be paid. But you don’t perform, you don’t get paid. Simple as that.

    I think every player gets paid the same amount each month to be in the league, but at the end of the year, their performance is paid out as a massive bonus for the top performers. This should ensure players work hard throughout the year and also learn how to live on a “normal” salary like everyone else.

    I vote Nic in as the new godfather, ahhh, I mean commissioner of the NBA.

  • Nic

    @2cents

    Thank you sir, I accept the position.