Ryen Russillo from ESPN had Russ Granik, Larry Coon and Chris Sheridan on to discuss where the NBA’s labor (labour?) agreement stands and what the major issues were. It’s well over an hour long and here are some of the take-home points.

The major number that is up for negotiation is the percentage of BRI (basketball-related income) that should go to the players, currently that is 57%. The NBA’s long-term goal is to see a 50-50 revenue-sharing scheme, which would be a significant blow to the players. In addition, the BRI is currently calculated on the NBA’s gross revenues, and the owners want to change that to be a percentage of net revenues, a massive difference that could conceivably slash salaries by a third. In addition to that, the owners currently take $600 million right off the top of the $4.2 billion in revenues, they want to increase that number to $1.5 billion, and then apply the BRI percentage to the remainder. The players are being asked to concede a lot.

The total from which the BRI should be calculated is going to be a major issue of contention. From the players perspective, they met the owners’ demands of “cost certainty” in the 1998 negotiations, which allowed the owners to control the maximum they could spend on salaries. Twelve years later, the league is still bleeding. The owners have now changed their stance on revenue-sharing and want “profitability certainty” – a guarantee that they will make profits.

The players point out that they’re conceding and compromising everytime a CBA is being bargained, and that the owners are exaggerating their woes through legal but dubious accounting practices, amongst others. For example, some teams are ammortizing expenses related to buying a team and expensing it out as a loss when they are clearly capital costs. Although there’s nothing illegal about this, the idea that the cost of actually owning the team (not operating it) is being passed on to the players is meeting with understandable resistance.

The possibility of losing an entire season was articulated in eerie terms by Larry Coon. “The down side of losing a whole season is less than the downside of playing another season in a system [the owners] see as broken”, said Coon. Former NBA Deputy Commissioner, Russ Granik, echoed the same sentiments which ESPN analyst, Chris Sheridan, was only too agreeable with. Who is at fault for the current state of affairs appears to be a moot point, and the owners’ focus is on rectifying what they claim is an unsustainable model. The NBA’s revenues have been steadily rising to the current $4.2 billion and the owners have a hard time accepting that despite a steady revenue stream, the league is in the red.

According to Sheridan, 22 teams are losing money with the total losses accumulating to $450 million. The eight teams (Raptors amongst them) that are profitable are bringing in $150 million, for a net loss of $300 million. If these numbers are true, the disparity between small and big market teams will continue to grow, which is one of the reasons why the NBA is pursuing a hard cap. A hard cap would imply the elimination of Bird rights – the loophole that allows teams to sign its own free-agents despite being over the cap – but that is seen as contrary to the charter of closing the disparity, and thus most experts believe a soft cap will remain.

Sign-and-trade clauses are seen as a major problem as they provide a loophole for teams who cannot afford a free-agent (because of being over the cap) to shed short-term contracts for long-term escalating ones, thus ultimately proving costly and shattering team-expense barriers. Details such as mid-level exceptions, maximum salaries, rookie-scale contracts are not viewed as major issues because they are all encompassed by the all-important BRI percentage number (currently at 57%) which the owners are desperately looking to lower. The thought is that the number would have to be lowered at least to 55%, with the NBA probably settling at 52%.

All three experts agree that this will be a long and drawn out process that will take a considerable amount of time to sort out. The key date is November 15th which is when 90% of the players will miss their first pay cheques and reality hits home. Until then it is a theoretical discussion which the owners are willing to waddle through before letting the effect of the ides of November take place. Big salary players can afford to go through an entire season without pay. However, players making minimum salary while hanging on to the fringes of the NBA will suffer a major financial hit, which could end up costing them the majority of what they’d make in their career. Veteran players in the later stages of their career will also be penalized as time is running out on their playing days. The prevalent notion is that the longer this drags on, the more it is to the owners’ advantage. If they’ll get a good deal now and a great deal later, they’ll wait for the great deal.

Obligatory comment on Sonny Weems being extended a qualifying offer:

This guy has a lot of detractors and understandably so. Maybe it’s his countenance, but it just looks like he’s exerting the absolute bare minimum effort out there which has a lot of fans wondering whether he fits into the current “culture shift” taking place. His effective mid-range game was on the decline last season and since he doesn’t bring much of anything else, his value to the team was so low that James Johnson usurped him rather easily by making a couple cross-court passes. Those are the negatives.

The positives are that he’s a cheap option who can be a role player on a rebuilding team. He doesn’t require long-term financial commitment, has the talent to be a serviceable player. I can’t imagine any team out there offering him a significant deal, and the Raptors could just end up re-signing him to a one year deal at the qualifying number of $1.09 million. With Weems the Raptors now have 11 players under contract for next season. Hey man, you need bodies and Weems is a cheap one, look at it that way. He’s also part of that ridiculous YGZ program and maybe it’s partially to appease DeRozan.

Julian Wright ($3.95M), Joe Dorsey $(1.09M) have qualifying offers which were not extended. Wright’s number is simply too high so I doubt the Raptors would look at him, especially with James Johnson and Linas Kleiza in the fold. Dorsey’s number is reasonable but if Bargnani is being tested at the four, then there becomes a real logjam at the position, and I don’t see the Raptors being interested in Dorsey.

Share this:
  • Milesboyer

    Let’s put this in proper perspective – for us fans who pay way too much for tickets and might if we’re lucky average a $60,000 income if we’re in the workforce – the notion of these millionaires, on both sides, not being able to work out how to divide all this ridiculous amount of money, is frankly absurd.  I wish some average Joe could walk into one of those meetings and slap everyone in the face, then throw a bucket of cold water over the room to wake them the hell up.

    • I do agree to some degree but I think the ticket prices are relatively fair.  I think of going to a game as an evening of entertainment.  If you wanted to go watch “Wicked” instead, good seats cost between $150-300.  That’s about the same as sitting in the Silver Side Primes.  They only difference is there’s no nosebleed section if you go watch a Broadway show.. you can’t get tickets for $20.  There’s no SpriteZone, for example.

      • JW

        300 bucks a ticket okay?  For a family of four?

        This is why I just watch it in 1080p, I let the companies trying to impress me pay the ridiculous sums for the seats.  They in turn write off the expenses against their profits, and the tax payer subsidies the seat.

        You don’t have to go to Broadway to watch a show, you can easily go watch at Brampton’s Rose Theatre, Stratford and many other more modest theatrical spectacles.   I remember going to many plays as a young student, and the fees my parents had to pay were never $100 plus.  EVER.  It also was time better spent.

        • Frless

          …except the majority commercial content available on your TV is streamed in either 720p or 1080i (I’m pretty sure about TSN and sportsnet, not sure about ESPN, but it should follow the same standard).

          Just wanted to let you know.

          • Nilanka15

            I think you’re right.  Currently, blu-rays, PS3 and Xbox360 are the only sources of 1080p resolution.

          • JW

            I knew that, I am kind of in the field.  The 1080p comment was more graphical than technically specific. 

            BTW you can get some nice quality feeds over terrestrial HD, that blow away anything cable or satellite can do, due to compression. When games are on CBCHD, and you can get the OTA signal, you are getting the best quality for sport you can get in this market hands down.

        • Exactly my point.  You being okay with watching a show at Stratford instead of Gershwin Theater is
          the same as patrons who are okay with watching Raptors games in the
          SpriteZone instead of sitting courtside.  But there are definitely people watching shows in Broadway and paying $300 for a courtside seat. 

          Btw, I’m with you on the Stratford and SpriteZone.. it just doesn’t bother me that other people can afford more.  I don’t think it’s overpriced.. it’s just a premium paid for luxury, just like how my Japanese car will last longer than my neighbour’s BMW, but he paid 3 times as much.

          Also, there are no games in 1080p.  Unless you’re buying the blu-ray and watching it several months later. 

      • Boomer

        Your message applies to big markets, mostly.  I have a friend who drives to Cleveland to watch the Raps, damn near courtside, and continues to do that every year.  He does this because it’s so much cheaper.  Unfortunately, in Toronto, this is unlikely to ever change… So i’ll continue watching from home.

        • You’re right, small market teams charge less.  But the same applies in general life.  Like one of the posters said, if you drive out to Waterloo to watch a show it’s way cheaper than watching one here in Toronto. 

      • jimmie

        Yeah, that’s some serious elitist opinion there on ticket prices. Pro sports everywhere are becoming ridiculously cost-prohibitive for most fans, especially the kids and families that the leagues pretend are their core demographic. Face it, attending live sports events is becoming the exclusive province of suits sitting in seats comped to them by the businesses that can afford to buy them and write them off. When a middle-class family of 4 has to scrimp and save for 6 months to attend a single Raptors game, that’s just nuts.

        • I get what you’re saying. 

          A middle-class family can pay $80 to attend a Raptors game.  Yes, if they travel to Cleveland they could probably sit closer.  It’s slightly sad to me that the ACC is more of a place to do business than to watch a beloved sport.. but I don’t lose sleep over it. 

          Attending live sports has never been a prerequisite for the fan base.  How else can there be Raptors fans in Vancouver, or Newfoundland? 

      • Bendit

        Are you comparing a hit Broadway show to a 2010 Raptors vs. Wolves “spectacle”?

      • barenakedman

        They don’t sell season tickets to see “Wicked” 42 times.  

      • Jonathan

        I take it you’ve either watched Wicked or have been trying to. 😉

        The $150-$300 is spot-on; those “nosebleed” seats really are ~$150 ($140 last I checked), and the show is still sold out for months (again, last I checked). Thankfully, they have a lottery system that allows those without that kind of cash to potentially watch the show for $20 in some pretty awesome seats (the equivalent of court-side). I’ve been lucky enough to watch it for free (company perk), as well as watch it for $20.  Both times I left feeling the show would have been well worth the $140.

        • Haha yea, my wife wants to see it and I’ve been trying to look for deals for some time now.  How else am I going to convince her that my Raptors season tickets are worthwhile if I don’t let her see her shows too?

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Greed is a sin!!

      It’s the Haves vs the Have Mores! The Rich vs the Richer!

      NBA Owners offer these ridiculous contracts out while they need to exhibit some self control and sense of reality instead of paying out Monopoly money to players trying to buy a title ala Cuban.

      As long as NBA Franchises are worth $258 million dollars and above both sides will continue to argue over gross vs net numbers (stats you can manipulate numbers-data points to say anything) instead of finding an agreeable starting point and working from there until they financially have to ie December/January.

      Add in TV & merchandise revenues to the equation and there is more than enough money to go around w/o losing the season or parts thereof.

      I wonder if David Stern and the Owners have 2 sets (or more) of accounting books?

    • Rob

      Best thing for the Raps is to lose the season.  Draft order will likely be maintained to a strong degree.  Big Val develops overseas.  We get another top 5 pick in what will be the deepest draft in years.  Add this to what will be a solid cap position, we’ll have a shot coming out of it.  7 mill capspace may not seem like a lot now, but you don’t know what there will be in terms of salary rolbacks vs. the cap.  On a proportional basis, could be even better,

  • Thomas A.

    Labor is the American spelling, labour is the British/Canadian.

    • mountio

      I assume Arse knew that .. but thanks

  • Quirk

    Screw the owners. The players should start their own league. If the owners are really losing money and want own, sell the damn teams. The players should call their bluff and initiate a leveraged buyout of every NBA team. Watch the owners try to explain why they wont sell while at the same time pretending owning the team is putting them out. Simple basterds.

    • Since 60% of former NBA players go broke five years after retiring, how would they be managing an entire league? 

      And how would 22 teams all the sudden become profitable?The players would make the same amount of money and they take a $300 million pro-rata hit on their salaries.  Think they want to do that?!

      • Quirk

        Same way as the owners manage the league, hiring profesional managers. The teams would not need to be profitable if the players owned them, they would just need to solvent. I have no doubt this easy quite easy to achieve.

        • So… if its managed the same way and teams, in aggregate, are losing $300M…. who magically eats those losses?

          Have some doubt – this is not easy to achieve.  Housing prices in several U.S. cities have declined sharply and many are out of work.  These arenas will not magically fill up.

          • Quirk

            If there are changes to management needed, these changes can be made by any ownership, including one of players or fans. “Profitability Security” is not one of the changes needed to organize basketball games, as generating profits for owners does not contribute to the game.

            • So owners could be much more profitable but they refuse to make simple changes to management?

              Odd. Thought they liked money.

              • Quirk

                Not sure what you are talking about, Tom. Owners are pushing an agenda to increase there profits, as said. Yet profits for owners are not something that is needed to organise basketball games. Thus any adjustments that the players may need to make to achieve sustainability are reduced if owner profits are not needed.

      • Statement

        60% of former NBA players go broke?  Really?  Where did you dig that up from?

        • Arsenalist


          Not sure if I believe Kapono, here’s the quote:

          “Going above and beyond isn’t worth it. I don’t want to be a part of that 60 per cent that’s in trouble five years down the road.”

      • barenakedman

        Tom, how old and where is the verification that 60 percent of NBA players go broke within five years of retiring?

        • Sports Illustrated: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1153364

    • Derozan10

      You’ve never had an investment that cost you money, have you? If these guys are putting down millions of dollars a year into players salaries and on top of that have to pay for all team expenses, don’t you think they need to make some money at the end of the day to make it worth while? If your answer is no then your an idiot.

      • JW

        I think you missed the point.  Not only do the owners want to make money
        off of basketball operations, they want to pass the cost of financing
        to the players as well.  Hence the cost and risk of their capital is
        being taken out by the players bottom line and there is virtually no
        risk for them, and they are always assured of making a profit.

        It’s like having a tenant who pays your mortgage that is not allowed to move
        and who you can pass your cost of interest paid on the money borrowed
        to pay for the property ALONG WITH any costs of renovations.  You don’t
        ever risk anything, because all risks are taken from the players side
        the money. You never have to worry about vacancy, it’s not your risk anymore.

        The players are saying, “look if we are taking all the risk, and the cost of your borrowing is coming from our side as well, why are we just tenants?”

        Assuring 100% profits and only paying the players a slice from the net is hilarious (rack up the expense account Mildred).  I can borrow against my club and the risk of taking further money on my assets comes from the players side of the pie.  Therefore, I don’t even need to manage my franchise well.  I can even book sums  NOW, that the players will be on hook for in the future. LOL. Free credit card at anothers expense!

        This is why Hollywood contracts are mostly based on gross, not net.  Too many
        stars and investors were being taken to the cleaners, by studios inflating their own expenses.  If I know I can borrow as much as I want, have the money up front and you get saddled with the interest payments, why not? LOL.

      • Quirk

        No, they don’t need to make any any money, nor do the need to exist at all. A players or even a fan association (like Barcelona FC) could own the teams and the league. Financing comes from banks, they players could easily do a leveraged buyout. Please keep in mind that neither Stern, his crew or the GMs and their Staff, nor the company presidents that run the Team’s business operations are owners, they are employees, they could just as easily work for the player or fans.

        • Ihatehaters

          I don’t know about the players “easily” doing a LBO. The proposed hockey LBO priced the NHL at $3.5B; assume that the NBA is worth twice as much (probably alot more though, based on its TV contract, but we’ll be conservative), and that there are 360 NBA players… each would have to come up with $20M in cash or financing – plus long-term operating capital, which would likely push it into the $50M+ range each. Don’t think this is exactly easy, nor will there be banks lining up to lend huge sums to a group whose idea of fiscal responsibility is not buying that 3rd Rolls Royce Phantom.

          • Quirk

            Perhaps easily is overstated, but it is certainly doable, since not only do they have the option of securitizing income on a relatively low risk revenue stream, they can all sell equity, up to 49% without losing control, as well as looking at co-ownership with fan associations. Not to mention that the high valuations the teams have, being over 250 million each, gives them excellent collateral as well.

        • Last I checked, the banks usually are not willing to lend tens of billions of dollars to an organization with negative cash flow in the hundreds of millions (and unwilling to change its structure).

          • Quirk

            I’ve never claimed there needs to be no changes to the structure, we don’t know. What we do know is guaranteed profitibily to ownership only increases any burden on revenue. And yes, banks and many others would stand in line to grab income based security on a low risk revenue stream such as pro basketball.

            • Not if attendance declines, wages increases, losses increase.

              Google: debt, maloofs, kings and get back to me.

              Or the Hornets, who’s last resort was to borrow from the league:

              • Quirk

                None of this is prevented by guaranteeing profits for owners. Nor does ownership type, wether player, fan, or russian oligarch, change the basic finances. Yet a league owned by players and fans would be less likely to fail to actually organise basketball games, as the NBA might this year.

            • If I made $1,000 per year and had to spend $1,100 every year – but my $1,000 salary was stable… would you lend me $5,000?

              • Quirk

                Dunnow, do you have something with a market valuation of a cool quarter billion, like say an NBA franchise you could through down as some colateral? If you do, you bettcha!

    • Jonathan

      Sell to who?  You realize every transaction requires a buyer and a seller.  Assuming a good portion of those 22 teams want out, who do you have in mind to buy?

      • Quirk

        The players and fans.

  • Pro-2011 Season

    Cut the teams out who are constantly losing money. ahem NHL Coyotes.

    And I wonder how much of that $450 mil they’re losing per year is actual operating cost and not inclusive of capital costs.

    • JW

      A huge part of it is capital, there were a few articles by the big financial mags on it.

      Surprisingly those not saddled with debt against their revenues are making out very well currently. In fact the new proposal would PERSUADE the teams that are showing profits, not to do so, and to take advantage of the free borrowing at players expense.

      The deal the owners are proposing is not good for the health of the sport.  It further encourages them to borrow and jack up expenses, as they do not have to pay ANY part of it, and it will come from the players side of the revenue’s.  It would be almost insane for the players union to sign this deal.

      • Quirk

        Right, and if you’re going to leverage anyway, we don’t need “owners.” 

        Fans or Players associations could just as easily cary the debt by securitizing future income, ala “Bowie Bonds” and run the teams with a focus on solvency instead of profitability. The actual league and team executive staff would not even change, so there is no questions of how “players” or “fans” would manage the league or the team, the same profesional managers would continue to manage.Barcelona FC is owned by it’s fans, and is one of the greatest sports franchises anywhere. Interestingly since they have no profit-seeking owners, instead of being paid by a corporate shirt-sponsor like every other team in the league, they pay unicef for the right to put unicef on there shirts. Oh yeah, and they still win championships and employ some of the highest paid players in the league.

        Of course the owners would never sell, because their claims of poverty are pure BS, as the valuations of their franchises shows. It would be great to see the players call their bluff by offering a buyout, though.

        • JW

          Leverage is never good. Keynesian economics is a dismal failure.

          It only serves those who own the club, that is either a Bank, a Financial company, or if you are lucky enough to fool a bunch of local people to come up with the capital while you reap the adjustments even better. 

          In a capitalist system, only capital makes money. (Who ever owns the final rights to collect on the sum is the one laughing.)

          • Quirk

            Lots of vague assertions JW, Leverage is an economic fact, and is not “Keynesian,” (who’s economics very much remain a significant part of the foundations of modern Economics) I’m not even clear on the relevance of Keynes here, unless you’re confusing leverage with Functional Finance?
            Securitizing future income is a common way of forming capital, and even has precedent in entertainment, i.e. Bowie Bonds.I’m just not sure what you are arguing here, but this is not really the place I wish to talk about Capitalism itself. The fact remains that owners, particularly of highly leveraged teams, are not really needed to organize profesional basketball games.

            The point is that no basketball fans should be on the side of the owners in any labour dispute. They are just interested in maximizing their profits at the expense of the fans and players.

            If I where the players’ advisor, I would leave the table and start talking with lawyers and financiers. Fight fire with fire. Try to break the owners ranks by offering some of them the chance to keep their clubs once the take over is complete. The vanity owners would go for it. Start having some exhibition games of a demonstration Player’s league. Start getting fans on board, maybe even by proposing co-ownership with fan associations. Hit them with anti-trust charges, and Oh yeah, seek an injection against a lockout vis-a-vis the NFL to keep the pay cheques coming. Fuck ’em, play tough.

            • JW

              The point is that no matter how much revenue you have if you are OVER leveraged, you only make the bank money.   There will never be profits, regardless how much revenue you generate or how well you run the team.

              Keynesian economics, is just the perception that one can leverage themselves into prosperity.  The current economic mess is a good example of this thinking.  No one ever gets richer by racking up their credit card.   I don’t think you understand my or your own points, but I give you an A for effort and I know you mean well for basketball.

              • Statement

                Keynesian economics relates to using monetary and fiscal policy to smooth bumps in the business cycle.

                The current economic mess was partly driven by too much liquidity in the system pumping up asset prices, but strongly related to lack of regulation.  I agree with you that credit was far too easily obtainable but the Feds were asleep at the wheel, period.  Incentives were completely distorted and some risk was too easily transfered from banks to AIG through credit default swaps.

                I don’t know why I’m posting this here, but since we are talking economics, why not?

                • Statement

                  And as much as Canada is a shining star – relatively speaking- in the advanced nation’s in terms of our economic growth, relatively low deficit and debt, tame inflation and sound banking system (talk of Carney going to the IMF), when the U.S. sneezes Canada catches a cold 

                  So lets hope the U.S. can pull through. 

              • Bendit

                “The current economic mess is a good example of this thinking.  ”
                You mean Goldman & Citi et al and deregulation of the financial sector had nothing to do with it?
                Who was leveraging what and how much leading to the near meltdown. They were certainly no fans of Keynes. There will/should always be a place for public sector financing. 

                • JW

                  Nothing wrong with financing, but financing on top of financing make little sense.  The solution to Greece is more financing.   The world has been sold the old line, that you can borrow yourself into prosperity and pay down the road.  Most western countries are up to their  neck in debt or are going broke.  The interest payment on that debt is eating away into social services and effectiveness of the tax dollar.   You and I figured out that when they send you that new credit card they are not doing you favours.  All Keynes means is that you adjust one or many factors to quicken yourself into recovery.   His model is Dynamic unlike the Austrian school of economics which is very rigid and does not look at the system in its entirety.   However, leveraging yourself, or “taking on debt against your assets” is a further erosion of your effectiveness, and further minimizes your range of action.

                  Notice that a lot of Government officials around the world got conned into taking on easy money.   Ireland was touted as the economic model of Europe before 2oo8.   Landers are not doing any favours maxing their clients with debt.   Regardless of how much the Keynesian model advocates to start pulling strings, sometimes the best thing is to do nothing, and just let the system correct itself through bank defaults and sounder landing practices, rather than taking on more debt and sabotaging future prosperity, due largely in part to the banks bigger control of western governments revenue tax streams.

                  In the old days we did this to African nations, we gave them money they could not pay back, and than made concessions or wiped partial debts by securing mineral and consumer rights in their countries.    We would make deals with some corrupt official for peanuts who later could not be found, and than take an entire nations territorial rights to account for it.

                  When someone wants to give you money at interest, they may not be doing it in YOUR BEST interest, so keep that in mind. Sometimes you just have to say, fvck Keynes.

                  Back to the players.  If they change the deal to go off of net earnings instead of gross.  Than the owners can just expense pad their share of the pie to anything they like.  The biggest problem is that owners that have leveraged themselves, “borrowed money against their franchise” are expecting that burden to come out of the players side of the pie.   While teams that have not done so are doing just fine with the current revenue sharing model.   So IMO the Players are getting shafted by STERN and the fact the people do not sympathize with their salary structure.  The money will never go back to the fan, it will just stay with the owners, you still will get gauged for hats and hot dogs.

                  STERN is a scammer, and anyone that does not see the dog pile he is trying to feed the players is not paying attention.

              • Quirk

                Hi JW, there is no need to be over levereged. Given the relatively low business risk, financing could be had rather cheaply. Instruments could even sold to fans who may buy them far below market to be part of team most likely. Financing would not an issue if some credible financiers were on board.

                Also, as their would be no owners, profits are not needed for a player and/or fan owned team or league, only sustainability.

                If you are interested in Keynes, there are many good books available that are written for a general audience, for instance Heilbroner’s Wordly Philosopher’s has a nice chapter that I can recommend, and there are many others.

                Plenty of people have gotten richer by “racking up their credit card” (borrowing money) so long as they spend the money they borrowed in a productive way.

                The only thing stopping the player’s from owning the teams is that the Owners would most likely not sell, which is odd if they are losing as much money as they say they are, just as odd as the 250+ million dollar market valuations on supposodely money-losing enterprises.

                • “…profits are not needed for a player..”  But they’ll be happy to take on the losses?!

                  I doubt it.

                  Besides the motivation is to make very short term decisions as most players play <5 years, not many more than 10.  So the player's motivation is to push off any investment and maximize their earnings in the short run.

                • Quirk

                  There is a different between losses, and forming profits. If “losses” come from player salaries, than these could be adjusted, profits taken by owners do not help. As to motivation, you are shooting in the dark. Motivations of many owners are often short term as well. Further, not only current players, but retired players as well as fan associations could be part of the ownership group.

                •  “If “losses” come from player salaries, than these could be adjusted”

                  What?! So player’s should own the league and adjust their salaries down significantly rather than accept a hard cap?!  What is the difference?

                • Quirk

                  One difference would be that player’s salaries could only be reduced by revenue shortfalls (in the form of assuming debt), as opposed to agreeing to artificial limits imposed by profit seeking owners, not known for their accurate accounting. If I was a player I would certainly prefer to risk some debt, and pay it if needed, then have some owner pull numbers out of his ass, and make me pay everything, up to and including his own damn capital costs.

              • Superjesusman

                There are quite a few companies, actually, that made a tidy sum by buying a business with leverage, streamlining operations and then flipping the company (or keeping it for a free cash flow annuity). 

            • mountio

              Well, Im glad you arent the player’s advisor. A lot of your suggestions might come from a good place, but practically they are impossible and, to put it lightly, would not be wise.
              The players are rich, in part due to their talents, no question about that. But also, in large part due to the owners putting capital at risk to run the teams, market their stars and make the whole system work.
              Im not saying the owners are blameless (they arent at all) – but team run by the players (or even worse a fan association) would not work at all

        • Gaurav87

          I would just like to add that Barca are leveraged and then leveraged ontop of that leverage. I think they owe something like £500 (sorry I’m British hence the pounds) which I think is something like $1billion canadian. Oh and also they don’t pay Unicef anymore, from the start of the new season, they have a sponsor, I think it’s some Qatari charity, $50mil a year, the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in football.

        • From Wikipedia:
          An audit by Deloitte in July 2010 showed that Barcelona had a net debt of €442 million, currently 58% of net worth as evaluated by Forbes. The new management of Barcelona, which had ordered the audit, cited “structural problems” as the cause of the debt. News had emerged that the club had recorded a loss of €79 million over the course of the year, despite having defended their La Liga title
          Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Barcelona

          I do not view losing US$113 million dollars on approx US$525 million (Net margin of -22%) as a success. 

          According to SportingIntelligence, the average Barcelona FC player makes $7,910,737.  
          Source: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6354899

          I count 21 players on the roster
          Source: http://www.fcbarcelona.com/web/english/futbol/temporada_10-11/plantilla/plantilla.html

          Thus, if correct, player salaries in year = US$166 million.  If the players own the league, they’ll absorb these losses for net pay of US$53 million.  This would result in a salary reduction of 68%.

          “Net debt has risen to $573 million from $427 million a year ago, while gross debt is now $716 million. Barcelona had to take a loan of $200 million after struggling to pay player wages last month, and — after signing Spain striker David Villa for $50 million — sold defender Dymtro Chygrynskiy to Shakhtar Donetsk and let high earner Thierry Henry join New York Red Bulls”
          Source: http://www.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/07/27/barcelona.debt.deloitte.spain/index.html

          This is a model that I wouldn’t want to be on as a player. Anyone else raising their hand for a share mounting debt and a 68% pay cut?

          • Quirk

            I’m sorry to hear about the trouble Barcalona FC is having. But their championships, high valuations  and ability to attract a record-breaking shirt sponsor all speak to a highly successful franchise. Further, debt does not to paid off in one year, but payment of it can be blended in with cost reductions and revenue increases. Neither of wich handing is helped by handing profits over to owners.

            • Successful franchise that will have to sell off players and/or sell out period.
              They have been mismanaged and buying what they cannot afford.

              It is not sustainable.  -22% net margins are horrendous and cannot continue.  Its like buying a $2.0 million house with a $1.9 million and pretending you’re worth something.

              • Quirk

                All franchises and major businesses are ups and downs, Barcalona is successful by any measure, even there going through some troubles. If the fan association that open wanted to sell it, the opening bids would be many hundreds of millions of dollars. If you have any assets worth that much that you are looking to sell because of some debt issues, let me know! I’d be happy to acquire such unsuccessful enterprises.

  • brother

    Frustrating for both sides. I wonder if the league wouldn’t be best served by implementing some accounting rules and compelling owners to do their books by that standard. You would presume that there are some owners who are frustrated by other owner’s accounting practices and would get behind Stern in trying to accomplish this.

    Seems to me that the root of the contention is the argument over share of revenue and or profit; you can’t go anywhere until you determine a fair way to calculate that. Obviously I’m simplifying and obviously they already know all of this. However, the players won’t get anywhere in terms of popular support until they go public and say “here’s our position: the owners use dubious accounting practice X to work out the total revenue number on which our salaries are based. All we’re asking is that this number is calculated by this fair standard. That’s it.”

  • Nilanka15

    I’m indifferent about Weems’ qualifying offer.  It seems like his pros and cons cancel each other out, but at his bargain basement price, no harm done.

    But I do have an issue with Weems playing SF.  I think he’d be better off backing up DeRozan at the 2, but that’s unlikely to happen with Barbosa in the mix.

    So currently, our lineup looks like:

    PG: Calderon/Bayless (or vice versa)
    SG: DeRozan/Barbosa
    SF: Johnson/Weems/Kleiza
    PF: Bargnani/Davis
    C: [Free Agent]/Amir/Alabi

    Man, that’s ugly…

    • Mediumcore

      I can handle another season like the one we just had if we could acquire maybe a second top 10 pick in next years draft. That would hopefully allow them to pick up a PG & SF, maybe Kabongo and Barnes. How does a starting line up of Kabongo, Derzan, Barnes, Davis and Val sound down the line? Now if only BC can work miracles and move Bargnani and Calderon to get some additional draft picks.

      • RapthoseLeafs

        Just say NO to tanking. Add it to all those drug commercials. lol

        • Nilanka15

          The idea of tanking has been discussed many times over the past 12 months.  Perhaps it’s too all-encompassing of a word, and needs to be defined based on context.

          I don’t think anyone proposes losing games aimlessly.  But if it’s a choice between 1) sacrificing the future by trading picks and absorbing large contracts, with a ceiling of 45 wins, and 2) being conservative, developing from within, collecting draft picks, while increasing the future ceiling (50+ wins), then i’m sure most people would choose option number two.

          Thus, in this case, “tanking” would mean letting the kids (i.e. Bayless, DeRozan, J.Johnson, Amir, Weems, Alabi, etc.) learn through their mistakes.  Repeatedly put them in a position where they are exposed to all situations, and do so multiple times.  For example, if we’re down by 2 with seconds left in the game, let Bayless run the offense instead of Calderon.  See if he can make a play leading to a winning basket since Calderon has been universally identified as a non-core piece of this roster.

          Many situations, like the example above, multiplied by 82 games, is what will likely lead to another losing season.  But as long as there is player development (combined with a high lottery pick), we’ll be in good shape moving forward.

          Obviously at some point, management will have to make the decision to quit the controlled losing, and to start winning instead.  But that won’t happen until our core has shown enough promise to succeed, which IMO, hasn’t happened yet.  Once that does happen, some free agents will be collected to round out the roster, trades made to fill some minor gaps, and a heavy push will be made, which will hopefully result in many competitive years of post-season play.  But looking back, none of it would be possible without a couple of years of “tanking”.  This is especially true for a city like Toronto who can’t attract top-tier free agents to transform a team over 1 summer.

          • KJ-B

            With a roster as bad as the one you outlined, one does not need to tank, one is already at the bottom of the tank and digging a hole to potentially go into the drain–it’s gonna hurt, but I hope they get 2 lotto pix and maybe another 1st rounder in a very deep draft!

            Rebuild. Reconnect. Rebirth ’12-’13

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          Tanking is for suckas- why pay hard earned cash in order to watch a team tank?

          • Nilanka15

            You’re absolutely right.  You shouldn’t be expected to pay hard earned cash to watch an inferior product. 

            But that doesn’t change the fact that Toronto has no choice but to build through the draft.  And if you don’t have enough assets to trade for high picks, you have to lose games to obtain high picks.

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              BC is robbing Raptors season ticket buyers blind!!lol

              Toronto has an assets to trade away- Bargnani as BC has said in the past that he gets offers for him all the time.

              Reggie could be a potential S&T deal.

              Jose was traded away then at the last minute Larry Brown told MJ no way to Jose.

              The CB TPE (9 million remaining).

               Cap Space- new CBA could alter that.

              To purposely accept losing games in exchange for a high draft pick is a defeatist mindset ie ‘losing with a purpose’ (BC voice), as we see what all the tanking got us this year- falling from 3rd to 5th in Lottery draw then getting a BullChit project center with potential type of draft pick- fool’s gold, no immediate return on losing last season.

              **The CB deal is now 100% completed as BC has said that he won’t use the remaining CB TPE to acquire any more roster talent:

              BC traded CB in exchange for: JJohnson (CB TPE/Miami 28th pick), AAjinca (CB TPE), Bayless (CB TPE) & Valanciunas- now do the perpetual Lottery math.

              As well Miami used that 1st round pick that they sent to Toronto to draft PG Norris Cole in a draft day deal via Chicago via Minnesota so add NCole’s name to the deal as well for Miami.

          • Superjesusman

            Ya! F*** that tanking bullchit. 

            I say that the Raps should just win the NBA championship instead! 

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              At least build a team to compete not just to go out & get beat (& hope for a high Lottery draft pick)!! 

              Gotta make the playoffs in order to compete for the ‘ship!!

              • Superjesusman

                Ya! That’s what I am saying! Instead of sucking, just win the championship.

                Anything else is just bullchit!

      • Nilanka15

        I hear ya.  That’s the best we can hope for at this point.  But it’s a process that will test the patience of most fans.

    • POINTS

      one big mistake buddy Kleiza in the starting 5. see pic @ ESPN MARVEL COVERS

  • Boomer

    Thanks for summarizing the audio, Arse.

  • RapthoseLeafs

    Great article Arsenalist.

    This would be a great thread to store in a “Favourites” Section, that one can access right from the main page – like you do with Hot Topics & Latest Forum topics. CBA discussions, as well as how teams work them, are always very interesting. Gives a greater insight into why certain moves (trades, S&T etc.) are made, and the resulting economics of such decisions.

    Keep up the good work.

  • something i brought up yesterday re. qualifying offers & the CBA – if a player’s current qualifying offer isn’t picked up by the club holding his rights…what happens?  does that player become a FA (unrestricted) once the current CBA expires?  and if so…is his minimum/maximum salary range determined by the next CBA?

  • Johnn19

    If Weems is a free agent, no contract, if Rap’s make a qualifying offer he is restricted (Rap’s can match) an offer sheet by another team. If they decine to make a qualifying offer he becomes an unrestricted free agent, and can sign anywhere.
    Weems can accept the QO from TO and sign for one year and then next year be a UFA, or refuse and negotiate elswhere or with Raps for whatever he can get, on the open  market. Raptors can also withdraw the QO if it is beneficial to them, if not they can still match any other offer.

  • Johnn19

    No free agent transactions of any kind can occur until a new CBA is signed.

  • john – that’s what i assumed…the talk yesterday re. oden got me thinking about it, because the terms of contract (i.e. what it would cost the raps) was being tossed around, and no one was saying much about it – well, other than how horribly overpriced it is for a guy who can’t stay on the floor.  anyway, i just thought that talk about what oden would make on his next contract was a bit presumptive…we still don’t know if POR is going to pick up his QO, and if they don’t, and if i’m reading the situation correctly, he becomes a FA…which would happen after Jul 1st, after the CBA expires.  so, if his QO isn’t picked up & he becomes a FA, the rules that determine his salary scale will be determined by the next CBA…which, by all reporting, seems likely to be less favourable for players.  as such, his salary may not be nearly the risk as was being assumed.  of course, it’s all still relative to the cap…

    • arsenalist

      If Portland doesn’t pick up his QO, the Raptors should offer him a a 1 or 2 year deal.  It can’t be any worse than having Solomon Alabi on the roster.

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

        I have called Alabi a scrub D Leaguer at best in the past due to his on court showings.

        Apparently Alabi is looking pretty good in off season workouts according to David Thorpe.

        I’ll give Alabi another shot since he’s signed anyways for 2011-12 to see if he’s a legit NBA center talent especially after hearing that he had knee issues last season that wasn’t reported in the media but he better start to bang and not just hang ala Bargnani.

        • I’m fine with giving Alabi a shot, but you can’t have him there as your #2 C.  He’s got to be 3rd string at best (meaning we get someone else), but by all means give him a few chances to give it a go.

      • yertu damkule

        problem is, they can’t do anything until/unless POR declines the QO, which they have until the 1st to do…and everything after that is up in the air, no?

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    The NBA is a pure greedy League who just uses each cities Fans as open wallets until the NBA demands become too much for said NBA Team City to give then the Franchise will move ie Seattle, Vancouver.

    Rap’s are making money while BC puts out a shitty product from MLSE to the cash paying fans- why should BC change?

    Rap’s fans should stay away from the ACC unless BC cuts ticket prices in half during this so called media spin on ‘losing with a purpose’ rebuild- how can BC in good conscious ask fans to pay top dollar for swap meet quality? Unless he’s a con man.

    Why don’t the players form their own League instead of being employees they could be owners? Scared?

    Why is there only one top level Pro Basketball League in the US/Canada?

    I like Sonny as a reasonable salary back up SG not as a SF hopefully BC will apply his Bargnani logic and let Money Weems play strictly as a SG where he can be most effective.

    Joey Dorsey is a solid roster guy whom I want back in the TDot.

    And if the Rap’s are going defense in 2011-12 then JWright would make sense to return at a lower salary as well.

    Hopefully both will be back but if not it just goes to show that the Rap’s don’t really like solid hustling end of the bench players on reasonable contracts instead they love high paid lazy ass enigmas that give untenable efforts.

    Btw- Luxury is a ‘self indulging sin’ ie Luxury boxes, lifestyle and material items something most Rap’s fans know nothing about as the Rap’s Dictator BC says to fans- ‘let them eat cake’ (Marie Antoinette voice).

    July 1st- NBA lockout- just for how long? January 2012?

    • Ihatehaters

      Shut up, troll.

  • enlightenment

    I think the simplest solution is to downsize the NBA, make those 22 unprofitable teams into 18, and watch how quickly all the other franchises start to turn a profit…

  • Theswirsky

    These Labor negotiations are simply 2 groups who helped screw up a system, find a way (hopefully one sided) to create a new system they are bound to screw up anyways.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Every potential new NBA CBA will have its loopholes that’s what Lawyers (agents) specialize in- finding loopholes.

  • Multipaul

    ummmhmmm. TRADE BARGNANI GUYS??

    • Multipaul

      Once again BCGHERADINI is posting as me…that’s great…way to ruin this site even more with ur bitchass negativity

      go somewhere, curl up and hibernate till next season and spare us ur incessant BS

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Multipaul chew on these numbers:Here are Dirk’s career rebound numbers:
      98-99 3.4
      99-00 6.5
      00-01 9.2
      01-02 9.9
      02-03 9.90
      3-04 8.7
      04-05 9.7
      05-06 9.0
      06-07 8.9
      07-08 8.6
      09-10 8.4
      10-11 7.7
      10-11 7.0Career average: 8.4Here are Barg’s career rebound numbers:06-07 3.9
      07-08 3.7
      08-09 5.3
      09-10 6.2
      10-11 5.2Career average: 4.9

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Multipaul chew on these numbers:Here are Dirk’s career rebound numbers:
      98-99 3.4
      99-00 6.5
      00-01 9.2
      01-02 9.9
      02-03 9.903-04 8.7
      04-05 9.7
      05-06 9.0
      06-07 8.9
      07-08 8.6
      09-10 8.4
      10-11 7.7
      10-11 7.0Career average: 8.4Here are Barg’s career rebound numbers:06-07 3.9
      07-08 3.7
      08-09 5.3
      09-10 6.2
      10-11 5.2Career average: 4.9

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    if there’s one thing I belive guys its that Euro is the way to go

    seriously, i wish i was european, but i cant be, so lets get more euros on our team

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      also euro dong is by far the most tasty!

      • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

        Multipaul I have a strong feeling that you are posting using my username then liking the comment- sad, get a life kiddo as AB sucks- pasta!!lmfao @ u

    • POINTS

      The eurocraptors where teams rest there best players when facing their starting killa 5.first we have Andrea and she is the leader of this Jose and the pussy craptors with Alexis she likes to shoot threes LINA KLIEZA,JOANA VALWHO and LEANA BARBIDOLL ,building a team with these girls is not the way to go,so i went to Raptors home page to complain and you know what i saw pic of Dimebag on the front every where i went on the site and no pic of the girls Andrea,Alexis,Lina,Jona and Leean. i would like to know whats going on,the package and the contents are two different things,why is Dimebag pic there and not Andrea isn’t she the star of this Jose and the pussy crap (tors)

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    Dwane Casey’s coaching staff:
    Johnny Davis- New Lead Assistant
    Tom Sterner- New Assistant Coach (was with 76ers last season) 
    Scott Roth- Holdover
    Micha Nori- Holdover
    Eric Hughes- Holdover

  • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    No Alex English? WTF is really going on???