Next week, players who signed contracts this summer will turn trade eligible, bringing in a number of new candidates for teams to chat aboutMany N.B.A. executives expect the trading window to be particularly active and it comes with a twist. The N.B.A.’s next labor agreement will change the league’s current business structure and with every move, teams will have to keep that in mind. Whether those alterations are drastic or superficial, teams are conducting business knowing that change, in some form, is coming.One view is that the Heat, Lakers and other luxury-tax teams will not be broken up through the implementation of a hard salary cap and the long-term contracts signed the last few years will not be burdensome under a new deal. In that view, teams can gamble that contracts will be reduced in the next agreement and they will not have to pay them in full.The cautious teams believe fresh, long-term contracts will have major ramifications later. If a hard cap is used, teams would have to waive players to wiggle under it. In that case, each team that has already committed two long-term contracts could be exposed under rules that have not even been set yet.The Washington Wizards’ owner, Ted Leonsis, said owners would argue for the hard salary cap, a comment that swiftly drew a $100,000 fine from N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern.The player’s union vehemently opposes those measures.The prospect of the hard cap would be a doomsday scenario for conglomerates like the Heat and Lakers. But it is unlikely the N.B.A. will break up its most popular, and thus most profitable, teams. The league could try to phase in a hard cap over years by reducing the salary cap a portion each season. This would also be an attempt at promoting parity.A revamped collective bargaining agreement, though, is guaranteed.What it means to us:What is now an $8 million per year salary could be as burdensome on a payroll as what is currently a $13 million contract.
The Toronto Raptors tied up $54 million in long-term contracts to the role players Amir Johnson and Linas Kleiza. Under a new labor agreement, those contracts will either become more manageable or a hindrance toward crafting their future roster.If the new collective bargaining agreement produces a lower salary cap after this season, teams planning to have money to spend will wind up with lessSource: "Off The Dribble", NY Times N.B.A. BlogPlayer movement through trades may also be affected. The Cavaliers and Raptors hold large trade exceptions after losing star players, but may not want to add salary beyond this season. A Western Conference executive predicted that labor unrest would quicken timetables to move players with two years left on their contracts because free agency next summer may not exist in the traditional sense and the 2011 trade deadline could be permanently affected by a lockout.
“Trading them during this season may prove necessary,” said the executive, who requested anonymity, so he would not meet the same fate as Leonsis.