if thats actually the case, should he not be advocating non-guaranteed contracts.? You are either payed for past performance and or future expectations of performance.we're advocates for guys earning and being paid for performance,
There is no player in the NBA whose contract is based on their current performance.
This is one of my main problems with the players. The value of the hard cap is not the issue. I would imagine it would be pushing current luxury tax threshold - only my opinion there.
The issue is the players don't want to give up their guaranteed money. They don't want to face accountability for poor performance or for losing the desire to work to the best of their ability. To me this is unacceptable and if it took a lost season for teams to get this, I'd be all for it as in time it will only make the league better.Steve Kyler: I asked Derek Fisher if it was hard cap concept or simply value that was the problem. He said concept more than value. Twitter
Steve Kyler: The Players fear if they give into Hard Cap that more contracts will be non-guaranteed by virtue of cap. They ardently oppose that idea. Twitter
The only concern I have over non-guaranteed deals is injury. It would be horrible if a guy is injured and then cut. Could a clause be put in any buyout due to injury gets half the value of contract remaining with the number not going towards the salary cap? A league doctor could look at medical records from team and player to determine legitimacy as there would most certainly be teams trying to abuse this 'out'. I'm not sure this is the answer but something should be done to protect injured players while hanging the Eddy Curry's of the league out to dry.
A long but interesting article from Larry Coon. Regarding the lockout it gives where we've come from, where we are, and where we could be going in the labour dispute.
why are NBA players so opposed to having performance-based contracts similar to the NFL?
They don’t want to have to play for pay. It makes great sense, doesn’t it? No more of the situation where guys play great in a contract year and then disappear to count their millions. Players just don’t want to be accountable for their own play on a consistent basis.
A player not playing up to their contract isn't a 100% occurence. In fact I'd argue its probably a small portion of players who 'quit' (for lack of a better term) after their pay day. Other guys are paid so much at a certain point in their career they simply can't ever do enough to make up for it (eg. Kobe). Injuries effect some etc.
The problem with unguaranteed contracts is how easy it would be for teams to abuse players simply because a situation changes for them. These guys still expect a certain lvl of pay (right or wrongly) and plan for it. So a stud player Y who is say early 30s is looking to get paid and play on a contender... he has a lot of options available to him but takes team X because they have a good shot of winning it and can give him good pay. They give him a 5 year 60 mil deal.
What happens in these scenarios:
Player Y gets seriously hurt in the normal course of the game - how easy is it for a team to just cut him?
Player Y plays great for two years but a couple other key players aren't working out - time to rebuild so need to cut player Y's contract through no fault of their own?
Ideally I think shorter contracts but with more options may be the way to go. So say a 5 year deal will be 3 years guaranteed and the 4th year is a team option and the 5th year a player option (or vice versa). Or 2 years guaranteed with team option - player option - team option. This way a player still needs to play to earn their contract, but teams can't 'quit' on a player themselve to easily. Both a player and team can plan for their future but have outs so each is responsible to 'live up to expectations'.
Ofcourse not giving huge contracts to guys haven't proven anything yet would probably help to.....
Bottom line, guys like Eddy Curry who play up for a big contract and then stop trying are detrimental to the league on two fronts. First off their on court performance and their off-court impact on the team; don't think for a second that the players aren't aware of dead weight players who are making more than them to do far less. Then there's the obvious detriment to the team's cap which prevents that team from making improvements or changes of any sort in some cases. The players are not winning that part of the battle, they've burned that bridge thanks to the likes of Eddy Curry. I don't mean to just pick on Curry because there are many other players who have had similar scenarios play out but he's one of the most obvious.
What I do feel needs to be in place is something to protect injured players. If the guy gets hurt doing his job then teams should not be allowed to kick him out on the street. That's not fair. Either they should have to pay him a certain percentage of his total contract(sort of like a buyout) and the non-guaranteed paid out money doesn't impact the their cap or there would have to be some other sort of measure in there. People who get hurt doing their job and it is of no fault of their own(meaning they're not in a fist fight on the court or something) need to be protected.
In any other context, the argument would resonate.
The NBA lockout, after all, has left the players' union with the compelling challenge of saving its middle class.
This is, to a degree, Obama stuff we're talking here.
Except this middle class resides in the $5 million annual range.
But taken purely from a basketball standpoint, this seemingly inevitable move to a hard (or at least harder) salary cap, raises an issue whose time just might have come:
Does today's star-driven NBA require a middle class?
For all the deriding of last season's top-heavy Heat roster, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and nine other guys who jumped on the team bus on the way to the arena still managed to finish within two victories of a championship.
Further, did it matter all that much who were alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and Jason Terry on the way to the Mavericks' title run, considering Shawn Marion was filling in for an injured Caron Butler, J.J. Barea replaced DeShawn Stevenson in the starting lineup in the middle of the NBA finals, and Jason Kidd largely was reduced to spot-up shooter?
That's not to minimize the significance of the team concept, but rather to enforce the reality that in a sport where five play and one or two are mostly featured, the supporting casts tend to stand as overstated, at least when it comes to the need for inflated contracts.
The worst contract in pro sports other than one offered to Eddy Curry? That would have to be the mid-level exception when extended for maximum dollars at maximum years. Just ask anyone who has served recently in the Knicks' front office.
With a hard cap, there would be no mid-level, which instantly would reduce the number of contract malfunctions.
Yes, nostalgia conjures memories of the great Celtics teams of the '60s and the Lakers of the '80s. But that type of quality depth was significantly reduced with the introduction of the salary cap.
And a hard cap set at a reasonable level still would offer enough to maintain the possibilities of Bird-McHale-Parish, or Magic-Worthy-Kareem. Around that quality of player, you'd be surprised how many, even at the lower end of a pay scale, could offer quality impersonations of Byron Scott or Danny Ainge.
As far as more recent champions, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom still would have done plenty of damage for the Lakers, as would have Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and anyone for the Spurs (which, when you get down to it, outside of their top three basically were a bunch of journeyman or specialists, anyway).
A recent counterargument could involve the championship Celtics of the Big Three plus Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins. But the rookie scale, which certainly isn't going away, would still allow for such low-end supporting pieces, after which decisions would have to be made.
And it's not as if Perkins stayed around all that long, anyway.
It is why much of the concern of the supposed disappearance of the middle class under a hard cap appears to be overstated, at least from a state-of-the-game standpoint.
What it means is you can't make a mistake with those three $15 million contracts at the top of your payroll, can't afford another Rashard Lewis or Gilbert Arenas. What it means is you have to ask with such contacts:
•Is this player great?
•Can he stay great over the term of the deal?
•Can he become great very, very soon?
Those decisions become more palatable with shorter contract lengths. Consider that when LeBron, Wade and Bosh signed their deals with the Heat last summer, each negotiated escape clauses after the fourth season.
So put teams in similar positions. Three guaranteed years at such money largely would put the NBA in line with the maximum guarantees in the NFL. If needed, negotiate a partial guarantee in the fourth year or make it something along the lines of the current rookie scale, where, say, Year Four would have to be guaranteed before to Year Three.
Fair? The initial reaction is the union would never go for it, that setting up 90 players at the cost of 350-plus would never fly.
But here's how the owners could sway that vote: Bump the minimum salary significantly (percentage-wise) to $2 million at the top end. Suddenly, the entire low end of the pay scale would grow far more interested, even if only a percentage of that figure is fully guaranteed. That, right there, could get enough votes on an agreement if each player voted in his best interest.
For now, though, put the machinations of cap exceptions aside and return simply to the issue of whether fans come to watch the middle class, whether teams market that middle class.
Is Metta World Peace, aka Ron Artest, truly a Lakers necessity? For all his marvelous hustle, how many Udonis Haslem jerseys can be seen on game nights at AmericanAirlines Arena? And where does Trevor Ariza currently play, anyway?
This, of course, is where some would decry chemistry issues of such a top-heavy salary approach. Uh, have you seen the economy as a whole? For that matter, there seems to be plenty of actors willing to handle supporting roles, and put in quality work, at something well shy of Pitt, Clooney or Cooper dollars.
The NBA is not Hoosiers. It is championships produced by Jordan, Kobe, Wade and Nowitzki. And by championship duos or trios.
If you choose to disparage a hard cap for philosophical or ethical reasons, fine. But don't point to the potential disappearance of the middle class. That class struggle simply doesn't matter as much these days in the NBA.
Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat
I'm not against a hard cap.....Yes, nostalgia conjures memories of the great Celtics teams of the '60s and the Lakers of the '80s. But that type of quality depth was significantly reduced with the introduction of the salary cap.
And a hard cap set at a reasonable level still would offer enough to maintain the possibilities of Bird-McHale-Parish, or Magic-Worthy-Kareem.
but I'm completely missing the logic here. If the quality of depth was reduced with an introduction of a salary cap, does it not stand to reason that the quality of depth will reduce even further with a hard(er) cap?
I'd also mention a hard cap does not mean the disappearance of terrible contracts. It may, theoretically, make contracts smaller on average (less total money available), but it can also make any bad contract even worse by it taking a bigger % of available money. It will also be much harder to move bad contracts as other teams will have less money available to use.
The benifit of a hard cap would be ONLY to level the playing field between the haves and have nots, which then atleast gives teams who don't have the same access to resources a better chance. Those who use their resource foolishly are going to have an even harder time under a hard cap. It won't protect the idiots from themselves, but will help protect the rest from the idiots.
The lack of ability to house a deep team is being overrated in my opinion. Every team has their own core they're going to have to pay for and worry about keeping underneath the hard cap. I think you'll see contracts of those who aren't stars reduce tremendously. People like to use Oklahoma City as an example of a team that will fall apart but I'll argue that really there are only two stars on that club and then a large group of quality role players. In a hard cap system teams won't be able to afford to overpay for role players to any level close to the past. For that reason alone you probably won't see bidding wars for role players. Center will probably still be valued higher due to supply but they will see a pay cut too.
One more thing, if they're doing a hard cap they need to include a franchise tag. This is used in the NFL to prevent a free agent from hitting the open market. A "franchise tagged" player is given a non-negotiable one year contract which is typically much larger than any one year in his expired contract. This allows for the team a larger window of negotiation on a new contract. Most times the new deal is reached before the FA period. A team can only "franchise" one player per year in the NFL. Michael Vick got franchised this spring... Later, after the lockout, they gave him 6 years, $100M, with $40M guaranteed.
I think its more the idea that dynasties will be less likely and parody will be greater. So individual deep teams will be more rare and shorter lived, but teams (as a whole) will be more deep. All that said, if a team can create a dynasty in a hard cap era... man that organization will be deserving of a shit load of respect.
But a franchise tag (or something like it) is a must I think. My biggest concern with a hard cap is that a team will make some great choices (draft picks, FA signings, trades, whatever) but will then be limited in what they can do with those choices going forward. As much as I like that it keeps LBJ, Dwade and Bosh from colluding, oops I mean teaming up, without taking a serious hair cut and paying a price for it. And knowing the Lakers or Mark Cuban can't just buy a team year after year. I hate the idea of a team drafting a Lebron, a Wade and a Bosh, developing them into great players or a cohesive unit, and then not being able to pay them win the time comes because the league won't allow the team to.
One more thought as well. If you're going to bring in a hard cap and you're going to shave the players then rookies should be allowed to negotiate contracts with the team who holds their rights as opposed to being locked into a rookie scale. If the owners want to take away the player's security it's only fair that the players have more freedom in determining what they deserve to be paid. For example, will anyone argue that Andrea Bargnani deserved a similar rookie deal to that of LeBron James solely because they both went #1? I don't feel that way. In fact, it makes no sense what so ever to me. In a negotiated rookie contracts system a guy like Bargnani would have gotten less where as you probably would have seen LBJ making $10M/yr from day one. What this also does is make it easier for teams to bring over international players because they wouldn't have the same limitations on buyouts. Even more importantly teams could entice the likes of Ricky Rubio to not delay coming here because the Wolves could match what Rubio would get overseas.
I actually like the rookie scale. I think back to when there was no scale and the contracts being given without ever proving a thing at the pro level was ridiculous - and players holding out as well. If a player is good enough, they'll get the contract they deserve in due time. One could argue the system currently rewards those who do not perform, as well. Adam Morrison would have made around $20M in his stellar career on the bench.
However I am not 100% in agreement with non-guaranteed deals. I would like a situation for all players similar to the rookie scale where the team has until a set date to make the contract guaranteed for the following year. It would give players incentive to work to the best of their abilities. A team that cut a player for more financial reasons rather than production would certainly find another team if the cut date was in line with the start of free agency period. Injuries would have to be treated differently - what the answer is there, I am not quite sure.
Come on. We all know what will happen the second a new CBA is singed. Owners/GMs will do everything in their power to circumvent the rules and will hand out ludicrous contracts. Then they will complain in 5 years that the system doesn't work and they can't make money. A hard salary cap, unguaranteed contracts - won't change anything. As GT pointed out above, the well-run teams will be well-run, the crappy teams and and bad markets will struggle, and one or two players will dominate the league. Just like it's always been.
The concern I have is the bad market comment. What is a bad market? For me that is the point of this CBA. Make a contract where a team is not going to be hindered in the ability to put a winning product on the court based on their geographical location or any other factor that may cause it to be a 'bad market'.
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