Well, Friday was supposed to be "The Day" and still "No Deal". So as it stands, the Billionaire owners and the Millionaire players still can't decide how to divi-up our money. It is, after all, our money, so shouldn't we have a say in how it is spent? In other words, if we as fans had a seat at the bargaining table what would we want?
Please share your thoughts and ideas. And please no attacking each other, after all we need to present a united front. Perhaps we can get T-shirts that say "Stand United" (Just kidding players).
Here's mine in order:
- End the lockout already. Just take my money, say thank you, shut up and "Play the Basketball".
- Achieve competitive balance. The NBA is the least competitive league with only 9 teams winning championships in the last 30 years. This will probably always be true no matter what as you can only play 5 guys. As Mark Cuban put it "if you don't have a superstar then you're just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic". The league should be doing everything they can to encourage competitive balance. Most of my ideas follow with numbers 3-6.
- More revenue sharing. The Lakers new TV deal is 3 Billion over 20 years or $150 Million per season. Their old one was $30 Million per year. The Sacramento Kings TV deal is for $11 Million. As a consequence, their team payrolls were $110 Million for the Lakers (147% of the league's salary cap) and $42 Million for the Kings. The Kings actually were faced with having to either sign a D-leaguer or give all of their players a raise to meet the NBA's 75% minimum salary cap requirement of $44 Million. In the NFL all TV money is shared. If we're going to have a soft cap with a minimum salary of 75% can we have a maximum of 125%? Or how about a hard cap, period? As fans I think we would like to know that, at least financially every team can compete.
- Help teams keep their superstars. No one wants to get "LeBron-ed". Can you imagine what it was like as a fan in Cleveland or Toronto last year? How about the "Melo-Drama" in Denver or Dwight Howard watch 2012 in Orlando, let alone the Deron Williams saga . The league tried this by allowing players who resigned with their old teams a 6th year on their contract and 10.5% annual raises vrs 5 year contracts with 8% annual raises if they sign elsewhere. The agents basically found a loophole with the "Sign and Trade" so that player that is leaving, gets to have his cake and eat it too. Close this loophole. Plus it would be nice if the new team were required to give up a 1st round pick for a max 5 year contract, 2nd round pick for a 4 year contract and nothing for 3 years or less. In this scenario, Portland would have had to give us a 1st round pick for signing Wes Mathews to a 5 year deal.
- Allow teams to waive one bad contract each year. Let teams waive one bad contract each year. Let the worst teams have first chance of claiming that player (helps bad teams get better). If a team claims that player, then the new team is "on-the-hook" for the full contract. If no team claims the player and his full contract, then let the player sign elsewhere (not his old team) at his fair market value for the same remaining number of years on his contract. The old team that waived the player would still be "on-the-hook" for the difference between the player's new contract and his old one but would get a trade exception for the balance. This would also preserve the guaranteed contract due to the player. For example, Gilbert Arenas was the 5th highest paid player last year at $19 Million but now he's not worth that, so Orlando waives him (helps Orlando keep Dwight Howard by clearing cap space, gets a trade exception and gets rid of a locker room distraction). Of course, no body claims him at $19 Million, so now he's a free agent. He signs with Boston for 5 Million and Orlando is still on the hook for 14 Million. Orlando now has a $14 Million dollar trade exception plus $5 Million off of their cap. Alternatively, how about decreasing the amount of guarantee over the length of the contract.
- Shorten the season by 6 games. This is just one game per month. No one likes to watch a team play it's 4th game in 5 nights. The players are exhausted, it makes for ugly blowouts and it's just plain hard to watch 4 games in 5 nights. We're talking the quality of the product here.