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Looking Like A (Holiday) Season, How u? - The Downbeat - #623

Eye On Basketball takes a look at the 2012 free agent classs as if the NBA season was cancelled. According to them, it would be the second-best free agent class of all time. While 2010 was great, I might put this one a little higher give its star power and depth.

I've brought up in the past about using the amnesty clause on Al Jefferson and becoming players in this free agent market. If the Jazz were to use it now, it would require them to pay Al nearly $30 million for him to go. That's not likely. However, if the season is lost, the $14 million owed to him this season wouldn't be paid. That would leave just $15 million to pay to waive him. Because that $15 million would no longer count against the cap, the Jazz would find themselves with a payroll of about $36 million including the rookie deals for Enes Kanter and Alec Burks. Add on a bit more for veteran minimums to fill out the roster and they would be looking at about $17 million in cap room. That would be enough to sign a marquee name -- you know, if a marquee name would sign here -- or get a couple of quality free-agents. With the current core, they could rebuild quickly.

Of course, they could also just keep the cap room and follow Okalahoma City's model and hold on to that cap room and use it to acquire salary dumps or save it for when the contracts of current rookies come up.

If the season is lost though, I don't know if they will be ready to turn the team over to Favors, Kanter, and Paul Millsap just yet. They may want to hang on to Al for the final year of his deal and trade him rather than paying him to let him go.

Of course, let's hope we never have to have this discussion.

If you were holding out hope for those Christmas games,

Owners showing no urgency to return to talks, waiting on Hunter to call Stern, league sources say. No dialogue expected before Thanksgiving. 15 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

For now, owners will review lawsuits, wait for players to miss checks on Dec. 1, sources say. They're still doubting resolve of players. 11 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

So no games until January at the earliest and it's doubtful anything happens in time for then either. Remember, the last lockout was resolved January 7. If Stern is insistent on a 70+ game schedule, we've lost the season already.

If there is to be a season, he'll have to come down from that requirement. If they're waiting on Hunter to call, it will be a long time before we even get talks again.

Andrei Kirilenko continues to tear it up with CSKA, putting up huge numbers and generally impacting every game which could ultimately earn him the league's MVP at the end of the season.

Clark brings up this question on AK,

Lets say AK47 comes to the NBA next year at his age and with his skillset and he's never made an NBA paycheck. How much do you pay him? 1 day ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Let's say he's played in Europe/Russia his whole career and decides he's going to test the NBA after accomplishing all he can there. What would you pay him?

While he's repeatedly stated he would prefer to re-sign with the Jazz, he's going to get a lot of offers from team -- much more than just the midlevel exception (whatever that turns out to be).

This interview slays me. "Are they large people too? Is your wife large?"

Friday poll (courtesy of moni)