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Time Start Looking Ahead To 2012? - The Downbeat - #545

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Here we go. The NBA is filing an unfair labor labor practice claim with the National Labor Board and a federal lawsuit against the NBAPA. From the NBA:

NBA Deputy Commish Adam Silver:"These claims were filed in an effort to eliminate the use of impermissible pressure tactics by the union which are impeding the parties' ability to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.

For the parties to reach agreement on a new CBA, the union must commit to the (bargaining) process fully and in good faith.

Because I am neither a lawyer nor even someone that plays one on the Internet, here are some tweets that clarify things a bit.

The tactic that the NBA is referring to is the threat of decertification by the union. According to Darren Rovell, the law does not allow it. If the union were to decertify, then the NBA is stating that it would cancel all existing contracts.

As you might imagine, reactions range from this being SOP to panic of the season being lost. While it does look bleak that the season will start on time, this is a move that will let the courts handle things rather than through negotiations, something both sides stated that they wanted to avoid. That didn't last long. The NBA made a preemptive move and will now be able to decide where this case will be heard.

Almost as unappealing as losing games is being subjected to all of this news about the league and NBAPA rather than gearing up for training camp and the like. I don't think anybody wants to be reading about court decisions and lawsuits over actual basketball, even those that are into that kind of thing.

Enes Kanter could be playing in China if the lockout lingers. From the Tribune,

Kanter's agent, Max Ergul, told The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday that his client has official offers from two Chinese teams. Ergul does not want Kanter to miss another year of basketball, and he will seriously weigh the offers if the lockout stretches into late September.

If anyone needs to play overseas during the lockout, it's Kanter. He hasn't played organized ball in over a year and losing another year to the lockout would be detrimental to his development. You can practice and play some organized games against other NBA-type players, but it doesn't replace actual game-play.

Not only would this give us some basketball to watch despite the lockout, but it would allow us to see Kanter play in a professional league. The CBA (China Basketball Association) isn't the NBA of course, but this would let us finally see what the kid can do.

If you're not going to, be able to watch the NBA this season, you might as well start watching college basketball. After all, the Jazz will likely have one and probably two draft picks next year. NBA Draft Insider has who to watch for:

Leading Man

2011: Kyrie Irving

2012: Harrison Barnes

Entering the 2011 college season Harrison Barnes was the name to know, naturally he is in the same position after returning for his sophomore season. Barnes started off very slow which lead to questions on whether he was the same player scouts loved in high school. The season was a roller-coaster for the first half, but once a true point guard was inserted into the line-up Barnes took off to new heights. The game flowed naturally to him and his offense seemed more under control and smooth, back to his high school days. In the 28 games Barnes played with Kendall Marshall he averaged 17.1 PPG and led his team to the Elite Eight with solid scoring and shooting.

Make no mistake, Barnes may have struggled initially and a lot of it was his fault, but he is back to being the No. 1 player in the 2011 Class.

Barnes could end up being the player that got away. He was the consensus #1 player for the 2011 draft back in 2010. A slow start caused him to drop and then he pulled out of the draft altogether. He could have been there for the Jazz. I have a feeling he turns into a star and this lockout ends up costing the Jazz a big-time player. We could still have that in Kanter, but Barnes could be something special.

Did Al Jefferson cause the lockout? No. That's not what CBS Sports was trying to say in this article. They reference a Tribune article that is referencing an April report from Sports Intelligence on just how much the NBA pays per player. We looked at this already in a previous version of the Downbeat.

NBA salaries are going to be on the average higher given that they only have 13-15 players at any given time. Other leagues have many more. So comparing average salaries isn't a good comparison.

The CBS title was a bit misleading but here's what he was getting at,

Of course Al Jefferson didn't create the lockout. But the Jazz' situation around their decision to invest in Jefferson (right as it seemed at the time) speaks to the complex elements in play that go beyond "the system's broken." It's not teams that spend a lot which is hurting the league outright. It's teams that spend a lot and don't create enough revenue to cover its investment. It's also in part teams which don't spend a lot and then lose a lot. But what's the biggest factor, there? Teams which make certain decisions which either don't pan out off of huge investments, or don't create revenue because there has been no real drive to do so. You can't just cut spending while still losing income and expect to profit. That's not really a salient business model for these times.

It did seem like a good move at the time. It could still end up being a good move. I feel bad for Al though because he should have been and was coming to a winning team. Now he's the odd man out and could be moved again. Hopefully the Jazz will find a good fit for him if it's not in Utah.

Tuesday poll...