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Max Power
10-31-2004, 07:03 PM
By CHRIS SHERIDAN, AP Basketball Writer
October 28, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- Defining one of the goals of owners in ongoing collective bargaining talks, NBA commissioner David Stern said teams would like some type of relief from long-term contract obligations to unproductive players.

The NBA's seven-year labor agreement expires after the upcoming season, and the league and players' union have been holding preliminary talks on a new deal -- the first since the sides went through a costly lockout that wiped out a large portion of the 1998-99 season.

Sounding a fairly optimistic tone, Stern said it was far too early in the process to even be speaking about the possibility of another lockout.

But he did give some insight into what's behind one of the owners' current proposals -- cutting the maximum length of contracts from seven years to four.

``Owners, on balance, want to come up with system that's a bit more profitable than the existing system and doesn't reward players who are no longer in the league -- or who shouldn't be in the league at higher prices,'' Stern said Thursday in a conference call with reporters.

``Players getting contracts and not playing in the league is taking money from players who are in the league and are playing heavily. That's what gets us into discussions of shorter contracts,'' Stern said.

Stern met with ownership's negotiating committee earlier this week during the league's Board of Governors meeting, giving a briefing on what parameters have been established thus far in talks with the union.

The union is seeking greater freedom of movement for players, along with an end to the escrow tax system under which 10 percent of players' paychecks are withheld, and the luxury tax system that penalizes owners with the highest payrolls.

Stern also said he has asked for a 20-year-old age limit, with incentives provided to players who defer their draft eligibility to stay in college. The union says it adamantly opposes raising the current age limit of 18.

``There are lots of proposals and ideas going around. We remain committed to a process that guarantees the players a specific percentage of revenues,'' Stern said. ``We're talking more about certain approaches as to redistributing money than we are about major efforts to clamp that money down.''

Basketball's collective bargaining talks come as the National Hockey League is in a work stoppage, the owners having locked out the players and postponed the start of the 2004-05 season.

NBA owners are also seeking a reduction in the size of annual raises given in long-term contracts. Currently, players can receive 12.5 percent raises if they re-sign with their current team; 10 percent if they sign with a new team as a free agent.

Owners are also seeking a reduction in the starting salary for the midlevel exception, which allows teams over the salary cap to free agents.

But the most important item on the wish list, Stern made clear, was some mechanism to prevent teams from having to pay millions of dollars to players who stop being productive after signing long-term contracts.

The New York Knicks, for instance, paid $6 million to Travis Knight -- along with an additional $6 million in luxury tax -- despite cutting him prior to last season.

Also, Matt Maloney is being paid $3.2 million by Houston this season despite having been out of the league for most of the past three seasons, and the Knicks are on the hook for $1.2 million to John Amaechi despite having waived him just days after acquiring him from Houston last season.

New York is currently pondering a buyout of the three years and $24 million it owes Shandon Anderson, and the Chicago Bulls are in similar straits trying to part ways with Eddie Robinson.

``The system may not have adequate rewards for veteran players and others who can make contributions,'' Stern said.

Union director Billy Hunter did not immediately respond to Stern's statements. He said during the summer that a lockout is possible if ownership didn't move significantly away from its initial demands.

jayC
10-31-2004, 07:19 PM
Dear Commish,
Please no lockout or strike!

fin4life
10-31-2004, 07:37 PM
The CBA runs out soon, I hope that it doenst become a problem when they make a new deal. I wonder of the players would consider to make max contracts a little less, after seeing what happened to the NHL

endtroducing
11-01-2004, 10:18 AM
the bad contract thing should be known as the Allan Houston Treaty.

LRB
11-01-2004, 02:34 PM
The long term bad contracts benefit a few players at the expense of many players. It's a simple case of someone wanting something for nothing IMO. I think that the NBA should go like the NFL with no contracts guarranteed. If you can't compete, then you don't get paid not to play.

MikeB
11-01-2004, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by: LRB
The long term bad contracts benefit a few players at the expense of many players. It's a simple case of someone wanting something for nothing IMO. I think that the NBA should go like the NFL with no contracts guarranteed. If you can't compete, then you don't get paid not to play.

There is no way the NBA players would ever agree to an NFL type of system. I agree that the length of the contracts should be shorter and that there should be some sort of escape clause that pays the player a defered amount if they become injured and unable to play.

LRB
11-01-2004, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by: MikeB

Originally posted by: LRB
The long term bad contracts benefit a few players at the expense of many players. It's a simple case of someone wanting something for nothing IMO. I think that the NBA should go like the NFL with no contracts guarranteed. If you can't compete, then you don't get paid not to play.

There is no way the NBA players would ever agree to an NFL type of system. I agree that the length of the contracts should be shorter and that there should be some sort of escape clause that pays the player a defered amount if they become injured and unable to play.

I could live with that as a compromise. I agree that it would be hard for the players to stomach the NFL system. I just hate all the TAW's in the NBA soaking up millions sitting on their butts while very productive players makes tons less money. It just makes no sense.

V2M
11-01-2004, 04:14 PM
May be they could buy short-term and/or long-term disablity insurance. When a player is injured and can't play for a season or longer let it be an issue between the insurance company and the player. The team owners, coaches, other players and the fans don't need to suffer through the process.

And my vote is to call it a TAW Treaty or TAW Clause.

LRB
11-01-2004, 04:24 PM
V2M there are a few problems with your idea. One the player would still count against the luxary tax. Of course this would be a real easy one to change. A harder problem would be getting an agreemen of what was and was not a limiting disability. We're not talking about injuries which keep you from doing every day things like walking, shopping, driving etc. In fact oftimes what is considered injured by NBA standards wouldn't prevent 99% of the people in America from doing their jobs. Say someone who had a 40 inch verticle now only has a 24 inch verticle. That's still pretty darn good for most of the US, but sucks for the NBA unless you're 7+ feet tall.

Also not just money is a problem, often injured and/or unproductive players occupy one of a very limited 15 roster spots. Insurance may be part of the solution, but I don't think that insurance alone will solve the problem.

Max Power
11-01-2004, 05:34 PM
I see max length of contracts being 5 years (still fully guaranteed) with teams being able to write off one contract per year. The player is fully bought out (the player doesn't lose any money - and in fact may MAKE MORE money with a new contract with another team) but the team is off the hook for all luxury tax.

rakesh.s
11-01-2004, 06:31 PM
the one thing that is just ridiculous about the nba is their salaries..i've said it before, top tier nba players should earn no more than 15 mill

t-mac is going to make 63 mill over 3 years..which is crazy..kobe is making 20 mill which is crazy...shaq makes 30 mill and he wanted an extension that would pay him 40 mill. are you kidding me?

they need to let one player on a team make 15 mill..everyone else can share what's left

the lockout is looming for sure

dalmations202
11-01-2004, 08:00 PM
IMO,

they should just add a 50% buyout clause to all contracts. The ownership or player may buy it out (after 3 years in the league), but it costs them 50% of value, counts against/for the cap this year, and the luxury tax, but comes off at the end of the year. Mandatory insurance for injury settlements.

Players can then sign for 5 years for 100 M, and then after the first year at 20M have the last 4 bought out at 40M, and still have 4 years to make what ever amount they can with another team. Some players would make more, some less. It would give an out to ownership, and an out to the players who could buy out their own contracts, if they think they could make massively more playing for a different team.

rakesh.s
11-01-2004, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by: dalmations202
IMO,

they should just add a 50% buyout clause to all contracts. The ownership or player may buy it out (after 3 years in the league), but it costs them 50% of value, counts against/for the cap this year, and the luxury tax, but comes off at the end of the year. Mandatory insurance for injury settlements.

Players can then sign for 5 years for 100 M, and then after the first year at 20M have the last 4 bought out at 40M, and still have 4 years to make what ever amount they can with another team. Some players would make more, some less. It would give an out to ownership, and an out to the players who could buy out their own contracts, if they think they could make massively more playing for a different team.

the best thing for the league would be non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL..you can slap a franchise tag on one guy, like a duncan,garnett,shaq,dirk,kobe etc etc

no more business of some guy averaging 6 pts and 4 rebounds making 8 mill a year...and no more "contract year" players

it would benefit the league and teams in general would get better....sure there's no good teams in the NFL, but just about every game is worth watching because of the parity...well we don't need to talk about the cards and raiders

dalmations202
11-02-2004, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by: rakesh.s

Originally posted by: dalmations202
IMO,

they should just add a 50% buyout clause to all contracts. The ownership or player may buy it out (after 3 years in the league), but it costs them 50% of value, counts against/for the cap this year, and the luxury tax, but comes off at the end of the year. Mandatory insurance for injury settlements.

Players can then sign for 5 years for 100 M, and then after the first year at 20M have the last 4 bought out at 40M, and still have 4 years to make what ever amount they can with another team. Some players would make more, some less. It would give an out to ownership, and an out to the players who could buy out their own contracts, if they think they could make massively more playing for a different team.

the best thing for the league would be non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL..you can slap a franchise tag on one guy, like a duncan,garnett,shaq,dirk,kobe etc etc

no more business of some guy averaging 6 pts and 4 rebounds making 8 mill a year...and no more "contract year" players

it would benefit the league and teams in general would get better....sure there's no good teams in the NFL, but just about every game is worth watching because of the parity...well we don't need to talk about the cards and raiders


Absolutely will never ever happen. Why would the players union agree to this? They have already given in to a salary cap, etc. They will not give in to non-guarenteed contracts -- they can't go backwards.

50% buyout clauses can help them though because the Peja's who have 2 years left, and could buy out contracts, and get max. Also good for the owners is that Shandon Anderson could be bought out for 12M and it only hit this years cap. Makes sense for both sides. Both sides have an out. VC could buy out his contract, if he thought he could in turn get the money back in another max deal....no demanding trades, no major negotiations. If you want out, here is an out. If mgmt wants you out, then here is an out.

rakesh.s
11-02-2004, 11:36 AM
never said it would happen

just proposed the scenario...

bottom line is these guys have been spoiled way too much with these max contracts..sprewell saying "i've got a family to feed" takes the cake

and jason richardson and troy murphy were going to demand trades if they weren't signed to extensions? what have these guys done for the league??

V2M
11-02-2004, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by: LRB
V2M there are a few problems with your idea. One the player would still count against the luxary tax. Of course this would be a real easy one to change. A harder problem would be getting an agreemen of what was and was not a limiting disability. We're not talking about injuries which keep you from doing every day things like walking, shopping, driving etc. In fact oftimes what is considered injured by NBA standards wouldn't prevent 99% of the people in America from doing their jobs. Say someone who had a 40 inch verticle now only has a 24 inch verticle. That's still pretty darn good for most of the US, but sucks for the NBA unless you're 7+ feet tall.

Also not just money is a problem, often injured and/or unproductive players occupy one of a very limited 15 roster spots. Insurance may be part of the solution, but I don't think that insurance alone will solve the problem.
I agree, Insurance can't be the entire solution but an agreement can be worked out among all parties wherein the core solution revolves around the disability insurance.

As far as the issues of being healthy but not NBA-healthy, may be they could have some metrics on players abilities and every player is measured before signing the contract. Then if he's injured and coming back from an injury, they could do a re-evaluation and compare the metrics against the previous ones and qualify him if he's outside a certain range (80%?).

I know this is too simplistic and I don't believe we can solve the problem in this thread. But we can all certainly agree that it's very unfair for guys like TAW to get $7m/yr for several years just sit on IR, while JHo is making a tenth of that playing 40min/game and many times on a suspect hamstring.

Dooby
11-02-2004, 05:07 PM
Easiest relief would be that the luxury tax only applies to players on 15 man roster. If you cut TAW, you still have to pay him but he doesn't count against the luxury tax.

GP
11-03-2004, 12:56 AM
Nobody held a gun to these idiot owners heads and made them sign these marginal players to long term contracts at superstar prices. Why would you sign players like TAW, Matt Maloney, or Travis Knight to long term contracts? And if they didn't sign them then why in hell would they trade for them? Until they exercise their own financial restraint the Union shouldn't agree to any of these terms and we shouldn't feel sorry for them either. The luxury tax is designed to make them stop their free spending ways but we all know what kind of contracts Etan Thomas, Carlos Boozer and the other free agents got this summer. The only way they are going to learn is to have to pay for their mistakes just like the rest of us do every day.

4cwebb
11-03-2004, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by: GP
Nobody held a gun to these idiot owners heads and made them sign these marginal players to long term contracts at superstar prices. Why would you sign players like TAW, Matt Maloney, or Travis Knight to long term contracts? And if they didn't sign them then why in hell would they trade for them? Until they exercise their own financial restraint the Union shouldn't agree to any of these terms and we shouldn't feel sorry for them either. The luxury tax is designed to make them stop their free spending ways but we all know what kind of contracts Etan Thomas, Carlos Boozer and the other free agents got this summer. The only way they are going to learn is to have to pay for their mistakes just like the rest of us do every day.

It's nice to see a voice of reason in this thread. And, it's not as if the owners aren't making money off these teams (although some of them spend spend spend in an effort to try to throw money away, it seems). Some of these guys (like Donald Sterling) are making a killing owning an NBA team. Nobody held a gun to their head to purchase these teams, either, and if they didn't do their research knowing that their "employees" were going to cost a fortune, then no need to back them out of the deals they have already agreed to.

Male30Dan
11-03-2004, 08:06 AM
Originally posted by: GP
Nobody held a gun to these idiot owners heads and made them sign these marginal players to long term contracts at superstar prices. Why would you sign players like TAW, Matt Maloney, or Travis Knight to long term contracts? And if they didn't sign them then why in hell would they trade for them? Until they exercise their own financial restraint the Union shouldn't agree to any of these terms and we shouldn't feel sorry for them either. The luxury tax is designed to make them stop their free spending ways but we all know what kind of contracts Etan Thomas, Carlos Boozer and the other free agents got this summer. The only way they are going to learn is to have to pay for their mistakes just like the rest of us do every day.

Very well said!