The NBA was taking direct aim at the Miami Heat when it proposed its latest and, if you believe Commissioner David Stern’s stern ultimatum, final collective bargaining agreement proposal. Michael Jordan and his roving gang of hard-line scallywags are trying their damndest to force Pat Riley to break apart his creation.
In an ironic twist of fate, though, the proposal they’ve put forth in order to make him do so not only fails to prevent such a construct in the future, it actually encourages it.
The league’s proposal makes it expensive – prohibitively expensive – for teams to spend beyond the tax threshold. It also forces certain teams that use certain exceptions to stop spending entirely, under any circumstances. It’s essentially a hard salary cap in disguise. Ah, the financial parity!
But this isn’t the NFL. There aren’t 53 guys on an active roster. There aren’t 26 different positions to consider. There are as few as 13 guys, playing five positions. True, game-changing talent is sparse. Each one has an enormous impact.
Think for a moment about what could happen under such a construct.
If, for example, every team in the league were given exactly $60 million to spend, how would you spend it? Would you give 13 mid-level talent guys mid-level money? Or would you give three maximum talent guys maximum contracts and fill out the roster with throw-ins?
The joining of forces of three game-changing talents is an exceedingly rare thing. It requires not only the desire of three such players, but also the foresight of a team to clear enough salary to even make it possible. It might happen but once a decade… or not at all.
The point, however, is that it is possible – even more possible under the league’s current proposal than it was under the last collectively bargained deal. Read more…