The Miami Heat are cutting salaries of employees on the basketball staff after laying off people on the business side.
"The economic realities that could have the Miami Heat
operating below the NBA's roster limit this season also have taken a
bite out of the team's coaching department. While Erik Spoelstra's
staff will return intact, all will operate at salaries significantly
lower than last season. Seeking to avoid the type of layoffs that cost
the business side of the team's operation about 20 jobs in May, Heat
President Pat Riley instead asked those on the basketball side of the
team's operation to voluntarily accept pay cuts ranging from two
percent to 20 percent. The cuts, which include everyone from the team's
media-relations staff to the scouting staff to the executive staff,
will cost Spoelstra and Riley well into the six figures. [...] Because
roster salary rules are negotiated league-wide, players cannot be asked
for such concessions. The NBA's collective-bargaining agreement,
however, allows the league to hold nine percent of all player salaries
in an escrow account, with all or a portion of that amount returned to
the league if certain revenue thresholds are not reached. The NBA is
forecasting a revenue decrease of five to 10 percent this coming
Doesn't sound like an organization that's ready to spend to win big. Spoelstra had to be on the bottom of the coaching salary scale already. Granted, the Heat do have a monster payroll and are in the luxury tax land at the moment.
Something they won't be at next year, when they will likely have enough room to sign a max free agent even after resolving Dwyane Wade's extension.
Still, you have to wonder if this kind of thing plants a seed of doubt in Wade's mind or resentment in the staff that could spill over into a hostile work environment. Maybe a reach, but it's September.