The essence of the system described by Stern was an NHL-style cap
system with a targeted salary of $62 million per team and a
to-be-negotiated range from a minimum to an amount above $62 million
that teams could spend up to through various exceptions currently in
place - such as the Larry Bird exception and mid-level exception. An
escrow-like system would be used to adjust for teams coming in below and
above the $62 million target. Unlike the current escrow system, through
which 8 percent of players' salaries is withheld and paid back if
negotiated salaries fall short of 57 percent of revenues, Stern said
owners would keep the escrow under the new system - making this, in
effect, an 8 percent pay cut for the players in Year One.
terms of the owners' initial proposal of a $45 million hard cap, the
latest offer from the league amounts to a $650 million move from their
initial position. The basic structure of a 50-50 split of revenues -
based on a modified formula with about $900 million in expenses deducted
before sharing with the players - remains intact.
What you should read in this proposal is the following:
1: Average team salary around 62 million
2: Exceptions to go above that amount will remain in place.
3: One of those exceptions is the Larry Bird exception.
4: There will be some limits on the amount of exceptions used.
In 2013/14 is the worst year for Chicago. The Bulls presently have 40.6 million on the books for Deng, Boozer, and Noah. Figure Derrick Rose will be on a new max contract, whatever that is, and he'll be in year 2 of it. Let's call that 13.5 million as a guess.
Bulls are now at 54 for four guys.
Omer and Taj are probably each in the 5-8 million dollar range, we'll say the Bulls probably only keep one of them at 7 million and let the other walk.
61 million for 5 players.
If they keep both their draft picks, they'll have about 4 million committed to those players in year 3.
65 million for 7 players
How much room before the exceptions run out will the Bulls have to fill the roster? 10 million more maybe? 15? If they place limits on exceptions, I think 80 million has to be the max they can go, and 75 million is more likely.
That means you've got 10-15 million to fill out the remaining 6 players on the roster (assuming the minimum of 13 rule remains intact). Figure you get two more late 1st rounders over the next couple years giving you two more guys at two million, and three guys stick at the vet minimum or league minimum as second rounders which gives you two more guys at a total of 2 million.
You're now at 69 million for 12 guys.
That gives you 69 million to the new league hard cap to spend on one additional player. Can you fit in a Ben Gordon or Andre Iguodala into that space? Not likely as they'll be around 13 million and 16 million respectively.
Now things could get better or worse from this agreement, and if you get an amnesty clause you can dump Boozer. However, dumping Boozer means you probably keep Asik which adds 8 million and you're still pushing your limits by trying to fit in another major player.
The 'flex' cap which allows some flexibility but puts on some ceiling of how much teams can pay will not hurt the Bulls from keeping the guys they have, but it will stop them from adding any more major salary.
I think the proposal as written here is a pretty fair one from the owners. I doubt the players are going to ultimately see much better, and it looks like some limit of how many exceptions you can use seems likely. As such, many of the trade scenarios we've been plotting, Iguodala in particular, may not be viable.