Owners finally talking reasonably, the players better listen

While the doom and gloom of a canceled season without productive meetings this weekend is overstated, the players better know it's settling time.

You would think the players, their economists and their agents would know that they ultimately need to take the NBA's last best offer. You'd think. You'd probably be wrong, but you'd think that.

If the players don't take the last best offer before the season starts then they'll settle for something far worse next summer and lose two billion dollars in money for their efforts. Their goal should be to maximize whatever that last best offer is.

Unfortunately, in this strange dynamic, their only leverage is their willingness to take on tremendous losses in order to inflict minor losses on a group of people who are financially situated to take on tremendous losses.

The fact that their negotiating position is that bad speaks to how out of wack the present deal is relative to where "fair" probably is. In a "fair" deal, both sides would probably have a near equal incentive to get something done, because they'd be more similarly hurt without getting something done.

If David Stern could speak directly the bottom 70% of the league, the guys who likely have careers from 1 to 5 years in length, many of which will lose anywhere from 30%-100% of the remainder of their career earnings with a missed season this year then you would think he could get through to them that they need to be ready to take a deal this weekend.

You would think the agents and economists would be smart enough to know that prolonging this thing isn't going to net the players a better deal, nor will it net them more money, nor will it net them more power at the next negotiation.

The NBA has finally gotten within the realm of reason with their offer. They've dropped the sheer stupidity of the flat rate offer. They've started to build it up into reasonable BRI land. They've dropped off the requirement of non guaranteed deals and a hard salary cap.

The players knew that the NBA wasn't giving its best offer in June, and that they needed to hold out to get it. It may or may not come this weekend. Maybe after these negotiations the NBA has a little more to give, but only if the players start making some concessions as well.

It's time for the players to get to 50% BRI land. It's time to give in on max contract length. It's time to get where we all knew this thing was likely to end before it started.

50% BRI split
shorter contracts
more punitive luxury tax

Items I (and many, may others) predicted would be the core of this agreement well before we got to this stage. I understand why neither side could go there right away, because for whatever reason, it's human nature that to offer something rational up front makes the other party want to screw you over rather than accept.

However, it's time to get to rational. Both sides have danced their ridiculous dance of threats, bluffs, and hot air, but the blood is about to start flowing. We all knew where this thing needed to end before it started, it's time to get there and this weekend should see both sides make significant concessions towards that point.


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  • I agree with all three of Doug's getting to where we knew we'd need to be before this thing started: 50/50 BRI, shorter contracts, and more punitive luxury tax in essence a hard cap. I wish the new ChicagoNow/Bulls Confidential format supported direct HTML links as the old one did. If you google InsiderHoops>NBA TV Contracts you will get a nice chart on the history of TV revenues both cable and network.

    Not so subtle is the correlation between skyrocketing TV ratings/TV contracts with the NBA, and the emergence of Michael Jordan and his supporting cast to the Finals/summitt stage of playoff basketball. The numbers for 90-91 new contract just obliterate the scale aka the Bulls/Jordan's first championship and subsequent dynasty. And the contract following the end of the second Jordan dynasty again skyrocketed.

    It's clearly the stars that drive the league ratings, but where would Jordan be without Scottie, Horace, Teach, Pax, Phil, Toni, Dennis etc.? Probably with far fewer championships and frankly lower ratings on a diminished Jordan. If by chance Wade and Lebron lose again will their spectacle of hype continue to compell must see TV viewing? This Yahoo(literally) Sports blabbermouth Adrian Wojnarowski labeling all non franchise players as "expendable"/interchangeable, while franchise Wades and LeBrons should get paid $50 Mil a year as "compensation" to me is absurd. Basketball is not just a business, though it is becoming one. Champions have come together with special players and special personalities through careful and lucky destiny driven collaborations. The slefish immaturity of the new age LeBrons, Carmelos etc. deciding through texting franchise building apparently, and not owners some of whom actually invest their heart and not just their pocketbooks into the game? Please.

    Hopefully the hard cap/luxury tax will make teams realize they need a to budget wisely for a "team" and not just Two Men and a Baby aka the "Heatles"(gag here). I just think guaranteed contracts beyond three years hurt everyone including the fans and especially the players. I know it won't go to three years guaranteed, but if I could that's what I'd want. By the same token I'd want all contributing members of an NBA roster to get a decent chunk of the pie with max contracts lowered to $12-15 Mil a year period regardless of years of service/vets. Let the 50/50 BRI benefit the Terry's, Marions, and Bareas, and not just the Nowitzkis, Wades, and Lebrons. Michael whatever the ratings getting $30 Mil while everyone else got $2-3 Mil and much less was whacked. David Falk go f-ck yourself. Let the studs get theirs, but not so much to devalue team and winning.

  • I see what RW is saying about the Yahoo's sports article. Wade or Woj feels that Wade needs to get paid 50Mil/year. That's ridiculous. This kind of thinking has ruined the team game. That's why the Heat lost to Dallas. There is a fine balance between team and talent as LeBron found out in Cleveland.
    If people like Ronnie Brewer and Jason Terry start getting minimum salary, they will bolt to Europe because Wade/Rose/LeBron are getting payed 50 Mil and these guys have to play with Bogans type of players. There should be a balance between killing the source of your talent showcase(that is playing against good competition) to excel and having no competition. I hope there is a middle-class in the NBA....otherwise it is just minimum salary and superstars with the current economics.

  • not only that roadwarrior, but i think it's been established that star players don't need that high of salaries. They are actually opting for lower salaries for a competitive edge. that's a slap in the face of the poorer players.

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