Every once in awhile, you can look at some numbers, and then have an "Aha!" moment. I had such a moment in regards to revenue sharing when reading this post by Coldfish on realgm.
The Post that started the discussion:
That little exercise really turned on a light bulb in my head in regards to the owner's position. When teams like the Knicks and Lakers get huge new local TV contracts, it actually hurts every other team in the current rules system.
Fish goes on to detail this thought in greater detail, but once stated like this the light bulb turned on.
The ability to grow revenue varies tremendously from team to team. The Lakers entered a 3 billion dollar TV contract with Time Warner recently. The Knicks can entertain similar money for their TV deal. Do some quick math and assume a 4% revenue growth per year, and that TV deal starts at 100 million this year.
100 million in revenue is more than some teams get in total.
The TV contract, and similar massive local deals, is the death of the small market team. The Laker's 100 million dollar per year gain means the average salary of every team needs to rise by around 1.5 million for each team once we split out the BRI% of the money, but the Lakers are the only one getting the money.
The same is true of ticket prices and any other revenue source that varies among the big market teams.
As the top tier teams grow their revenue at a rate the lower tier teams can't, it pushes up the league wide revenues and thus the league wide BRI requirement. However, the NBA wants to flatten out salaries which means that all the small market teams have to pay more without increased revenue.
The solution to this is surprisingly simple to fix the system issues entirely.
1: Each team takes the player BRI% of their revenue and puts it into a league pool and keeps the owner BRI% for themselves.
2: A hard cap is instituted at slightly above the BRI% with no salary matching trade rules, no exceptions, no lower soft cap
3: All player salaries are paid by the league.
Now teams need to set their operating costs based purely based on the owner's BRI% that they can generate locally. Player salaries are 100% decoupled from the team. They can no longer benefit by having a higher or lower payroll, because they won't see any extra money from a low payroll or lose money from a high payroll.
The salary cap will set the payroll at the right number for BRI, each team will have an exactly equal amount of money to pay players with no financial consequence by taking on a big contract. Now, all contractual consequences are merely in the on court product and whether or not you tanked your team and tanked your local revenue.
As such, local revenue generated vs local operating costs will determine profits and we'll never have to fight about player salaries again except that each side might want to change the BRI% at negotiation.
This system of revenue sharing is straight forward because it shares the exact amount in the exact correct distribution in order to allow every team an equal chance at players under a more flattened cap system.
It also guarantees, for the players, that flattening out the cap system won't reduce overall salaries by restricting top teams from spending because player salaries will be covered by the league. In fact, it will highly encourage each team to spend up to the cap each year as there will be no disincentive to do so.
The system puts every team on equal footing when it comes to putting a team together on the court. It stops high revenue teams from spending low revenue teams under the table, and it ties only local revenue vs local operating costs towards owner profit.
It's a one stop solution that if implemented would likely end labor strife forever.
Now we just need to get owners to agree to it.