With the NBA draft tonight, I couldn't help but think about how this is the night that the fans of the bottom dwelling teams get a glimmer of hope. I'm a Chicago Bulls fan and while I know we've had a lot of success, we as Bulls fans from 1999 on have been living in the lottery for the most part. Granted, I'm not a fan of the Clippers or Timberwolves so I'm not quite as experienced as other fans, but I know what it's like to have this be the best night of your NBA season. What I'm really worried about though is that this might be the only memory of the new basketball season here in 2011.
But no one needs to worry because I've decided to figure out just how the new CBA is going to look. Right now, the biggest problem that the owners have is that they are losing money because they simply can't help themselves from giving out big contracts. So to save them from themselves, contract length is going to shrink to 4 or even 3 years most likely. Also, there will probably be another amnesty cut to help teams get things going again. The reason for an amnesty cut? A more strict soft cap and a hard cap are also highly likely scenarios.
Something that I think also needs to come into play is some form of revenue sharing. Both the NFL and the MLB want to see it happen and with the players reportedly willing to go from getting 57% of the revenue to around 53%, the owners are going to be looking at bigger profits so the idea of finding some money to spread to the small market teams losing cash isn't far fetched. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the players association tell the owners that if they are going to be making all these concessions for the owners because so many teams are losing money that the owners have to include at least some form of revenue sharing.
As I list my likely CBA bullet points, I fully expect the league to not punish teams for being over the hard cap for the first 5 years. But if you are over the hard cap in those first 5 years, you can only offer the minimum to players and get your draft picks. Adding salary isn't an option.
My Version of the Next CBA
- Soft cap of $55 million, a drop of $3 million
- Hard cap of $70 million
- One time amnesty cut
- Contract length max is a 3 year deal with a team option for a 4th year
- Players resigning with the team with their rights can get a 15% increase in salary year-to-year while other teams can only go to 10%
- Only exception for a team over the soft cap is for 4 million a year
- Players guaranteed to get 53% of the revenue
With that set-up, teams would have to cut down salaries quite a bit to stay under the $70 million hard cap. Last season there were 9 teams over the $70 million in salary, though 3 of those teams were less then a million over that mark. It would also keep teams from committing so much money to players that aren't worth nearly that much money. If you add up the money that Rashard Lewis, Michael Redd, Andrei Kirilenko, Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, Kenyon Martin, Elton Brand, and Predrag Stojakovic made it's $139 million. Those are all contracts that surely wouldn't have made it as long as they will under the current CBA and would save the owners nearly half of the $300 they say that was lost this season.
I don't think that salaries will be rolled back, hence the grace period of 5 years for teams currently way over those limits. I also think that guaranteed contracts are going to stay as part of the reason that the players association accepts the shorter contracts. And while I'm sure there are problems with my ideas and flaws in how I have it set-up, but in terms of a starting point, I think this would be a fair way to settle the owners worry of rising debt and keeping the players happy with the amount of money being spent on the talent on the court. Hopefully the two sides can come together and figure out a way to not jeopardize next season. But if a lockout does happen, I just hope David Stern brings back his sweet lockout beard pictured above. Talk about a win-win.