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Grant
07-08-2005, 11:58 AM
Apologies if this has been posted or is in the Star (its a USA Today column)

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By Mark Montieth, The Indianapolis Star


The NBA's new Collective Bargaining Agreement has yet to become official, and its details remain vague even to general managers and agents.
One thing is certain, however. The changes will bring about a bustling marketplace this offseason, perhaps the most bullish in league history. (Related item: NBA free-agent list (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2005-free-agents.htm))

With rules regarding trades and free agency liberalized, teams and players will have unprecedented opportunities to make changes and, in most cases, earn more money. While neither the league nor the union got all it wanted out of the deal, both sides should benefit.

"They want to encourage movement," Indiana Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said of the league. "That's good for the players, too."

The agreement won't be put into place until July 22, and its complexities are such that some people within the league won't be surprised if a brief extension is required beyond that date.

The most compelling change is the one that allows teams with roster payrolls that exceed the luxury tax threshold the ability to waive a highly paid player who isn't earning his salary. While still obligated to pay that player's salary, teams won't be liable for the luxury tax penalty.

The opportunity will offer substantial savings for some teams. It also will offer some veteran players the opportunity to become free agents without losing their current contract, while offering other teams the chance to sign a proven player for a bargain price.

"A lot of teams are stuck where they are (with high payrolls) and can't get out of the tax, and it's getting burdensome," Walsh said.

For example, New York, with a payroll close to $100 million, can waive Allan Houston and save $40 million in luxury tax penalties over the next two seasons.

Houston, who played in just 20 games last season because of a knee injury, could then sign with a contending team ó such as Detroit, where he played the first three seasons of his career and still has ties ó and receive another contract on top of his Knicks deal. The Pistons, meanwhile, would get an established player at a low salary, assuming Houston is healthy enough to contribute.

"That was a wonderful thing," veteran agent Steve Kauffman said. "The union and the league looked at that as a win-win. I have no idea who initiated that dialogue, but it's a great opportunity for some players."

Walsh expects most teams to wait until near the Oct. 1 deadline to release and sign players in this category. Some players, however, might offer a buyout to their current team if a more favorable team offers a contract.

Pacers President Larry Bird is anxious to see what opportunities develop.

"We have to look at our team and see what's out there," he said. "Some teams are going to cut high-salary players. Somebody might be out there who could really help us."

Grant
07-08-2005, 12:04 PM
Link: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/2005-07-07-cba-market_x.htm

Its interesting that MLB and NFL have been complaining about player movement for years, because casual fans have trouble following a team that changes so much every year. It seems as though most fans of any sport prefer that teams stay mostly intact so they can root for their guys.

Nothing much new in the article but the irony of a vastly overpaid guy getting overpaid some more is incredible.

A guy like Houston is making $20 million a year. And now he could get cut and go sign for the MLE at $5 million. Now he is making $25 million a year. There are going to be some guys laughing all the way to the bank.

Zesty
07-08-2005, 12:10 PM
I didn't think that was how it worked, though. In that scenario, Houston still makes his $20 million, but the Knicks would pay $15 million of it and the team he signed with would pay the $5 million. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

foretaz
07-08-2005, 12:23 PM
actually, until the cba is finalized, we really dont know for sure....u could make a case for both situations....this is going to be a special provision...so we dont really know all the details....does it work just like a player placed on waivers? maybe, maybe not....a player placed on waivers still counts against the luxury tax, and in this case it wont.....so this is new territory and weve been teased with bits and pieces but really dont know all the details yet....it would seem to make sense that the team has to stay on the hook for the whole amount.....yet they may want to avoid these players double dipping so they may have some sort of provision saying the players may go to the team of their choosing but they will be paid the vet min for years served....who knows...its all speculation to this point...

Outsider
07-08-2005, 12:23 PM
The way I read it back when the deal was first struck I agree with you Zesty. I was under the impression it is like waiving a player now.

When a player is waived now and they clear waivers then the original team is held accountable for the full amount of the contract minus whatever the player gets for signing with a new team.

Say DD was paid ~9M in the last year of his contract last year. He is waived by NO and clears waivers. The Pacers then pick him up for the vet minimum pro- rated to about 500k. He is then owed 8.5M from NO and .5M from the Pacers = still making 9M.

Outsider

Grant
07-08-2005, 12:49 PM
It makes sense to say that another team would pay a contract and that the original team would pay the rest of the original salary.

I'm just going by what Montieth said "could then sign with a contending team... and receive another contract on top of his (current) deal."

I should have bolded it. Either Mark is mistaken, or the rich get richer.

indygeezer
07-08-2005, 12:56 PM
I doubt you'll see the type movement in the NBA the is witnessed in either MLB or NFL. One player per team would be alot. But just enought to stir enthusiasm and hope in the teams (yeah dude, Dudley Bradley is just what we needed to put us over the top...woowooooooo)

Generates a whole new batch of uniform sales too (non-basketball related revenue :D )

beast23
07-08-2005, 01:04 PM
My interpretation was just the opposite. It is still up in the air, but I recall reading something about the current team being responsible for the entire amount, with the new team initiating a contract exclusive from the player's existing contract. I think it is the NBA rendition of double-dipping.

Players must be signed to a new contact greater than or equal to the league minimum mandated by their years of service. Those players courted by multiple teams will probably command a new contract higher than the minimum.

So, if we look at Croshere, who will get $8.91M and $9.56M for the remaining 2 years of his contract, the Pacers are obligated to pay him $18.47M.

Now what I think would be great would be if Croshere went out and found himself another team, maybe took a buyout in exchange for exercising his option to opt out of his contract. His benefit would be that he would not have to wait until Oct 1 to be released. That way, we are out from under his contract, without exercising the amnesty clause, and then we could release another player using the amnesty clause. A bit far-fetched, but if it's allowed, why not?

Grant
07-08-2005, 01:34 PM
Under this scanario as MM interprets it, there would be no reason for AC to accept a buyout. If he were cut, he could make $30 mil over the next two years rather than $19 mil assuming he could get a MLE deal.

foretaz
07-08-2005, 01:44 PM
once again....this is all speculation....we wont know til end of july....but it seems a bit hard to believe that the nba owners would agree to granting these guys that are released total unrestricted free agent status....likewise it appears the players union wouldnt likely agree to it working just as a normal waiver situation, though it probably makes the most sense....

thats why there will probably be some sort of new parameter....but keep in mind....it is considered waiving a player....so the end result would seem likely to resemble that of a waived player versus one that is an unrestricted free agent...after all the player will have the ability to pick his team anyway....and receive all of his original contract....i could very well see a scenario where the new team has to pay the player the vet min for years served, but unlike the normal waiving of a player, the player gets that in addition to his original contract....i just dont see the league allowing an allout bidding war starting all over again....remember, thats what started this whole mess to begin with....owners not being responsible....would seem a bit silly to allow the process to start all over again....

indygeezer
07-08-2005, 02:29 PM
I read somewhere that the teams would still either have to have cap space or the exemtions to use to grab one of these guys, so I don't foresee any bidding war going on. Teams like the Pacers may look at their own players and say "Yeah, he's overpaid, but who can I replace him with...we ain't got any money to deal with" and end up keeping the overpriced player.

beast23
07-08-2005, 03:10 PM
....but it seems a bit hard to believe that the nba owners would agree to granting these guys that are released total unrestricted free agent status.... <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

the end result would seem likely to resemble that of a waived player versus one that is an unrestricted free agentÖ <o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

...i just dont see the league allowing an allout bidding war starting all over again<o:p></o:p>




Each player waived using the amnesty rule will end up being an unrestricted free agent. Even if the current waiver rule is in effect, do you really think any team will claim <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Houston</st1:place></st1:City> for $20M per year before he clears waivers? Of course not. So each of these high-priced players would clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent.

<o:p> </o:p>

Therefore, my guess is that the amnesty rule makes these players immediate unrestricted free agents. Any team is enabled to sign any free agent to any salary it wishes as long as the salary doesnít put them over the salary cap or they have an exemption to use. So if one of the players is a highly desired commodity, then yes, I could see several suitors setting up somewhat of a bidding war, using whatever cap room or exemptions they have available.

<o:p> </o:p>

Any player in the league must be paid at least the league minimum for years of service. Thatís the way itís always been, so that is unlikely to be changed.

foretaz
07-08-2005, 03:14 PM
Each player waived using the amnesty rule will end up being an unrestricted free agent. Even if the current waiver rule is in effect, do you really think any team will claim <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Houston</st1:place></st1:City> for $20M per year before he clears waivers? Of course not. So each of these high-priced players would clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent.

<o:p> </o:p>

Therefore, my guess is that the amnesty rule makes these players immediate unrestricted free agents. Any team is enabled to sign any free agent to any salary it wishes as long as the salary doesnít put them over the salary cap or they have an exemption to use. So if one of the players is a highly desired commodity, then yes, I could see several suitors setting up somewhat of a bidding war, using whatever cap room or exemptions they have available.

<o:p> </o:p>

Any player in the league must be paid at least the league minimum for years of service. Thatís the way itís always been, so that is unlikely to be changed.

and as ive repeatedly said this is all speculation.....

and u have ur guess as to how it might play out....and i have mine...and probably most have their own as well....and fortunately we probably only have to wait about 2 week or so to find out actually what it really is...

till then its something to talk about, since things are slow....

able
07-08-2005, 09:53 PM
taz, read the reason:


Owners, by waving save themselves the salary in luxury tax (or get under the cap!) in other words, they are paying 50% on the dollar.
The player gets compensated by addinghis new contract-income to his original, kind of to "soften teh blow" a bit :)

That is the only way players AND owners would agree to something like this.

Grant
07-08-2005, 10:30 PM
Couple thoughts.

1) A team that is way over the cap is paying 200% to some of their players. By this waive they can pay 100 cents on the dollar instead of 200.

2) Nobody is going to have a lot of money to throw at these guys. My guess is that a lot of teams are going to save their MLE and see who hits the luxury cap waiver wire (BTW this should be called the Allan Houston rule).

3) I think MM is wrong. the contacts won't stack. The Luxury cap waive will be like any other waive with the same stipulations. I actually fired off a quick e-mail to Larry Coon who hosts the great CBA FAQ that is so useful (don't have the link offhand but most of you have seen it). He sent back an e-mail saying that if a waived player was signed by another team the new contract would offset the original contract. So if Houston signed for $5 mil somewhere else the Knicks would only owe $14 mil.

foretaz
07-09-2005, 02:18 AM
taz, read the reason:


Owners, by waving save themselves the salary in luxury tax (or get under the cap!) in other words, they are paying 50% on the dollar.
The player gets compensated by addinghis new contract-income to his original, kind of to "soften teh blow" a bit :)

That is the only way players AND owners would agree to something like this.

i understand the rationale....and wouldnt be shocked if it happens....but i dont think it will....and for a couple of reasons....

one its called waiving the player....which leads me to believe it will be very similar to the waiving of a player currently in place....

secondly, its the principle....these situations exist because the owners make poor choices and sign guys to way tooo much money for far too long...they now are opening themselves back up for the exact same thing....and nevermind the fact that these guys are already blatantly overpaid....to allow another bidding war only worsens the problem and if stacked would only further the cost that player is having on the combined ownership....

now why would the players agree to such a thing? well...as stated before, if they do pay the vet min for years served, the player would be receiving a bit more money...in this case a bit being about a million more dollars a year....funny calling that a bit....

and most importantly, the player probably gets out of a position that is less desirable and is able to go wherever he wants.....whereas that player would be stuck in most cases as his contract makes him unmoveable.....

as ive said, all speculation at this point, but i truly dont expect it to be a stacked situation with no restrictions on what the new team can pay....just dont see it happening....