View Full Version : Should the NBA do away with "guaranteed contracts"

03-05-2005, 11:43 PM

03-05-2005, 11:52 PM
It's a moot point because it won't ever happen. If it did, then the team should do the same thing with fans. If the team sucked then ticket prices go down the next season.

03-05-2005, 11:54 PM
I think guaranteed contracts are a good thing in the NBA. Otherwise players would just try to pad their stats

03-06-2005, 12:02 AM
Did you mean "also not guaranteed?"

People will say NBA players pad their stats, and it sounds like a good arguement, but I just don't buy it. The best way to make money in a system with non-guaranteed contracts is to be the best team player you can. Guys like Steve Francis wouldn't impress GM's nearly as much as guys like Ben Wallace would.

Interesting argument. I think it would breed selfishness, but your point is well teken, good GM's and team owners would reward the "winning players"

But I think now the good GM's look for motivated players who are concenred about winning whether they have a guaranteed contract or not.

However, in negotiations you know the teams would go to a player like Dale Davis and point out his free throw shooting, his lack of offense, and use that against him to negotiate a lower contract. You say, well they do that now, to a degree they do but with long term guaranteed contract they don't have to do it as often

03-06-2005, 12:09 AM
I think it would make the argument for/against the age limit look differently.

I also think I'm on the opposite side of the fence compared to UB. I think it would have the opposite effect. Players that pad their stats might quickly find themselves on the outs. It would reward players who actually help their teams, and players that grow (as players) as opposed to rewarding potential that never pans out.

Initially, stat padders might result but that should quickly right itself. I also like what it does for coaches. It gives them a little more authority (at least in theory).

On first thought I am all for it. I'll be interested to see if someone can show me an angle I am missing.


03-06-2005, 12:18 AM
I don't think the NBA players will be foolish enough to give up guaranteed contracts.

I'm glad the players have them - I just wish the maximum contracts could be shorter in length and not have quite so large annual increases.

The NFL does not have guaranteed contracts, but the highly sought players get huge bonuses which don't have to be given up, if a player eventually gets cut.

03-06-2005, 12:31 AM
The only thing I wonder with non-guaranteed contracts is if players take it upon themselves to 'get their own'. By that I mean, will guys go out there trying to pad their own stats and show off their talents, or would they still remain within the team concept?

True, but the door swings both ways, if a team is looking to win a championship, who are they gonna pick between two good players? The one who pads his stats at the expense of the team, or the one who puts the team first? The latter man gets the next contract first. And these people do have egos, they want to win games. It's not like suddenly everyone would run around like it's all for them. A handful would though.

Jose Slaughter
03-06-2005, 01:06 AM
How about a "you can have your cake & eat it too" idea.

Players on their rookie contracts are not guaranteed. Even if a team picks up the option year(s) you are still not guaranteed. I could see an exception to this for injury but if it's for anything else I'd say no.

Players signing their next contract get a partial guarantee. Say it's a 3 year deal with a 4th year option. The first 3 could be at 75%, the last year would be 100%. I would still have the injury exception here too.

That would take us up to a player being a 6 to 9 year vet. These are the money years for most NBA players. Players get no more than a 4 year contract with a 5th year option. All years are fully guaranteed as long as the player is on the team. In exchange for the money the team gets an option of its own. After the 3rd year they can buy out the player at 50% of the remainder of the contract.

I'm sure there is a "logic" hole in this big enough to drive Kobe's ego though. Tell me how this won't work?

03-06-2005, 01:52 AM
I dont think the NBA can go to a fully ungaruanteed system, because of they way that the sport is marketed, through the star players. Continuity in which teams the stars play for is an important aspect in how the game is sold.

Ofcourse when a big name player like Shaq moves teams its going to sell alot more jerseys in the short term, if there was significantly more player movement I think it would have a negative effect on how the NBA markets itself.

03-06-2005, 09:09 AM
non-guaranteed contracts in the NBA would be a nightmare. The thing that makes it work in football is that every player is dependent upon another player to be successful. Peyton Manning, for instance, can't only pass to Marvin Harrison every play to pad both their stats. Defenses will shut that down, and both of their stats will actually suffer. Also, Peyton needs good blockers, and for linemen to be "good" it helps if they have a QB with the ability to escape or avoid people a little bit. My point being, freelancing in the NFL will lead to your stats actually being WORSE than if you played a team game, not to mention your team's awful record. Also, with a hard salary cap, it makes sense to have non-guaranteed contracts, so that you can make a salary dump if you have to.

Compare that to basketball, where isos can turn the game into mostly a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 game, if they players want to play that way. And you can bet that there are a lot of guys in the NBA who would play exactly that way in order to pad their stats, while still winning occasionally, if they're good.

I'm against non-guaranteed contracts in general, however. I think that you get into a gray area a lot of the time. Look at it this way. Peyton only got part of his contract guaranteed, but to offset that, he got a huge "signing bonus" so that he doesn't have to worry about being cut in a salary dump 4 years from now, because he really got most of the money he signed on for. Also, having guaranteed contracts seperates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. In the NFL, you can throw crazy money around every year, and then just dump the guys who aren't performing every off-season. It can really turn your team into a revolving door of mediocrity. In the NBA, GMs who sign guys to terrible contracts are stuck with them until that contract is up. In a way, it rewards fiscally responsible GM's (not Isiah Thomas).

03-07-2005, 12:36 PM
Here is what Jason Kidd thinks abut this topic

Hornets coach Byron Scott, with no doubt a tip of the hat in the direction of Baron Davis, says the league's next labor agreement should eliminate guaranteed contracts, as the NFL's does. Said Scott: "These guys have got guaranteed contracts, and they get a broken fingernail and say, `I'm out for two weeks.' In the NFL, you see guys with broken arms trying to get in there because they know they can get cut tomorrow." Sounds good, but Jason Kidd warns us of the character of NBA players. "There would be no passing," Kidd said. "Ball movement? Forget it. It'll be, `I'll get mine and then I'll think about passing.'"

03-07-2005, 12:45 PM
I disagree with Kidd on this. Short-term he might be right but I don't see it long-term. While there's a lot of talk about players playing "better" in contract years, there isn't a lot of talk about them being more selfish, except on truly horrible teams.

Personally I'd like to see some kind of modified guarantee where if a player is cut teams still have to give him something - just not the full deal - and where performance incentives become a larger piece of the equation.

03-07-2005, 12:49 PM
Personally I'd like to see some kind of modified guarantee where if a player is cut teams still have to give him something - just not the full deal - and where performance incentives become a larger piece of the equation.

Exactly. The current NBA and current NFL systems are at 2 ends of the spectrum. I think the right answer lies somewhere in the middle. Rim has proposed a good example of this. Regardless, it would require a lot of creativity one someone's part to get it just right.

03-07-2005, 12:53 PM
I hear it all the time about layers being selfish on their contract years. Listen to how shocked everyone is that the sonics have "kept it together" when they have so many in their contract years. How do they play so unselfishly, like it is against the norm

03-07-2005, 01:55 PM
I totally support non-guaranteed contracts. And I believe they must be implemented with a hard-line salary cap, just like the NFL.

I think that would get rid of a lot of the prima donna attitudes and put more control back into the hands of the coaches.

Selfishness exists in all sports. And blatant selfishness in a non-guaranteed contract league would drop a player's market value straight through the floor. His next contract would absolutely suck. Either that or he would find himself coming off the bench to be an offensive superstar in the 2nd unit rather than starting. I think you'd just get a better effort from players on a more consistent basis.

But I think that having a hard salary cap in conjunction with non-guaranteed contracts would help make the league more competitive from top to bottom, and it would put an end to the ridiculous ticket prices we've seen spiral out of control over the last 4-5 years.

03-07-2005, 02:59 PM
The only group that benefits from guaranteed contracts are players that, for some reason, regress or never live up their potential. Players that earn their money are payed what they deserve. Players that improve are hurt becuase they can't earn more. Only players that are earning too much make out better. Why preserve a system that only benefits the (by definition) overpayed?

Also, I think that the problem of players looking to pad their stats is WAY more than counterbalanced by players with contracts that slack off.

Remember, for the NFL, big time players get most of their money in signing bonuses, not regular salary. Basically, it is thank from the team for giving them the right to fire them at any time without "fullfilling the contract." On the other hand, the players have the money in hand, and are free to go to any other team and make money on TOP of what they have already earned.