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Thread: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...606070512/1088

    NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    By Mark Montieth
    mark.montieth@indystar.com

    In the NBA, it's difficult for general managers to cover up their mistakes.
    So how do general managers decide who's deserving?

    "You've got to use your research and, if it's your own player, your history," Philadelphia general manager Billy King said. "And even using all that" -- King paused to chuckle -- "you still don't know."

    Such is the guessing game general managers play with their livelihood. But it might be instructive that the league's most underachieving team, New York, finished its 23-win season with three max players -- not including Allan Houston, a max player sidelined by a knee injury -- while just three players in the NBA Finals have what can technically be called maximum contracts.

    Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki and Keith Van Horn each have one, although Van Horn's was inherited by the Mavericks from a deal he signed with New Jersey in 1999. So does Miami's Shaquille O'Neal, whose five-year, $100 million contract signed last summer personifies the quandary personnel executives face.

    The Heat, who lost to Detroit in seven games in the Eastern Conference finals last year, couldn't let him lumber off to another team, taking their title hopes with him. But at 34 and no longer an MVP candidate, he could quickly become an albatross if he decides to continue collecting paychecks until he's 39.

    After next season, the Heat will have to award Dwyane Wade a max contract to keep him tethered to South Beach. But if O'Neal's play declines too much and he receives $20 million of their payroll, they'll have little chance to win a title or improve their roster.

    Which would mean a few years in a painful state of limbo.

    Some NBA general managers yearn for a system more like that of the NFL, where contracts are not guaranteed and players may be cut at any time -- or at least after the first two or three years of a long-term deal. Such a proposal would meet resistance from the players' union and probably lead to a lengthy work stoppage, and nobody in the league is pushing hard for it yet.

    In the meantime, the luxury tax, which assesses a dollar-for-dollar tax after a team's payroll surpasses a threshold, has made teams more hesitant to hand out max deals. The tax was a factor in the Pacers' thinking in 2003. They awarded Jermaine O'Neal a max deal but elected not to re-sign Brad Miller when the bidding approached $70 million over seven seasons because of the tax implications.

    "When the tax kicked in . . . that seemed to get owners' attention across the league," said Pete Babcock, former general manager in Toronto, Atlanta and Denver.

    Yet it hasn't alleviated the pressure to keep young talents. While some players are so good they offer no-brainer decisions for GMs, others fall into a gray area. Their talent and potential might be obvious, but they haven't proved they can lead a team to title contention year after year.

    But if only one other team is willing to make a major offer, how do you let them walk?

    "Your fans and your media play into it," said Jim Lynam, who was Philadelphia's general manager from 1992-94. "They'll ask, 'How could you lose him?' It's tough for me to look into the camera and say, 'We think he's a good player; we just don't think he's worth this much money.' "

    More than ever, general managers are forced to make tough predictions. Which players will view a max contract as an indicator of heightened responsibility and work harder? Who will take it as an indication they have it made, and slack off? Who, for that matter, will stay healthy?

    "There's been some great returns on investments and there's been some busts," said former Pacers point guard Mark Jackson, who played 17 seasons before becoming a television commentator.

    "Some guys wrap it up when they sign for $20 million and become content. And I've watched guys make a million dollars but play like they make $20 million."

    Overpaid employees, of course, can be found in any profession. In the NBA, however, they can cause the unemployment of those who hire them.
    "You're going to be wrong sometimes," Jackson said. "You just want to be right way more than wrong. The great GMs are able to do that."
    Mad money

    A look at the players who have received the maximum salaries allowed under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, according to realgm.com:

    Earning their money

    Player Team 2005-06 Skinny
    Elton Brand L.A. Clippers $13,152,000 No longer league's most underrated player.
    Kobe Bryant L.A. Lakers $15,946,875 Like him or not, he's a force at both ends.
    Tim Duncan San Antonio $15,845,156 Primary factor behind three championships.
    Kevin Garnett Minnesota $18,000,000 Supreme talent in need of supporting cast.
    Allen Iverson Philadelphia $16,453,125 Passion, production can't be debated.
    Jason Kidd New Jersey $18,000,000 Once elite, but fading into overpriced status.
    Shawn Marion Phoenix $13,770,0004 Perfect fit for Suns' up-tempo system.
    Dirk Nowitzki Dallas $13,843,157 Could lead Mavs to first championship.
    Shaquille O'Neal Miami $20,000,000 He's fading, and owed $80M next four years.
    Paul Pierce Boston $13,843,157 Coming off most productive season.
    Michael Redd Milwaukee $12,000,000 Averaged 25.4 pts in first year of max deal.


    Jury is still out

    Player Team 2005-06 Skinny
    Vince Carter New Jersey $13,843,157 Great talent, but something is missing.
    Antawn Jamison Washington $13,843,157 Offensive threat, but not a complete player.
    Joe Johnson Atlanta $12,000,000 Was major producer on bad Hawks team.
    Tracy McGrady Houston $15,694,250 Elite talent, but health is always an issue.
    Jermaine O'Neal Pacers $16,425,000 Team's record without him raises questions.
    Chris Webber Philadelphia $19,125,000 All-around talent, but past his prime.


    Questionable investment

    Player Team 2005-06 Skinny
    Baron Davis Golden State $13,770,000 Talent is there, but attitude is lacking.
    Steve Francis New York $13,770,000 Orlando took off after trading him.
    Grant Hill Orlando $15,694,250 Collecting dust from all his injuries.
    Stephon Marbury New York $16,453,125 Like Francis, doesn't contribute to winning.
    Jalen Rose New York $15,694,250 Traded three times since signing max deal.
    Keith Van Horn Dallas $15,694,250 Mavs paying for New Jersey's mistake.
    -----

    Example of a maximum contract

    The maximum salary a player may receive is 105 percent of his previous salary or between 25 percent and 35 percent of that season's salary cap, whichever is greater, with annual raises thereafter. The percentage is based on experience. For example, Player A has fewer than six years' experience and made $5 million last season. The most he could make next season is $12.375 million, which is 25 percent of the new team cap of $49.5 million. (A player with 10 or more years could earn 35 percent of the team's cap.) Player A can get a 10.5 percent raise for each year of the contract if he stayed with the same team. If Player A signed with a new team, his annual raise shrinks to 8 percent per season.

    Contracts can cover as many as six years -- seven until last summer's rule change -- and are guaranteed, meaning a bad deal made of misguided exuberance can hinder a franchise's ability to improve for years.

    It's the dilemma of the maximum contract. A GM has to give them to keep great or even potentially great players and avoid looking like he's not trying to win a championship. But if he gives one to the wrong player, or the right player becomes too old or too injured to live up to the extreme expectations of a max player . . . well, that's often how ex-GMs are created.

    The Indiana Pacers have awarded max contracts to two players, Jalen Rose and Jermaine O'Neal, and have received mixed results. Rose signed a deal for nearly $100 million in the summer of 2000, after he had been the leading scorer on a team that reached the NBA Finals. He failed to mesh with the Pacers' emerging young talent and coach Isiah Thomas and was traded to Chicago in 2002. He's since been traded twice, and with one year left on his deal, could be traded again next season.

    O'Neal signed a seven-year, $127 million contract in the summer of 2003. He was one year removed from being named the league's Most Improved Player and had just averaged 22.8 points and 17.5 rebounds in a first-round playoff loss to Boston. He has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team every season since then, and has been voted a starter twice. But some fans became disenchanted with him this season, when the Pacers lost in the first round of the playoffs.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Heck no, max contracts are not worth it. They don't guarantee that the team will win a majority of its games, let alone a championship. And they don't guarantee that the player will stay healthy to earn his max money.

    Anyway, the performance of players making only $6-$10 million is very comparable to that of players making $12 million and over. LeBron James doesn't have a max contract. Gilbert Arenas doesn't have one. And they were both in the top 5 in scoring. Dwayne Wade doesn't have one. Seventeen of the 23 players listed in the article scored over 1,000 points during the past season, but so did 55 other guys making less.

    Dallas has Nowitski's max contract and they are in the finals. Miami has O'Neal's max contract and they are in the finals. But there is no logical connection. Both teams have a lot more going for them than fat contracts.


    .
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Not to pull a Bball here, but does anybody else see something written between the lines with this article? What am I saying, of course, people will. Problem is, I can't really discount it.
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    Not to pull a Bball here, but does anybody else see something written between the lines with this article? What am I saying, of course, people will. Problem is, I can't really discount it.

    Help me out, please. Are you saying this may have been written to pave the way for dumping a certain player from the Pacers roster?


    .
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Member Since86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    I was thinking more along the lines of not resigning a certain player.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86
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    I was thinking more along the lines of not resigning a certain player.
    Hey, what do you have against Scot Pollard? He needs the money for his hair stylist! Not to mention feeding Sprewell's family.
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    No, no.

    I was thinking more a long the lines of Freddie. His voice creeps me out.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam
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    LeBron James doesn't have a max contract. Gilbert Arenas doesn't have one. And they were both in the top 5 in scoring. Dwayne Wade doesn't have one.
    LeBron and D-Wade are still in their rookie contracts, right? And Gilbert...I dunno :P

  9. #9
    Gamble
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
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    Not to pull a Bball here, but does anybody else see something written between the lines with this article? What am I saying, of course, people will. Problem is, I can't really discount it.
    So your saying we are going to get:

    Player Team 2005-06 Skinny
    Baron Davis Golden State $13,770,000 Talent is there, but attitude is lacking.
    Steve Francis New York $13,770,000 Orlando took off after trading him.
    Grant Hill Orlando $15,694,250 Collecting dust from all his injuries.
    Stephon Marbury New York $16,453,125 Like Francis, doesn't contribute to winning.
    Jalen Rose New York $15,694,250 Traded three times since signing max deal.
    Keith Van Horn Dallas $15,694,250 Mavs paying for New Jersey's mistake.

    For JO.

  10. #10
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamble
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    So your saying we are going to get:

    Player Team 2005-06 Skinny
    Baron Davis Golden State $13,770,000 Talent is there, but attitude is lacking.
    Steve Francis New York $13,770,000 Orlando took off after trading him.
    Grant Hill Orlando $15,694,250 Collecting dust from all his injuries.
    Stephon Marbury New York $16,453,125 Like Francis, doesn't contribute to winning.
    Jalen Rose New York $15,694,250 Traded three times since signing max deal.
    Keith Van Horn Dallas $15,694,250 Mavs paying for New Jersey's mistake.

    For JO.
    JO for Rose... 1 year left on Rose's contract. Does anyone really think the Pacers would look to a 3 year plan and clean the slate like that?

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Gamble
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    THat would also get rid of our coaching problem as well.
    RC couldn't get anything done with that roster and it might even
    make him play Harrison.

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    Member OTD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    I have one question: Who has caused these over paid men? The owners, and then they just jack up the price for a seat, to where the avg. person cannot pay. If they would stop trying to get a player off of other team, running the price up on each other.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam
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    Help me out, please. Are you saying this may have been written to pave the way for dumping a certain player from the Pacers roster?
    I kind of wondered the same thing. There have been a number of times in the past where it seems as though the "skids were greased" through a Star article before the axe fell.

    Is this coincidence, or is it possible that JO might be traded?

    Or, is it possible that they are justifying why Peja might not be re-signed?

    As for Freddy, he won't get enough money from anybody to make that much of a difference one way or another.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    JO for Rose... 1 year left on Rose's contract. Does anyone really think the Pacers would look to a 3 year plan and clean the slate like that?

    -Bball
    This is from a post I made in another thread:

    Indiana Trade Breakdown
    Outgoing
    Jermaine O'Neal
    Stephen Jackson
    Jamaal Tinsley

    Incoming
    Jalen Rose (expiring)
    Jamal Crawford
    Channing Frye
    David Lee
    #20 Pick
    #29 Pick

    That gives us only about $25,000,000 million in committed salaries for the 2007 / 08 season (not counting three late draft choices or resigning Peja / Freddie)

    AJ / Sarunas
    Crawford / Rose
    Granger / Rose
    Fry / Croshere / Lee
    Foster / Harrison
    3 late draft picks + possible S & T of Peja and Freddie

    Thats ugly, but we would clear our past sins, have some young talent, caproom, and flexibility (with Croshere + Rose expiring contracts).

    Even though that team would suck, I'd bet the fans would like it more.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Obviously you would like to get better talent or higher draft choices, but I think to do that you will have to take back bad contracts. Golden State has some talent and a higher pick, but I wouldn't want Fishers, Foyles, or etc contracts.

    I like JO more than some, but we are dangerously close to being what Minnesotta is - one really good player surrounded by mediocre talent. Our talent (or potential) has gone steadily down hill the last 2-3 years. Unless we want to remain mediocre we have two options IMO - roll the dice with someone elses high priced headache (Steve Francis, etc) or blow it up completly, clear capspace and acquire young talent / picks.

    If there is ever a year that the fans will except a poor team it will be this upcoming season. As long as they play hard and there is a longterm plan think it would be excepted. With next year being touted as a deep draft the time is right IMO to start clean.

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    Member bulldog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by OTD
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    I have one question: Who has caused these over paid men? The owners, and then they just jack up the price for a seat, to where the avg. person cannot pay. If they would stop trying to get a player off of other team, running the price up on each other.
    Mmm hmm...and if the Sixers let Iverson walk for free, or if the Heat let Dwayne Wade go, I'm sure their fans will reasonably and calmly argue that although their team will suck, it's worth it since the declining salaries will allow them to get front row seats as Udonis Haslem and the Heat take on Steven Hunter and the 76ers.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rm1369
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    This is from a post I made in another thread:

    Indiana Trade Breakdown
    Outgoing
    Jermaine O'Neal
    Stephen Jackson
    Jamaal Tinsley

    Incoming
    Jalen Rose (expiring)
    Jamal Crawford
    Channing Frye
    David Lee
    #20 Pick
    #29 Pick

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    It has been said that any trade that brings Bonzi Wells to the Pacers would be unwelcome and one of the worst trades in Pacers history.

    Let me be about the 647th person to say that this is also true of bringing Jalen Rose back.

    I've been a fan since the Pacers first ABA season and have attended hundreds, maybe even a thousand games. You want to lose me totally as a fan for a year, Jalen Rose would be the way to do it. And I'm certain that there are a lot of season ticket holders that feel the same.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by beast23
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    It has been said that any trade that brings Bonzi Wells to the Pacers would be unwelcome and one of the worst trades in Pacers history.

    Let me be about the 647th person to say that this is also true of bringing Jalen Rose back.

    I've been a fan since the Pacers first ABA season and have attended hundreds, maybe even a thousand games. You want to lose me totally as a fan for a year, Jalen Rose would be the way to do it. And I'm certain that there are a lot of season ticket holders that feel the same.
    The idea isn't to bring Jalen back, it's to bring Jalen's expiring contract back. Cut him if you like - it may even be theraputic!

  19. #19
    Banned PacerMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball
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    JO for Rose... 1 year left on Rose's contract. Does anyone really think the Pacers would look to a 3 year plan and clean the slate like that?

    -Bball

    LOL


    No.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rm1369
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    The idea isn't to bring Jalen back, it's to bring Jalen's expiring contract back. Cut him if you like - it may even be theraputic!
    Then let me go ahead and comment on the whole trade.
    Jalen Rose - I've made myself clear.
    Channing Frye - A young player who will likely be an All-Star some day.
    David Lee - A young player with promise, but needs a lot of development.
    #20 & #29 - Useless in this year's weak draft.

    That leaves Crawford. Crawford is a a decent PG, but is an inadequate defender. He's not what we need at all in the backcourt. We could use a PG that is a distributor in place of Tinsley, but we absolutely must have someone capable of stopping dribble penetration.

    This trade may very well free up cap space at the end of the coming season. But it straps us with a long-term contract for another PG that is still inadequate with respect to our needs. I would prefer AJ starting over Crawford because he is able to prevent at least half of the PGs from getting into the lane; Crawford can't do that.

    The trade gets rid of the two knuckleheads, and it gets rid of the problem (if indeed there is one) of this team existing with JO's self proclamation of being the "team leader".

    But it also trades the assets that we would like to see traded without really solving any of our problems.

    Any trade with the Knicks will require multiple trading partners. Otherwise, we do get Frye for JO, but we also get stuck with a lot of other crap, too.

    And, as far as I'm concerned, any trade for JO should net us a lot more down the road than just what amounts to a 1-for-1 trade for Channing Frye.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rm1369
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    If there is ever a year that the fans will [EDIT: accept] a poor team it will be this upcoming season. As long as they play hard and there is a longterm plan think it would be [EDIT: accepted].
    I agree with this. The fat payroll and the brawl stigma really bother me, so I'd love a clean sweep. I'd love a youth movement. I'd love a deliberate break with the past. It isn't something Donnie Walsh is likely to do, but RM1369 is right: if there's ever a time to do it, it would be now.


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    But they never had much use for me
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  22. #22
    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rm1369
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    This is from a post I made in another thread:

    Indiana Trade Breakdown
    Outgoing
    Jermaine O'Neal
    Stephen Jackson
    Jamaal Tinsley

    Incoming
    Jalen Rose (expiring)
    Jamal Crawford
    Channing Frye
    David Lee
    #20 Pick
    #29 Pick

    That gives us only about $25,000,000 million in committed salaries for the 2007 / 08 season (not counting three late draft choices or resigning Peja / Freddie)

    AJ / Sarunas
    Crawford / Rose
    Granger / Rose
    Fry / Croshere / Lee
    Foster / Harrison
    3 late draft picks + possible S & T of Peja and Freddie

    Thats ugly, but we would clear our past sins, have some young talent, caproom, and flexibility (with Croshere + Rose expiring contracts).

    Even though that team would suck, I'd bet the fans would like it more.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Obviously you would like to get better talent or higher draft choices, but I think to do that you will have to take back bad contracts. Golden State has some talent and a higher pick, but I wouldn't want Fishers, Foyles, or etc contracts.

    I like JO more than some, but we are dangerously close to being what Minnesotta is - one really good player surrounded by mediocre talent. Our talent (or potential) has gone steadily down hill the last 2-3 years. Unless we want to remain mediocre we have two options IMO - roll the dice with someone elses high priced headache (Steve Francis, etc) or blow it up completly, clear capspace and acquire young talent / picks.

    If there is ever a year that the fans will except a poor team it will be this upcoming season. As long as they play hard and there is a longterm plan think it would be excepted. With next year being touted as a deep draft the time is right IMO to start clean.
    I very much agree to what you wrote here and the trade looks interesting atleast. I especially agreed about what you wrote concerning declining talent. Sure, we got Danny last year, but look at what we lost the past 3 years.

    Regards,

    Mourning
    2012 PD ABA Fantasy Keeper League Champion, sports.ws

    2011 PD ABA Fantasy Keeper League Champion, sports.ws

    2006 PD ABA Fantasy League runner up, sports.ws

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam
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    I agree with this. The fat payroll and the brawl stigma really bother me, so I'd love a clean sweep. I'd love a youth movement. I'd love a deliberate break with the past. It isn't something Donnie Walsh is likely to do, but RM1369 is right: if there's ever a time to do it, it would be now.
    I would agree that if it is to ever be done, this year would be the right year to do it.

    BUT... I totally disagree with any opinion that would state that the fans would be accepting of a total decline in the success of the team. I think that would prove to be catostrophic with respect to their fan base.

    However, I do believe that the fans would accept having as few as 3-4 carryovers going into next season, as long as the team experienced reasonable success during the season. Perhaps .500 ball or thereabouts.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86
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    No, no.

    I was thinking more a long the lines of Freddie. His voice creeps me out.
    I'm glad im not the only one, his voice is insane. He cant be human. He sounds like a duck.
    *removed* Just keep politics and religion completely out of it, please.

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    Default Re: Star}NBA's High-Priced Superstars-Are they worth it?

    I like Jalen.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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