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Thread: Are guaranteed contracts killing the NBA?

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    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Are guaranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    I used to think the guaranteed contracts were good for all parties.

    But now I think this might be true from both a "lack of player discipline" perspective (e.g., its believed to be so difficult to void a contract that teams have no choice but to hold onto players that no other franchise would take, like Bender and perhaps SJax).

    And from a "team mismanagement" perspective. See Exhibit I, the New York Knicks. See also Exhibit II, the Portland TrailBlazers under Bob Whitsett.

    I'm starting to believe the teams need a quicker way to remedy problems. New contracts were shortened one year by the lastest CBA. Was that just applying a bandaid to an arm that's been severed?

    Do fans benefit or lose from guaranteed contracts?

    The NFL, of course, does not have such guarantees.

    Discuss...
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    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    The NFL isn't made any better because of non-guarenteed contracts. The owners are just made richer and the NFL is more financially stable.

    Fans neither win nor lose from guarenteed contracts. The same amount of money will be spent either way, the names will just be different.

    On one hand, you could say that a player that isnt performing worth his deal could be let go in favor of a cheaper player that can do the same job. Sure.

    But on the other hand, owners (like the NFL) can just as easily let go of GOOD players and fan favorites simply to save a buck.

    Also, you can re-negotiate a new contract with non-guarenteed deals. In the NBA, contracts are set in stone, so you don't have the player holdouts in the NBA that you see in the NFL.

    Say Al Harrington has a superb season this year, and plays at the level of a $12 million player. He then can go to Indiana management and demand to be PAID like a $12 million player next year, if he has a non-guarenteed deal. The Pacers would be forced to either pay him, release him, or trade him to teams that are going to lowball the Pacers.

    I'll take the guarenteed contracts and hope my GM is smart enough not to break the bank on a lemon.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    I think non-guaranteed contracts could encourage selfish basketball because every season players are playing for a contract.

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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think non-guaranteed contracts could encourage selfish basketball because every season players are playing for a contract.
    Precisely.

    In addition, anybody in the league could hold out whenever they wanted to in order to get a bigger contract.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Conversley, a player could play at a $12M player, get a guaranteed contract for 3 years and play like a $3M player. As much as I hate to say it because I love the guy but we had one like that in Cro.
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    I think you have to keep contracts in the NBA guaranteed, but give teams an out for situations like the ones we've had with Artest and now perhaps with Jackson. Something that makes us pay in something other than money to do it (perhaps a forfeit of a draft pick), but allows a team to get rid of a player and have the players' contract be paid by all 30 teams and/or the league itself. For instance, Jackson has about what, $24mm left on his deal? Divided by 30, that's $800,000 per team. Over 4 seasons that's $200,000 a season. Maybe a draft pick isn't the right type (or too much/little) of payment. What do you think of something like that? I'm not as much asking if it's realistic, but rather, if something like that were to happen, how do you feel about it, and how would you modify it?

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    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I think you have to keep contracts in the NBA guaranteed, but give teams an out for situations like the ones we've had with Artest and now perhaps with Jackson. Something that makes us pay in something other than money to do it (perhaps a forfeit of a draft pick), but allows a team to get rid of a player and have the players' contract be paid by all 30 teams and/or the league itself. For instance, Jackson has about what, $24mm left on his deal? Divided by 30, that's $800,000 per team. Maybe a draft pick isn't the right type (or too much/little) of payment. What do you think of something like that? I'm not as much asking if it's realistic, but rather, if something like that were to happen, how do you feel about it, and how would you modify it?
    How would that be fair? I think the problem is how much they are making. These are people with usually only a HS degree or 1-2 years of college. They don't have much bargaining power. They can't say oh no I don't want to make $100k to play basketball. I'll go work at so-and-so for $30-40k a year.

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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Suit Larry View Post
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    How would that be fair?
    I think the part where they're free to sign with any team that will take them while still making every bit of their multi-million dollar contract is what makes it fair.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Suit Larry View Post
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    How would that be fair? I think the problem is how much they are making. These are people with usually only a HS degree or 1-2 years of college. They don't have much bargaining power. They can't say oh no I don't want to make $100k to play basketball. I'll go work at so-and-so for $30-40k a year.
    Um, that's what unions are for.

    The owners can't simply tear up the CBA and offer 100k contracts, the union would revolt, and you'd be stuck watching sub-par talent in the NBA.

    You wouldn't even get the best college players, because none of them would want to side against the players union.

    So actually, the players have a TON of bargaining power.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Um, that's what unions are for.

    The owners can't simply tear up the CBA and offer 100k contracts, the union would revolt, and you'd be stuck watching sub-par talent in the NBA.

    You wouldn't even get the best college players, because none of them would want to side against the players union.

    So actually, the players have a TON of bargaining power.
    How?! If they decline, what else are they going to do? I'm sure 10% could get decent jobs (still not making $100k) but the majority would be working bad jobs just like everyone else with a HS education.

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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Suit Larry View Post
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    How?! If they decline, what else are they going to do? I'm sure 10% could get decent jobs (still not making $100k) but the majority would be working bad jobs just like everyone else with a HS education.
    If they decline, what are the owners going to do?

    (A) they have $300+ million investments they now can't make money off of.

    (B) they have contracts ALREADY guarenteed that they will be under OBLIGATION to pay (since they'd be the ones violating the CBA to begin with)

    (C) The TV companies woul in turn rip up their deals with the NBA, having no elbron or Wade to show off on friday nights.

    There is no NBA without the players.

    The players know this.

    The players have enough power to get guarenteed contracts and keep them.

    As meddling at Stern is, he's the one that AGREED to give the players guarenteed deals in the first place, because he knows that ultimately will keep a happy ship.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    I'm not saying they should do it, especially right now, I'm saying it should have never gotten this far out of hand. Think how much salaries have escalated over the past 10-20 years. It's ridiculous. If they are that great they can still get endorsement money.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisure Suit Larry View Post
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    Think how much salaries have escalated over the past 10-20 years. It's ridiculous. If they are that great they can still get endorsement money.
    Actually, salaries have gone DOWN over the last 10 years.

    Mediocre players aren't getting $105 million deals anymore.

    As for the 10 years previous to that, the NBA started to make more money, and the players, knowing they were as big a part of the growth as anybody, wanted their chunk of the profits.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    Actually, salaries have gone DOWN over the last 10 years.

    Mediocre players aren't getting $105 million deals anymore.

    As for the 10 years previous to that, the NBA started to make more money, and the players, knowing they were as big a part of the growth as anybody, wanted their chunk of the profits.
    No.

    Top Salaries for the '95-'96 season....


    1. Patrick Ewing (NY) ......... $18,724,000
    2. Clyde Drexler (Hou) ......... 9,810,000
    3. David Robinson (SA) ......... 7,700,000
    4. Chris Webber (Was) .......... 7,000,000
    5. Joe Dumars (Det) ............ 6,881,000
    6. Danny Manning (Pho) ......... 6,833,000
    7. A.C. Green (Pho) ............ 6,473,000 (average)
    8. Shaquille O'Neal (Orl) ...... 5,700,000
    9. Derrick Coleman (Phi) ....... 5,476,000
    10. Sean Elliott (SA) ........... 5,333,000 (average)
    11. Hakeem Olajuwon (Hou) ....... 5,305,000
    12. Anfernee Hardaway (Orl) ..... 5,230,000
    13. James Worthy (LAL) .......... 5,150,000 (retired)
    14. Detlef Schrempf (Sea) ....... 5,000,000
    15. Sam Bowie (LAL) ............. 4,800,000 (retired)
    16. Charles Barkley (Pho) ....... 4,760,000
    17. Brad Daugherty (Cle) ........ 4,700,000
    18. Danny Ferry (Cle) ........... 4,643,000
    19. Alonzo Mourning (Mia) ....... 4,560,000
    20. Tom Gugliotta (Min) ......... 4,500,000
    21. Clarence Weatherspoon (Phi) . 4,500,000
    22. Shawn Bradley (NJ) .......... 4,320,000
    23. Larry Johnson (Cha) ......... 4,295,000
    24. Brian Shaw (Orl) ............ 4,250,000
    25. John Williams (Pho) ......... 4,151,000 (average)
    26. Dale Davis (Ind) ............ 4,050,000
    27. Grant Hill (Det) ............ 4,050,000


    Teams payrolls
    Team Payroll
    Toronto Raptors ........ $17,955,000
    Vancouver Grizzlies .... $18,413,000
    Boston Celtics ......... $20,219,000
    Los Angeles Clippers ... $21,165,000
    Dallas Mavericks ....... $21,753,000
    Miami Heat ............. $22,087,000
    Washington Bullets ..... $22,224,000
    Atlanta Hawks .......... $22,227,000
    Utah Jazz .............. $22,451,000
    New Jersey Nets ........ $22,580,000
    Minnesota Timberwolves . $22,642,000
    Golden State Warriors .. $22,877,000
    Milwaukee Bucks ........ $23,011,000 (paper lists total as $23,309,000)
    Charlotte Hornets ...... $23,084,000
    Chicago Bulls .......... $23,512,000
    Indiana Pacers ......... $23,909,000
    Portland Trailblazers .. $23,926,000
    Detroit Pistons ........ $23,970,000
    Sacramento Kings ....... $24,391,000
    Denver Nuggets ......... $24,553,000
    Philadelphia 76ers ..... $25,133,000
    Houston Rockets ........ $25,632,000
    Seattle Supersonics .... $25,852,000
    San Antonio Spurs ...... $26,553,000
    Cleveland Cavaliers .... $27,695,000
    Los Angeles Lakers ..... $30,073,000
    Phoenix Suns ........... $36,525,000
    Orlando Magic .......... $36,526,560
    New York Knicks ........ $43,329,000 <---Some things never change, huh?

    Only 7 players earned more than $6 million.

    http://www.nationwide.net/~patricia/misc/salaries96.txt


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    It Might Be a Soft J JayRedd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Clearly, guarenteed contracts cause some problems. If a GM misjudges talent even once or twice and overpays or if a serious injury or "quick aging" player (for example, CWebb or KMart) occurs, it can really end almost any chance for competitiveness.

    But the NBA Player's Union is too strong for the owners to ever change to non-guarenteed contracts, so even debating it is somewhat pointless.

    What I think the owners/League needs to do is try to shorten the contract length once again to say four years (I doubt they could ever get shorter than that). The blunders become less magnified and you'd have a lot less situations where someone becomes "untradable" just because their agent got them an incredible deal (Dunleavy, KMart) or the GM was an idiot (Peja, Nene).

    Also, I'd like to see a bi-annual exception where a GM is free to release one player and it won't count against the cap. The player would still get his money from the team, but it wouldn't effect the cap. I suppose that would enable rich owners (Dolan, Buss), and probably hurt teams like us, but it would be a nice way for teams that are willing to spend money to be able to take chances on guys and not have to suffer competitively for years if it doesn't work out.
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  16. #16
    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    We almost had our entire roster for less than the cost of JO

    Indiana Pacers ......... $23,909,000
    Player Salary
    Dale Davis .............. $4,050,000
    Rik Smits ............... 3,750,000
    Reggie Miller ........... 3,211,000 (average)
    Derrick McKey ........... 2,800,000
    Mark Jackson ............ 2,600,000
    Scott Haskin ............ 1,313,000
    Eddie Johnson ........... 1,000,000
    Ricky Pierce ............ 1,000,000
    Haywoode Workman ........ 900,000
    Duane Ferrell ........... 845,000
    Antonio Davis ........... 800,000
    Travis Best ............. 580,000
    Damon Bailey ............ 250,000 (released)
    Adrian Caldwell ......... 225,000
    Dwayne Schintzius ....... 225,000
    Fred Hoiberg ............ 200,000
    Kevin Salvadori ......... 110,000 (released)
    Mark Strickland ......... 50,000 (released)

    Wow, it got a little ridiculous there in the late 90s. Jordan got over 30 million a few years

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    I'm talking about 96-97, wqhen the contracts went through the roof on a bunch of no-names.

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    It Might Be a Soft J JayRedd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    I'm talking about 96-97, wqhen the contracts went through the roof on a bunch of no-names.
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  19. #19
    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat View Post
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    I'm talking about 96-97, wqhen the contracts went through the roof on a bunch of no-names.


    1. Michael Jordan (Chi) .... $30,140,000
    2. Horace Grant (Orl) ...... 14,857,000
    3. Reggie Miller (Ind) ..... 11,250,000
    4. Shaquille O'Neal (LAL) .. 10,714,000
    5. Gary Payton (Sea) ....... 10,212,000
    6. David Robinson (SA) ...... 9,952,000
    7. Juwan Howard (Was) ....... 9,750,000
    8. Hakeem Olajuwon (Hou) .... 9,655,000
    9. Alonzo Mourning (Mia) .... 9,380,000
    10. Dennis Rodman (Chi) ...... 9,000,000
    11. Dikembe Mutombo (Atl) .... 8,013,000
    12. Chris Webber (Was) ....... 8,000,000
    13. Elden Campbell (LAL) ..... 7,000,000
    14. Kevin Johnson (Pho) ...... 7,000,000
    15. Latrell Sprewell (GS) .... 7,000,000
    16. Otis Thorpe (Det) ........ 7,000,000
    17. Danny Manning (Pho) ...... 6,833,000
    18. Derrick Coleman (Phi) .... 6,739,000
    19. Anfernee Hardaway (Orl) .. 6,655,000
    20. Dale Davis (Ind) ......... 6,508,000
    21. John Stockton (Uta) ...... 6,000,000
    22. Clyde Drexler (Hou) ...... 5,500,000
    23. Sean Elliott (SA) ........ 5,333,000
    24. Dino Radja (Bos) ......... 5,313,000
    25. Antonio Davis (Ind) ...... 5,200,000
    26. Shawn Bradley (NJ) ....... 5,130,000
    27. Grant Hill (Det) ......... 5,025,000
    28. Larry Johnson (NY) ....... 5,004,000
    29. Tom Gugliotta (Min) ...... 5,000,000
    30. Allan Houston (NY) ....... 5,000,000
    31. Vlade Divac (Cha) ........ 4,718,000
    32. Charles Barkley (Hou) .... 4,695,000
    33. Karl Malone (Uta) ........ 4,657,000
    34. Danny Ferry (Cle) ........ 4,643,000
    35. Glenn Robinson (Mil) ..... 4,640,000
    36. Christian Laettner (Atl) . 4,500,000
    37. Steve Smith (Atl) ........ 4,500,000
    38. Jason Kidd (Pho) ......... 4,408,000
    39. A.C. Green (Dal) ......... 4,315,000
    40. Kenny Anderson (Por) ..... 4,175,000
    41. John Williams (Pho) ...... 4,151,000
    42. Harvey Grant (Was) ....... 4,111,000
    43. Chris Dudley (Por) ....... 4,100,000
    44. Glen Rice (Cha) .......... 4,002,000
    45. Rik Smits (Ind) .......... 4,000,000
    46. Brian Shaw (Orl) ......... 4,000,000

    Not really, but what happened? These aren't as big as salaries now.

  20. #20
    Hall of Famers FrenchConnection's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    We had a whole discussion about salaries this summer around draft time. If the NBA were to try to lower entry-level salaries to the point of $100,000-$300,000 dollars, you would see top American talent going over to Europe. Remember, European teams are paying really good money, and would jump at the chance to sign top American talent. They operate without salary caps and have shown the willingness to sign big contracts. Our European friends pointed out to us that European contracts are reported as net, so you can double all the amounts. You are seeing a situation in hockey were players are using big offers from European clubs as leverage in contract negotiations. I think you might see a similar situation in the NBA before too long.

  21. #21
    Leisure Suit Larry
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchConnection View Post
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    We had a whole discussion about salaries this summer around draft time. If the NBA were to try to lower entry-level salaries to the point of $100,000-$300,000 dollars, you would see top American talent going over to Europe. Remember, European teams are paying really good money, and would jump at the chance to sign top American talent. They operate without salary caps and have shown the willingness to sign big contracts. Our European friends pointed out to us that European contracts are reported as net, so you can double all the amounts. You are seeing a situation in hockey were players are using big offers from European clubs as leverage in contract negotiations. I think you might see a similar situation in the NBA before too long.
    Good point, I never really thought about that.

  22. #22
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Right... its not a vacuum, there are other leagues. The choice isn't "NBA or carwash."

    Although I find it peculiar that LSL is the closest of any of you to agreeing with my premise.

    I want to see a few more responses and then I'll add a few more thoughts.
    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


  23. #23
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay
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    Are guaranteed contracts killing the NBA?
    For some reason, my brain read that as, "Are contract killings guaranteed in the NBA?" Man, I knew Jay was mad, but geez.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Are gauranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think non-guaranteed contracts could encourage selfish basketball because every season players are playing for a contract.
    Well there are the rare exception players that play better team ball to make themselves look better in a contract year, sadly they are few and far between.

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    Default Re: Are guaranteed contracts killing the NBA?

    I don't think that guarenteed contracts are killing the NBA, if anything I would say GM's making stupid decisions and players acting like fools are killing it.

    We can sit here and talk about escape clauses for the bad decisions GM's make all we want, but the way I see it they get credit for the good, they can take the heat for the bad.

    I do think that after the last few years it would be nice to see more "morale" clauses put into NBA contracts, but even if they were added, the fact is the PA would still raise hell any time a team tried to take advantage of said clause.

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