http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5629666

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis told local business leaders Wednesday that he expects the NBA soon will have a hard salary cap similar to the NHL's model.

Leonsis, who also owns the Washington Capitals, spoke to a group of Northern Virginia business leaders before the Wizards' daily training camp session. He told them that the more fans a team has, the more they spend on the team, and the more the team has a chance to get and keep good players.

"In a salary-cap era -- and soon a hard-salary cap in the NBA like it is in the NHL -- if everyone can pay the same amount to the same amount of players, it's the small nuanced differences that matter," he said.

Asked after the speech to clarify his remarks, Leonsis pulled back from the comment, saying he was not authorized to speak about the ongoing NBA labor negotiations, but said he believed the NHL's system "is a good one."

"It's working," he said. "The teams are very, very competitive. There is no way that big markets teams can outspend small market teams. So when the season starts everyone thinks their team can compete for the Stanley Cup."