What It Means for the Warriors

Tuesday, 20/11/2012  |   Uncategorized  |  no comments

When the opening proposal of your upcoming labor negotiations is described by one source as a photocopy of [Commissioner David] Stern middle finger, you may be on your way to a lockout. The NBA is in the midst of one of its busiest off seasons ever, but we should enjoy the activity while it lasts. With the collective bargaining agreement the governing document for player and owner relations once again up for negotiation next summer, the 2011 off season may be an extended vacation. Here how the key issues in play might be shaping the Warriors current decisions. We spent the last month breaking down the Warriors transactions and, with a new ownership group in charge, looking for shifts in strategy. Other than the David Lee sign and trade (more on that below), there been a focus on short, cheap contracts. Some of that is a matter of necessity the Warriors were largely capped out and working with exceptions but there has been speculating that the restraint also may have been motivated by a desire to clear cap space for next summer. I still think that a plausible line to draw through the dots of recent transactions, but there an alternative explanation. On July 1, 2011, the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners will expire. Unless certain provisions have been put in place, the owners will lock the doors to the gyms and the direct deposits into players bank accounts will stop. There some cushion built into the schedule for brinkmanship, as nothing much happens in July that couldn happen in August or early September, but as the season creeps closer, the pressure on both sides to work out a deal will increase. Right now, both sides are digging in and there good reason to believe the dramatic changes being discussed will lead to a drawn out dispute. At the risk of gross over simplification, the owners are entering these negotiations looking to cut costs with many NBA teams allegedly losing tens of millions of dollars annually while the players are looking to hold onto their current earning power. These opposing forces will play out through a few issues: Adjustment of basketball related income ( the money made by the NBA through various league wide sources (such as television contracts and gate receipts) is called related income. The NBA salary cap is set by taking a certain percentage of this figure, then dividing it by 30 teams (see Larry Coon, as usual, for the details). The owners are looking to adjust that figure so the cap is set at a lower percentage of BRI. In short, they want more of the money the NBA makes and want to give players less of it. The sides line up predictably in this fight the owners are all in favor, the players are all opposed. Implementation of a hard cap Right now the NBA has a cap, full of exceptions and loop holes, along with a luxury tax, which teams may choose to pay if they want to spend above a certain figure. This system was originally designed to encourage parity by limiting what teams can pay players, but has been

carved up in increasingly player friendly ways to allow owners to go above the cap and hasn stopped rich owners from simply paying the tax to buy top talent. The NBA middle class is disappearing because the rich keep getting richer. To stop a spending race among the richest teams to be competitive and to clamp down on rising player salaries many of the owners favor a hard cap. This simplification would do away with the luxury tax and most (if not all) exceptions in favor of a system that simply allows teams to spend $x on their rosters. The owners all generally favor this, but it a lot more attractive to the poor teams or small market teams than the rich ones because it sets definite limits on what can be spent to make a team competitive. The players are almost universally opposed to it, as it would limit what superstars could make through exceptions like Bird rights as well as drive down the money teams may be willing to spend on marginal players. Lower salaries and shorter deals Although the NBA is about to see the final mega deals of the early part of the decade expire, there still a perception that salaries are too high and deals too long. Getting rid of guaranteed deals is likely too radical a proposal to ever get adopted fully although I sure it be tossed around next summer. More likely changes are the lowering of max salary amounts and the shortening of the allowable contract length. These measures will essentially owners from themselves, but will also have a depressive effect on salaries overall within the NBA. The owners almost universally support these changes, but the players opposition varies between high and low salary players. The high salary guys have the most to lose, while the lower salary players are less likely to see a significant change in their compensation (and are also less willing to go without a paycheck for a year to fight for whatever that marginal amount may be). Taken as a package, the owners are likely to push for a lower cap with fewer loopholes and player contracts that are cheaper and shorter. If these changes come to pass, the remnants of the old system may alter the power dynamic of the NBA. For example: A lower cap means max deals deals from the old system will chew up more cap space than before. And the presence of a hard cap, if it gets put in place, will give those teams fewer ways to build around whatever contract is taking up space. That means that huge deals of ineffective players will be an even bigger drag on team performance. The Warriors have three long, expensive deals on the books past this season Lee, Ellis and Biedrins but the potentially disastrous deals of players likely to see their performance fall off while they at their most expensive (Jackson, Maggette) have been shipped away. Cap space in 2011 and beyond will allow teams to capitalize on savings under the new CBA. There might not be a ton of top tier free agents next off season, but the ones that are available will be signed under the new CBA. Although teams spent freely this summer, they may suddenly find that the value scale for players has dramatically shifted under the new CBA. By holding off on spending for a year, the Warriors can make sure they sign players based on the new value scale. It essentially like waiting on a real estate bubble to burst by staying out of the market for a year, the Warriors may end up getting better deals. This is compounded by the fact that a shrinking cap may tie the hands of lots of other teams, decreasing competition for the free agents in the summer of 2011 and further driving down their prices. When you consider the nightmare scenario a year long lockout there could be a mega free agency period in the summer of 2012 with two years worth of free agents hitting the market. By my understanding (and someone please correct me if I wrong), players don get paid during the lockout, but the terms of their contracts continue to run. Therefore, someone with a deal ending in the summer of 2012 (say, Charlie Bell) might not get paid for the 11 12 season, but his contract will still end at the scheduled time. For the Warriors, this would allow them to hit pause on any deals that expire at the end of next season (say, Brandan Wright) then wait a year for the labor situation to sort itself out and choose from two years of free agents in reassembling the team. Lee, Ellis, Biedrins, Wright, Curry and Udoh would still be under contract the rest of the roster would be up for grabs. The same principle about capped out teams holds here as well squads like Lakers, Mavs and Heat would almost certainly be capped out under a lower figure and less able to utilize exceptions to round out their squads. On the other hands, teams without much long term salary commitment will have room to sign current free agents to much more affordable deals. The Warriors would be closer to the latter category than the former. After all of Cohan picks for cash and trade exception pocketing practices, the last thing Warriors fans want to hear is more about cutting costs. This year, however, it not just in the interest of lining the owner pockets. If the CBA negotiations of 2011 end up being as contentious as people expect, the meek could suddenly inherit the League or at least the post lockout free agents. A lot hinges on how the compromises are brokered, what other restrictions are put in place (on player movement, for example, to compensate for the potential loss of Bird rights), what amnesty is given for prior deals, and how much sway the wealthy players have over the less wealthy to get them to hold a hard and fast line against the owners. Regardless of the outcome, the Warriors are in decent shape. They shed two of their worst deals in the past year (although taking on the Lee deal may come back to haunt them) and have rounded out the team with short term, cheap deals. They still need to add talent to be competitive, but Larry Riley to his credit has done a decent job clearing some room for that rebuilding. I not sure he the one to make talent judgments when it comes time to add players, but he filled out his resume when it comes to dumping them. Ultimately, as an amateur capologist, the remaking of the CBA holds a certain amount of excitement. As a basketball fan, however, a lost season would be exactly that a loss. But as a blogger, the lockout is a terrifying prospect. It hard enough to fill a four month off season with posts, let alone an entire year. am also concerned that these guys do not have the $$ to compete as owners, and will end up running the team on the Cohan bargain train, while managing that process more competently. exactly how I feel. I was shocked to hear Lacob imply he wouldn pay the lux tax. All non lux tax team lost in the 1st round last playoffs, beaten by teams paying the tax, except Atlanta a non tax team beating the Bucks, another non tax team. Every tax paying team beat the non tax paying playoff team EVERY time they matched up, with no exceptions. At lesst last season, there was a direct correlation between paying the tax and advancing in the playoffs. Teams that were lux tax payers moved ahead, and won in the playoffs. The Hawks were the only non tax paying team to advance to the 2nd round. And again, they beat another non tax team to make it that far. It pretty conclusive you need to be a tax payer to win. If Lacob and Guber won or can pay it, we going no further than the 1st round of the playoffs unless we get very lucky. Or unless Lacob and Guber are smarter than all the other owners trying to get into the playoffs and win there. 397 There is no difference. My position on Curry has never been negative. I rarely seen a rookiie I wouldn make the same kinds of observations about if people were ready as you put it annoint him messiah. Anyway fairy dust to blind people from making or being able to make accurate descriptions of someone, not all parts of which are fan crazed mega hype, isn my style. From day one, I said, when he was missing his shots, that I wasn in the least worried, that he come around with that and he had one of the nicest strokes I seen. Late in the season he showed some real cleverness, and in a way that I think will stand him in good stead throughout his carrer and even allow a clever coach to build that skill into his play options I speaking of how he uses the other team defenders to screen themselves out. He anticipates their slides moving through, under and around screens and also when coming over to help and he simply has them blocking each other out. I totally impressed, and jazzed by that. I also noted that once he gets to the basket on his, I won call them drives, but moves to it, he has some very clever moves and shots. BTW, Mullins is the last player we had to approach the basket that way. Yet at the same time, because of the lack of a power drive Mully really didn do much drive and kick stuff and I am concerned if Curry doesn develop that power drive. I be even more concerned if Monta and to some extent, Williams weren on the team, because they can and do make those kind of drives btw, the kickouts by those two aren just to the wing guys but also include Curry himself. Anyway that an important skill for a pg in our system and that hasn been a very strong area with Curry so far. This isn damning him forever. He doesn appear to have the blazing first step, speed or quickness of a Monta in his drives, but he can improve considerably. At least I hope so. Nellie told him to work on that and hopefully he has and has succeeded. But I won know that until I see him play. And if he hasn I likely mention it again it that important to my sense of a pg in this system. And his not getting to the line enough being last among the better pgs from this draft in that category, is, I believe, a function of what I talking about in his drive. You drive more you get to the line more unless you are avoiding contact. Plain and simple. Note also that I several times emphasized in this system, because it is less important in a half court slower game. The deficiency wouldn be as noticeable in a Detroit or even an Orlando with Howard down low all the time. Anyway I almost never fail to note his very good qualities even as I point out the areas he needs to improve. And I no groupie fan of any player, now or ever, so I don subscribe to the notion that on a basketball board for Warrior fans such comments are off limits. I might add, I very fond of his work ethics, as I wasn of Randolph Ditto his attitude towards his coach. And following his coach advice. And while I don rank the latter as the most significant things to look for, they are important and I don fail to notice them in Curry. I don think I deviated from this kind of Curry analysis, unless maybe in some exchange with people of the like Curry=Hate Monta crowd and I should avoid answering those or even trying to dialogue with them. Now it time for some Meir is a Liar nonsense from some semi literate alter ego. So be it. Twisted Sister?? Steve Nash doesn have a power drive either, but it doesn seem to hurt his running of the team and if you watch him, he is constantly getting into the paint, almost every possession, but he doesn finish at the rim that often, but he does finish at the rim. It just not a straight line, fake one way, go the other, one or two dribbles from the 3 pt line and finish at the rim type move. That said, I do think Curry has the ability to add a more explosive move to his arsenal. Right now he manages with quick changes of direction. Alan Greenspan today speaking truh to the Republican give all the money to the wealthy and everything will work out fine for everyone else theory of vodoo economics In an interview on NBC the Press, Greenspan expressed his disagreement with the conservative argument that tax cuts essentially pay for themselves by generating revenue and productivity among recipients. And for those that enjoy politics, here Reagans own former budget director talking about the lunacy of current conservatives wanting to extend the bush tax cuts to the wealthiest americans:.

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