Well, the big day is here at last. The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight. John Wall is wearing Irene Pollins' golden jacket, and if the future of our franchise is wearing women's clothes, your lucky rabbit's foot better be hanging off your wrist.
I'll be in an airport bar tonight drinking a Spanish medium with an ice cream sandwich when the winning numbers are announced. I can't help but feel I'm tempting fate. I refused to watch last year's draft lottery and we ended up with John Wall. Today will likely be a frenzy of lottery coverage, so we will determinedly cast our eye elsewhere, if only for a moment. Not quite burying our head in the sand, but maybe good enough to appease the the Hand of David Stern once more.
For those of you following the CBA negotation drama, you know the League's initial offer was immediately rebuffed by the players as their original stance with window dressing. They were back in session last week, and each side is revealing a bit more of their hand as talks progress. I'll leave discussing the particulars until after the draft is complete, it's more the expectations the pace of current talks are establishing. Don't kid yourself at this point. Unless the owners are prepared to open their books to an army of lawyers, things are going to get ugly, no surprises there.
However, with the NFL lockout currently going on, David Stern has a chance to steal a march on Roger Goodell. Upset with the timing of the Donovan McNabb trade overshadowing part of the postseason, it's possible he'll move with more alacrity than we might otherwise suspect to get a new CBA done. We've already heard about the NBA version of the franchise tag, the possible elimination of sign-and-trades, a league-offered temporary respite from a hard cap, and interestingly enough, the ability to shed a contract off the books (still got to pay the man, but doesn't count against the cap ... hello, Joe Johnson). While the league is offering that respite (sure, we can lose $900 million a year for a few more years...y'know, whatever), they are still looking for across-the-board salary cuts.
What can we take away from this? At the very least, we're getting down to the harder issues and cards are being put down on the table. The NFL looks certain to lose a part of its season, but the NBA offers a little more hope, at least to my eyes, which brings us to today's question. I'm off on vacation, and won't be back until early next week. I'll see if I can hop on to answer any questions in the comments, forgive me if it takes a day or two. In any case, the draft lottery is here, rejoice!