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Bullet Points: Going The Distance For "Competitive Balance"

Welcome to another irregular column where I'll simply go off about whatever really grinds my gears.

  • Outside of greasing the trade machine, is anyone else amused by the idea of salary cap amnesty? You still owe the guaranteed money, and in its most recently rumored iteration it lowers the cap number and luxury tax impact by 75%. This will help small market teams avoid painful luxury tax penalties and get out from cap-crippling deals. It also opens the door for large market teams to experiment with previously prohibitively-priced additions to the team it can amnesty away if it doesn't work out. And they'll be more able to afford it because they would have been able to afford the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax anyway. This goes quadruple if that quadrupled, 'ultra-punitive' luxury tax comes about. So if those large market teams can dodge the luxury tax when expensive gambits don't work out, they won't have to pay it. Who did that luxury tax money benefit again?
  • So it's been emphasized that the player will receive all guaranteed money in such an instance, let's have a word about that. Guaranteed contracts, despite owners constantly griping, always seemed to swing both ways to me. There's a mindset in the NBA that outside of an option year, you play out your contract. There is no restructuring your deal. When a player holds out in the NBA a la Xavier Henry, there is usually a damn good reason or that player is raked over hot coals. That the owners want to do away with guaranteed contracts always seemed silly, because from my view you'll be trading one set of problems for another (not to mention the differences between the two sports that makes it far more viable in the NBA). And if the owners think they can have their cake and eat it, too...well who knows what Dan Gilbert thinks.
  • Side note: The plight of D-league call-ups really bums me out. Guys like Larry Owens whose livelihood is anything but assured and whose career arcs are at the low end of the bell curve. These guys have to learn playbooks and train hard to keep spots that are anything but guaranteed and can't afford the best in healthcare if things go south. Rest assured, it's hardly the end of the road for Othyus Jeffers and his torn ACL; follow his rehabbing @OthyustheGreat.
  • Contraction is not happening, especially on a large scale. Someone has to agree to be bought out, and I would like you to show me those owners. As 'they' are wont to say, every complex problem has a solution simple, neat, and wrong.
  • It's only a matter of time before Woj or Ken Berger or whoever asks David Stern/Adam Silver how the NBA will handle the draft. Prepare yourself.
  • Anyone else see "competitive balance" rhetoric from the owners as disingenuous? The owners say the players won't come below 52.5%, won't agree to 50-50 split of the BRI pot. The players say they won't agree until they know what the whole system looks like, and the owners won't discuss the system until the players agree to said 50-50 split. Yep, "competitive balance" sounds like the driving issue.