New CBA concepts - thoughts

We've seen a lot of new CBA concepts come out over the last few days, so let's see their merits right here.

Faux franchise tag

a team would be allowed to designate one player for preferential contractual treatment, including more overall money, more guaranteed money and at least one extra year on his contract. A player would have to agree to such a designation. It is designed to work as an incentive to get a player to remain with his team rather than as a roadblock to free agency, the sources said.

Thoughts: Useless. I do not understand what makes it different from the current system already in place. Home teams can already give a player 6 year contracts compared to the 5 year contracts that other teams can give. They can also give bigger raises too. The concept of more guaranteed money would be a new wrinkly though, if the league implements their goal of removing fully guaranteed contracts.

Eliminating sign and trades

 The league likewise has proposed to eliminate sign-and-trades in the next labor agreement. In a provision conceived by the league to inspire loyalty, teams are presently allowed to pay their own free agents more than anyone else. But that ability to offer a contract one year longer than the competition often has resulted in marquee free agents getting traded to the team they choose in free agency after first signing a larger contract with their original team, as seen with both James and Bosh last summer.

Thoughts: Useful. This is the real change that will make the current system work, not increasing the incentives that teams can give. It is absolutely useless to give home teams an "advantage" when they can trade away that advantage. The idea that the home team can give longer contracts worth more money is that a player is supposed to be incentivized to stay with his old team with the lure of financial security and more money. But with sign and trades, what actually happens is all that bargaining power is washed away since players know they can get the best of both worlds. Sign the better contract AND leave the team. Remove the ability to leave the team, and then that extra year will become relevant. 

Salary rollbacks and amnesty

Sources said the owners' latest proposal, however, does still call for immediate rollbacks of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent to current contracts depending on salary levels, as part of the league's oft-stated desire to reduce payroll by roughly $800 million leaguewide on an annual basis.

Another key wrinkle from the rejected proposal, sources said, called for the ability for each team to shed one contract outright before next season through a one-time amnesty provision that wipes that contract off a team's books -- even though the player must still be paid -- reminiscent of a similar provision in the summer of 2005.

Thoughts: Debateable. On one hand, player salaries are excessively high. But on the other hand, should owners receive a "government bailout" for the mistakes they made? The amnesty clause is less controversial, since the players would still get paid anyway, and you all know we would looove to see Outlaw's 7 million melt off our cap figure. But is that a fair thing to do when the owners already got a "bailout" as recently as 2005 and made the same mistakes over and over again? For the salary rollbacks, is it fair for players that signed a contract assuring them of guaranteed money to suddenly have that contract change its terms midway through its life?

Hard cap

The proposal from NBA owners that the NBA Players Association rejected last week called for the implementation of a hard salary cap at a figure lower than the league's current cap, but not until the 2013-14 season, according to sources familiar with the offer.

Thoughts: Not great. A hard cap lower than the current cap figure would only work if the players also accepted the rollback of salaries. But even if all that happens, I don't think a hard cap is the way to go. Sure, it evens the playing field somewhat for big market teams that have money to burn and small market teams that need to stick to a budget, but I don't believe teams should be penalized for trying to be better, even if that means buying their way into it. It's not supposed to be a level playing field. And if there's one thing some teams have shown us is, you can compete without a gigantic financial burden on you, it's all about making smart decisions and getting the right players. With a hard cap, what is a team that accumulated a lot of good young players (like the Thunder) supposed to do? Be forced to break up the team and get worse when they reach the limit?

Elimination of guaranteed contracts

Sources also said the league’s proposal would ban fully guaranteed contracts. All contracts would have limits on the amount of money a player would be guaranteed to receive, and those guarantees would decline during the life of each contract. In other words, a player making, say, $5 million per season over four years would actually be guaranteed less than $5 million in each of those four seasons — and the amount guaranteed would drop each season. The idea is for teams to be able to get out of undesirable contacts more easily and avoid ugly, Eddy Curry-style buyout talks.

Thoughts: Very good. The players don't like it. Of course they don't, guaranteed contracts allowed them to sit on their butts and do nothing if they pleased once they signed on the dotted line. Non-guaranteed contracts would force players to actually keep working hard even after they signed a contract. I don't believe their should be a lot of professions where you should be guaranteed money no matter if you fulfill your end of the bargain or not. 

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