In Zach Lowe's latest column for Grantland, the NBA writer discusses how the recent lack of trades --and large number of subsequent buyouts-- shows a new responsibility among NBA owners, how they are spending less and making more under the new CBA ... with one exception:
The Nets passed on sliding Jordan Hill into their disabled player exception, a move that would have vaulted Brooklyn’s payroll and tax bill just north of $210 million. They took on a small amount of money in the Marcus Thornton trade, a solid buy-low move, and that alone resulted in a lot of angry eye-rolling from the rest of the league. Had they splurged on Hill, the discontent would have grown louder.
The new CBA has scared even the glitzy teams with lucrative television deals; the Lakers worked hard to cut their tax bill for the second straight season, and the Knicks tried to attach Felton’s plump contract to any Shumpert deal. The Nets are an anomaly, but they’re such an outlandish one that they alone might push the league toward another work stoppage in 2017, when the NBA can opt out of the current CBA.
How is not laid out, but we assume that if the Nets succeed in their spending frenzy and win something, the other owners will want to change the rules again. Of course, if it all fails, they'll sit back and count the luxury tax money they receive from Mikhail Prokhorov's bloated treasury and joke about the silly Russian who thought he could buy a championship.
Well, here's our response: as Nets fans, we don't care. We aren't multi-millionaires or billionaires, like 13 team owners. If the Big Russian wants to try to build a championship by "overspending" on the team, we are with him! We support him! You go, Big Mike!
There isn't much parity in the NBA. Take a look at the list of teams who've won it all the last two decades, all very familiar names. But there's no guarantee the new CBA will bring parity either. It might bring more profits to the owners but that doesn't guarantee anything on the court.
And to be quite frank, we don't recall a lot of punditry about parity five years ago, no lamenting about how the Nets needed a boost as fans struggled through the horrors of a 12-70 season and near-bankruptcy. Back then, the Nets were at best an afterthought, at worst a joke. If people want to laugh at Prokhorov, and the Nets for spending, we're fine with that. Better than being laughed at for being cheap. Been there, done that..
- The Post-Deadline NBA - Zach Lowe - Grantland