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The Lockout & the Raptors: Players approve CBA, Owners too! (1944)

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  • Sheridan reporting draft change proposals

    How about a third round? Lottery teams getting 2 first round picks? Worst 8 getting 2 firsts? has learned that NBA owners have proposed adding a third round to the annual draft, a proposal that the players’ union has countered by offering an array of changes to the draft that would help address the owners’ desire for more competitive balance.

    According to sources involved in the league’s collective bargaining discussions, the union has proposed various changes to the draft:

    _ Under one proposal, the 15 teams with the worst records would continue to pick 1st through 15th, but then would also have the 16th through 30th picks. The teams with the top 15 records would have the first 15 picks of the second round, then would have the 44th through 60th picks, too. Under this proposal, the Chicago Bulls (whose 62-20 record was the league’s best last season) would have the 45th and 60th picks instead of the 30th and 30th picks. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who had the NBA’s worst record (17-65), would have their lottery pick and the 16th pick, but would no longer have the first pick of the second round — No. 31 overall.

    _ Under another proposal, the teams with the eight worst records would get an additional first round pick, beginning with selection No. 22, and the teams with the eight best records would have no first-round picks but would select at the top of the second round (picks 31 through 38), then also would get the final eight picks of the second round.


    • Matt52 wrote: View Post
      How about a third round? Lottery teams getting 2 first round picks? Worst 8 getting 2 firsts?
      I'm not sure a 3rd round has much of a point... I have nothing against it, but these will be the guys a team could just sign anyways, but don't because they don't feel they are good enough. Maybe if the league had a legit 'minor league' system more rounds would make sense (I mean they kinda do, it just doesn't seem to have an big effect on players save a few exceptions... maybe something like this would make the NBADL a little more useful).

      Lottery teams getting 2 first round picks I'm completely against... although the worst 8 getting 2 picks (1-8 and 22-30) would be much more reasonable.


      • The worst 8 getting 2 is pretty interesting.

        I think I would prefer the top 4 seeds in each conference to lose the first pick. They get first round playoff advantage (i.e. extra revenue) plus, historically, their first round pick is going to be buried on the bench.

        The teams just out of or barely in the playoffs would have no changes made to current system.

        Without too much thought this might be a better idea than the 2 first round picks.

        A third round would have a lot of international players selected to get their rights, in my opinion. Strengthening the D-League and making it more relevant would certainly be a good thing too (again, imo).


        • I think what the players are proposing is too drastic. What's the difference really between the last couple teams in the lottery and the couple teams who squeaked into the playoffs? The same can be asked about the 8th team in the inverted standings compared to the 9th, 10th and 11th. I get the concept behind such a proposal but I do not believe it would work the way the players are envisioning. As for a third round? Yeah, whatever. I don't think it's going to change things too much. I think it will hurt players who would be going undrafted right now because not only are they still not guaranteed a contract but then they can't try and get in on a camp that favors them making a team. I'm thinking you won't see a lot of International players show up to be drafted in the third round because it's of no value to them. It'll probably be comprised of a lot of NCAA seniors.


          • A third round? To do what? This isn't MLB where you need to stock 5 or 6 farm teams. Most second round picks never make the NBA. Don't see a point.

            The players' proposals in creating some sort of de facto "Sandwich Round" for crappy teams is interesting but I'm not sure I like the possibilities that arise in terms of teams gaming the system to get extra picks. MLB teams (particularly TB and Toronto) have really abused the MLB free agent system and I could see something similar occuring here.


            • Just to kill whatever hopes you had:

              Eric P

              After reading the blog on former ESPN analyst, Chris Sheridan, he suggest sides are much closer than expected. Is this a possible ploy to paint worst case scenerio , then agree and look like heros?

              Larry Coon

              I respect Chris greatly, but he has always been very optimistic about the sides’ ability to resolve the labor dispute without bloodshed. He was originally predicting no lockout at all. That didn’t come to pass, of course, but his optimism has been unwavering. Part of it is his assumption that there’s just too much opportunity to make money to risk throwing a big chunk of it away in a prolonged dispute. I think the financial issues are too divisive to be amenable to an easy solution — this is going to drag out, and if there’s going to be a compromise, then it’s going to come at the last minute. I really don’t see any reason to believe that the sides are much closer than expected. They remain way too far apart on the single, overriding issue.
              Eh follow my TWITTER!


              • Hope?

                Alex Kennedy: Source close to the NBA's labor talks reiterated that the players are still expecting a new proposal from the owners this afternoon. Twitter

                Steve Kyler: Sources close to the Players say they are expecting new offer based on concepts from last week. If Owner's deliver, we could have a deal. Twitter
                via via

                "It's a huge week," said Phoenix forward Jared Dudley, who is the player representative for the Suns. "It's a week for us to see how [the owners] are going to react. Are we going to get a proposal [on Tuesday]? That's what we're hoping for. ... If [the owners] stay the same [in their stance], then we just know that we're so far apart, what are we going to do as players?"
                I'm not arguing Dudley's point - it is legit - however I hope the players are willing to budge on their 'status quo' proposal as much as the owners are willing to step back from their radical change proposal. If that happens there might be REAL hope.

                via via NYTimes:

                As one person monitoring the talks said, "They're not just sticking to one side and saying, ‘We're not moving.' " That is a vast improvement from August and puts these talks light-years ahead of where they were during the 1998 lockout. While the circumstances may differ, the comparison is worth noting.
                An opinion but hopefully some truth to it.
                Last edited by mcHAPPY; Tue Sep 13, 2011, 03:03 PM.


                • Hope? Nope.

                  Looks like the optimism was premature.

                  Via ESPN:

                  NEW YORK -- The long looks on players' faces and the anger in Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver's voice made it obvious: There was no progress Tuesday in talks to end the NBA lockout.

                  And with less than three weeks until training camps, the latest setback may be a tough one.

                  "I think coming out of today, obviously because of the calendar, we can't come out of here feeling as though training camps and the season is going to start on time at this point," players' association president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said.

                  Still divided over the salary cap structure, owners and players decided to pass on talking again Wednesday, and no further meetings are scheduled at this point.

                  "Well, we did not have a great day, I think it's fair to say that," Commissioner David Stern said. "On the other hand, we did say that it is our collective task to decide what we want on the one hand on each side, and two, what each side needs if we choose to work ourselves in such a way as to have the season start on time. That's still our goal."

                  Training camps have been expected to open Oct. 3 and the regular season's opening night is scheduled for Nov. 1.

                  "We're a bit pessimistic and discouraged at one, the ability to start on time, and we're not so sure that there may not be further damages or delay trying to get the season started," union executive director Billy Hunter said. "The owners are not inclined at this stage to move off the position where they've anchored themselves."

                  Stern and Silver countered that the union insisted the current soft cap system remain exactly as it is before they would agree to discuss anything else.

                  "Frankly, we're having trouble understanding why the label of a hard cap is what's breaking apart these negotiations right now, and that's what we discussed for a long time as a committee and then discussed together with the players," said Silver, his voice rising as he spoke.

                  After three meetings among small groups in the last two weeks, full bargaining committees returned to the table Tuesday. They could also have met Wednesday, but Stern said it was best the two sides step away and meet with their own membership groups on Thursday.

                  Though owners are seeking an overhaul of the league's financial system after saying they lost $300 million last season and hundreds of millions more in each year of the previous collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap appears to have emerged as the biggest obstacle to a new deal.

                  The current system allows teams to exceed the ceiling through the use of various exceptions if they are willing to pay a luxury tax, giving big-market teams such as the Lakers -- who can take on added payroll -- an advantage over the little guys.

                  But Hunter said a hard cap is "highly untenable," referring to it as a "blood issue" to the players. He added the players were prepared to make a "significant" financial move, but they would only agree to give on dollars if they got a win on the system.

                  "For us, if we give on one, we have to have the other. It can't be just a total capitulation," he said.

                  The league said players wanted owners to guarantee they would concede on the cap as a condition of talking about anything further, but Stern said "all of the owners were completely unified in the view that we needed a system that at the end of the day allowed 30 teams to compete."

                  Added Silver: "That should be the goal of both the owners and the players in this negotiation, not to come in and say that that's off the table, and we won't discuss it and it's a precondition of us making an economic move."

                  The recent meetings had been cordial, sparking hopes that progress was being made. Instead, Fisher and Hunter sat in the middle of a row of players who looked dejected, and now may have to wonder if they need to look harder at finding a job overseas.

                  A sign of how the day went: Owners spent the majority of about five hours behind closed doors caucusing among themselves.

                  "We can't find a place with the league and our owners where we can reach a deal sooner rather than later," Fisher said.

                  Besides the cap, the other main issue remains the division of revenues. Players were guaranteed 57 percent under the old deal and had offered to lower that to 54.3 percent before owners locked them out on July 1. They say the league's proposal would have them a percentage in the 40s, and Hunter said if the owners are serious about a hard cap, he'll give it to them if players get 65 percent.

                  Owners are scheduled to meet Thursday in Dallas, and Stern again said there won't be any decisions to cancel training camps at that session. But that would have to come sometime later this month without a deal. The opening of camps was postponed on Sept. 24 during the 1998 lockout, which reduced the season to 50 games.

                  The union will update players Thursday in Las Vegas, and Fisher said he will tell them that "the way it looks right now we may not start on time." He stressed that players are still committed to the process and "not walking away from the table," but Hunter repeated that they "have instructed us that they're prepared to sit out" rather than accept owners' current proposals.

                  Progress should come eventually over finances. Settling the cap issue could take longer.

                  "We know how to negotiate over dollars when the time comes, but they so conditioned any discussion on our acceptance of the status quo, which sees a team like the Lakers with well over $100 million in payroll and Sacramento at 45," Stern said. "That's not an acceptable alternative for us. That can't be the outcome that we agree to."

                  Last edited by mcHAPPY; Tue Sep 13, 2011, 07:31 PM.


                  • Bummer. I had a feeling all this 'roses and rainbows' talk was a little too much .. shame. With the NHL gearing up to get going, it makes me wish I was a hockey fan ... haha


                    • joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
                      Bummer. I had a feeling all this 'roses and rainbows' talk was a little too much .. shame. With the NHL gearing up to get going, it makes me wish I was a hockey fan ... haha
                      Time to get geared up for NCAA and Lithuania league for Sonny..... oh yeah, and JV


                      • Matt52 wrote: View Post
                        Time to get geared up for NCAA and Lithuania league for Sonny..... oh yeah, and JV
                        This is actually a great point ... despite the lack of NBA, there will still be an abundance of decent basketball to watched.

                        The NCAA especially should be pretty exciting to watch this year.
                        Especially with the Raptors having their eye on another Top5 pick.

                        Not to mention, Sonny will be playing along side Ty Lawson. Should be fun to watch those guys run around!


                        • A lot of buzz about a hard cap today. Here is an article from late August regarding the hard cap from Zack Lowe at

                          Jeffrey Kessler, Dewey & LeBoeuf partner, lead outside counsel to players’ union: “If you have an individual team hard cap, you are going to be desperate to maintain flexibility and to remove and replace players. And that means all but the stars would likely lose their guaranteed contracts. If you have a hard cap for every team, and you’re going to pay the stars of the game fairly, there isn’t going to be enough money left over for the other players. Every NBA player understands this. Big time.”

                          Mark Bartelstein, player agent: “A hard cap at the team level obviously takes away a tremendous amount of flexibility and movement. Everybody in the world wants to choose where they work. Maybe a player wants to play in a certain city or for a particular coach. If you make the system more restrictive with a hard salary cap, teams that are bumping up against that cap can’t go beyond it and pursue free agents. And suddenly there is no such thing as a free agent.”

                          Andrew Zimbalist, professor, sports economist: “The players believe that when you have a soft-cap system with exceptions that allow teams to go over the cap, teams can pay more money to players, such as players who have Larry Bird rights. And what that does is it sets a benchmark for the market value of those players. That benchmark is important for making the argument later on that a particular player deserves more money. You want to be able to go to the bargaining table and say, ‘This player got X, I deserve X plus 3 percent.’ This is what happens when a free market is allowed to operate.”

                          (Zimbalist added this: “The bigger struggle is the percentage [of basketball-related income] rather than the hard versus soft cap.”)

                          Gabe Feldman, law professor, labor/sports law expert: “If the players were allowed to keep their current 57 percent but had to accept a hard cap, then I’m not sure the players would have as much of an issue. They are worried mostly about the combination of a hard cap and a lower percentage. But just taking the hard cap on its own, there would be less money to go around for the veteran fringe guys who are often overpaid at this point. The stars will get their money — it’s never the superstars who are hurt. But if you institute a strict payroll cap, there will be less money to go around.”

                          I could go on, but you get the point, and the question is sort of moot anyway, since owners want to cut the players’ share of league revenues to a level the union says it cannot accept. But you can see in these responses — from stake-holders and experts, alike — how concerned the union is for the rank-and-file veterans, and how different that group of players is from both superstars and guys on rookie deals. (Note: Mike Wise’s bang-up piece today in the Washington Post gets at this same issue in discussing “dead” contracts tied to underperforming veterans.)

                          Note the bolded sections. This is not about rookie deals or stars. This is the average players looking for huge deals they, in my opinion, do not deserve. The average person in Canada and US makes a little over $40K a year (quick google search) taking around 25 years to make $1M. The stars drive the league and deserve every penney. The average players - you know who they are - don't sell jack and, except their family and friends, very few tune in to watch them or buy their jerseys.

                          This lockout, in my opinion, is because the 'average' players are the majority and they are fighting to keep what they feel they deserve. The fact the veteran's minimum alone is 25 years of work for the average joe means nothing to them in my opinion. If the average salary in the NBA is around $5M per season, that is 125 works for the average person. Think about that.

                          As for owners wanting a hard cap. Maybe a compromise can be reached but I think most companies (and even government) would budget for salary. Not sure why this proposal seems so out of whack to players especially when it could help the overall competitiveness of the league. Oh right, I get it.... then the average player won't be able to make 125 years salary of the average person per season. Foolish me.

                          My rant is over. I'm a little bummed with the way things turned out today.


                          • Hahah I hear ya Matt. It's a little ridiculous. The Super Stars make the teams the most money. So they make the most money. Just like in ANY company. The guys who bring in the most money, make the most.

                            But Steve Ashburner always has a way of explaining the other side quite well... it's a long-y but a good-y:

                            NBA's 'average' salary -- $5.15M -- a trendy, touchy subject

                            Average is blah. Average is middling. Average is neither good nor bad. It is distinctive only for being undistinguished.

                            Except in the world of professional sports, that is, where the average player's compensation is decidedly above-average.

                            The whole topic of average salaries was put in play again after recent NBA negotiating sessions for a new collective bargaining agreement. It was left to commissioner David Stern on at least two occasions to offer perspective on this squabble between multi-millionaire players and multi-millionaire owners.

                            Asked after an unproductive Aug. 1 session in New York about the NFL's new labor settlement, Stern said: "From where we sit, we are looking at a league [the NFL] that was the most profitable in sports, that became more profitable by virtue of concessions from their players, with an average salary of $2 million. Our average salary is $5 million, we're not profitable and we just can't seem to get over the gap that separates us."

                            Back in June, in reacting to a National Basketball Players Association offer built on the NBA's anticipated revenue growth in coming seasons, Stern said: "The proposal that we're confronted with is one that seeks to take the average compensation from the ... $5 million per player that we currently have to $7 million by Year 6."

                            The NBA has used the "average player salary" figure more often than that. Its mid-level salary-cap exception -- a staple of free agency since 1999 -- has been built off that figure. Each summer, an audit of the just-completed season's Basketball Related Income (BRI) announces it as well. For instance, the average player salary for the 2010-11 season was $5.15 million, based on overall player compensation of $2.176 billion and approximately 425 players active last season.

                            "Average" prices and costs get used all the time: the average price of a gallon of gas, the average cost of tuition. But using the average player salary at a time of CBA negotiations can also enflame a situation, because "average" tends to be so far from, well, average.

                            "It's a completely nonsensical comparison," said player agent Mark Bartelstein, who represents both NBA and NFL clients, when asked about comparisons of football and basketball salaries. "To talk about that is really comparing apples to oranges."

                            First, let's get the numbers on the table. Here is the "average player salary" for each of the major U.S. professional team sports, based on a variety of sources using the most recent data available:

                            NBA: $5.15 million (2010-11)

                            MLB: $3.34 million (2010)

                            NHL: $2.4 million (2010-11)

                            NFL: $1.9 million (2010)

                            As far as what an "average" athlete might earn in the various sports, those salaries are, in fact, apples-to-apples. They simply are the figures arrived at by dividing the total player compensation for each league by the number of participants in a given season.

                            But there are three common objections to those numbers -- quantitative, qualitative and statistical -- often heard from NBA players and their agents.

                            The first objection is obvious: There are far more players divvying up the NFL pie, with 53 players per team compared to a maximum of 15 in the NBA, 23 in the NHL and 25 in baseball. NBA players are more "elite" simply because there are fewer of them.

                            Next, because of those smaller rosters, the impact of any one player on an NBA team in theory is greater than any one player in the other sports. A starter in the NBA is 20 percent of his team's primary lineup, compared to 16.7 percent in hockey, 11.1 percent in baseball or 4.5 percent in football (22 starters, offense and defense combined).

                            There probably is no more important position in those four sports than NFL quarterback, but the fact is, he's on the field half the time (or less, allowing for special teams). A starting pitcher can dominate a ball game by himself -- but he sits out four of every five games. A hot goaltender can alter the course of a Stanley Cup series but he's a specialist, too, who won't be scoring many goals for his club.

                            An NBA superstar, meanwhile, can contribute for 40 minutes or more out of each game's 48. Between points scored, rebounds grabbed and assists dished, he can account for much of his team's scoring or second chances. And the best of them play just as hard, and nearly as effectively, at the defensive end. Even bench players, if they're in their teams' rotation, have defined and significant roles.

                            Maybe most importantly, though, is the statistical objection to using an "average" player salary when a "median" figure would be more reflective of a typical athlete's earning power.

                            Average, or mean, is the number calculated by dividing the total compensation by the number of players. Median is the salary point where half of the players in a league are paid more and half are paid less. A few maximum-salary contracts can skew the average by pulling it up, while the median would be unaffected.

                            Think of it this way: If you own a $200,000 house on a block with five identical homes and someone builds a $1 million McMansion on the vacant corner lot, the average value of homes on that block suddenly would be $333,333. The median value would remain $200,000. Which figure is closer to reality?

                            "It's the median salary that's more important," NBA agent Bill Duffy said. "Look at the Miami Heat as an analogy here: You've got three guys making $17 million and probably six guys making $1.2 [million]. So that's a little misguided, that average salary."

                            The top three players on the Heat actually are under contract to make about $16 million (for two of them) and $15.5 million (for the other) in 2011-12, according to The rest are scheduled to make anywhere from around $5.4 million to $300,000.

                            It is not unlike, Duffy said, news stories that cite the "average" U.S. household income as opposed to the median. The latter figure, according to the most recent U.S. census, was $50,233. If you were to average in the dollar amounts pulled down by Wall Street bankers, Ivy League lawyers, certain public-union employees and yes, professional athletes, that number would jump considerably.

                            Curiously, neither the NBA nor the NBPA seems to make much use of a median player salary.

                            "We use [average] because it's the most commonly used measure and best reflects the amount of compensation that the NBA provides to players across the league," an NBA spokesman said this week. "In addition, it's the measure that both we and the union agreed upon in the CBA."

                            In the NFL, the median salary is approximately $770,000 -- about 40 percent of the average.

                            In the NBA, using USA Today salary figures for the 2009-10 season, the estimated median salary was about $2.33 million. That's still about 46 times what the median U.S. household earns, but it is less than half what the max-salary-bloated "average" is. (JOEY SAYS: 46 TIMES!?!! HOLY BANANAS!!)

                            (While we're at it, the league's minimum salaries ranged in 2010-11 from $473,604 for a rookie to $1,352,181 for a 10-year veteran.)

                            Why is this important? From the NBA owners' standpoint, the total player compensation figures matter most. At 57 percent of BRI, the players received $2.176 billion, leaving about $1.64 billion for the teams. After all expenses, the league says it lost approximately $300 million.

                            In its most recent proposal, as described by Stern, the players were asked to take an 8 percent pay cut to $2 billion overall, with a pay freeze -- or limited participation in league growth -- for as long as 10 years. So it's worth knowing what that 8 percent cut means to a typical player: Is it $412,000 off an "average" salary of $5.15 million or $186,400 given back from $2.33 million, the median salary?

                            "No one is going to feel sorry for NBA players and no one should," Bartelstein said. But he says that the NBA's use of "average player salary" is a public-relations tool to sway people in their opinions of the lockout.

                            The league wouldn't agree. But, in this summer of labor discord, disagreement is pretty common. You might even call it average.
                            Last edited by Joey; Tue Sep 13, 2011, 08:25 PM.


                            • Tried to bold some on his major key points. Sorry its so long ... figured it was relevant though. Hah


                              • Joey - I think I had read that somewhere along the way. Very relevant and good post.

                                My thinking on this still comes down to the average person versus average player salary. Even if we use $2.33M and the average salary is around 4 seasons, we're still talking $9.2 M which is about 455 years of work for the average joe.