HoopsHype Salary Cap rumors

October 29, 2014 Updates
October 19, 2014 Updates

“Things change so rapidly in business that you can’t predict two years from now,” Cuban said. “I think I read it [the salary cap] could go to $91 [million], but I haven’t done the math.” Asked what he thinks about the players wanting to do away with maximum contracts, opening the door for monster deals for monster players, Cuban said: “If you give up guarantees, it’s a trade-off. It was discussed during the lockout [in 2011] among owners but never got anywhere. So it was just one of those trial balloons. I’m not suggesting it. All I’m saying is that was something we discussed before, and max contracts are always a big question, guarantees are always a big question. But we have two years before that’s even an issue.” Dallas Morning News

October 12, 2014 Updates

The new wrinkle this week: the NBA's massive upcoming television rights deal, which will bring in more than $24 billion from ESPN and Turner Sports. That means everything will shoot up: team values, salary caps and player contracts. The rub is the deal doesn't kick in until 2016, meaning players who sign contracts over the next year could feel like someone who buys an iPhone right before the new version is introduced. If Thompson wants in on the gold rush on the horizon, he could always sign a one-year deal, then become a restricted free agent in 2016. "It really is tempting to do all that," Thompson said. "But I'd rather have the security right now, you know?" ESPN.com

October 9, 2014 Updates

The other part is while smoothing, by way of a lump sum payment is a neat and clean way for the NBA to deal with a new influx of cash with a huge jump in the salary cap, how the Player’s Association would distribute those funds becomes unclear as well. They could simply issue an equal installment to every player, or devise some sort of formula to issue monies based on some criteria like percentage of cap. One league source suggested that a lump sum payment could be, at least in part, held back as a war chest of sorts for what’s expected to be a labor fight in 2017, when the players are expected to opt out of the current CBA. Basketball Insiders

With new leadership in place on the player’s side it will be interesting to see if new Executive Director Michele Roberts uses this opportunity to buy some good will among the rank and file, by way of a nice lump sum check to every player, rather than fighting a smoothing plan and letting the 140 or so players headed to free agency absorb the gains from the new TV deal. This is issue is far from decided, so there will clearly be more to know in the coming weeks, however team sources say they are not planning for a massive cap increase in 2016, so that’s at least one indicator that something on the smoothing front could be agreed to. Basketball Insiders

October 7, 2014 Updates

Based on one team's estimates, James could earn $28 million as a free agent in 2016—a 36 percent leap from his current salary. Assuming a four-year deal with maximum raises, James would earn an NBA-record $34 million in the final season, the most any player has earned in the max-contract era. Michael Jordan made a record $33 million in 1997-98, the season before the NBA capped individual salaries. Bleacher Report

Although the players' share of revenue has gone down, their actual earnings are about to spike dramatically, thanks to the new infusion of TV dollars. The average salary, currently $5.5 million, could leap to about $7.3 million in 2016, according to team executives. Bleacher Report

And the riches could be spread far and wide, as the salary cap surges from $63 million this season to a projected $84.4 million in 2016-17. Every team in the league could be under the cap in two years (even the spend-happy Nets), creating a cash surplus that—under the NBA's system—must be spent on players. Bleacher Report

The current collective bargaining agreement actually runs through 2021, but either side can opt out in 2017, and the players are almost certain to do so, for obvious reasons: 1. The union made massive financial concessions in 2011, giving up $300 million a year. 2. The new TV deal, as James indicated, removes the NBA's rationale for those concessions. "I think it's a pretty good bet, based on both of those things," that the players will opt out, Michele Roberts, the union's new executive director, told Bleacher Report in a recent interview. She added, "It would be silly for anyone to assume" otherwise. Bleacher Report

Roberts made that prediction before the new TV deal was completed, but both sides have long known that the huge revenue spike was coming and that it would prompt a reassessment of the labor deal. Indeed, Roberts said, "The minute I was told I was selected to be the executive director (in July), I started preparing for the opt-out." Bleacher Report

About a week into the process, Fegan decided it was time to try to propose something different. And that led him to the three-year construction, featuring the Year 2 player option and a maximum 15 percent trade kicker. He then took to it Cuban, convinced that the new formula would put the most pressure on Houston to let Parsons go if the Rockets hoped to maintain the utmost flexibility. For the following reasons: Players in the first year of a matched offer sheet can't be traded without their consent. With the ability to become a free agent after the second year, Parsons would likely have diminished trade value to small-market teams fearful he'd simply leave at the first opportunity ... while also potentially dissuading big-market teams that prize flexibility from trading for him and then seeing Parsons decide to opt in for the third year. The trade kicker in this contract could also prove to be even more expensive than usual, were Parsons to be dealt, if the salary cap rises as dramatically as some are projecting thanks to the TV money expected to pour into the league in the near future, as ESPN.com's Larry Coon explains in greater detail here. And in the Rockets' case specifically, Parsons' possession of an option to become a free agent in July 2016 meant he and Howard would likely be returning to the open market at the same time, which figured to be uncomfortable for Houston. ESPN.com

The league right now projects a jump to $66.5 million for 2015-16, a modest rise pegged to the final year of that modest $930 million TV deal. If the new TV deal kicks in for the 2016-17 season just shy of $2 billion, the cap could exceed that same $14 million leap, all the way to around $80-plus million, in a single year. If for some reason the new TV deal starts north of $2 billion in the first year — meaning it would include smaller year-over-year jumps — the cap for 2016-17 could leap even higher. If it started at that exact $2.68 billion figure, it would break $90 million, according to my own math and some bleary-eyed late-Sunday projections from cap gurus around the league. The plans as of now are to start at $2.1 billion in 2016-17, the first year of the deal, and escalate in even year-over-year increments to a peak of $3.1 billion in the final year, per sources who have reviewed a memo the league sent to teams today. Grantland

Other smoothing mechanisms would need to involve the union, and the league is open to that. Some team executives have floated the idea of retroactively bumping up existing contracts that carry into the new TV deal, to make sure those players get their share. That would draw opposition from teams who signed those contracts specifically with an eye on how their value would evolve. Grantland

October 6, 2014 Updates
October 5, 2014 Updates

Rick Bonnell: Sounds like NBA's new TV deal is done. Lots more revenue, which means a higher cap. Get ready for sticker shock on player salaries. Twitter @rick_bonnell

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