The 2011 NBA Draft was last night and a lot of players achieved their childhood dreams. Some moves were booed and others were cheered by the crowd as NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the picks. But now that the draft is over, the NBA negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement now take center stage.
The players and the owners seem to not be on the same page. The owners want a hard cap, shorter contracts and less money and they want to keep the escrow from the 2010-2011 season for themselves. The players like the soft cap, want the same type of money and feel the escrow should be shared with the player. Well, I hear all these points, but the toughest point to sell will be the hard cap. Looking at the hard cap and the things it with current salaries, all NBA fans should be worried.
When you look at the hard cap, it would basically prevent teams from going over the league set minimum amount of cap space. This would mean teams like the Lakers, whose payroll is $90 million, would be in trouble. The Big 3 in Miami would be forced to breakup due to the fact that their salaries alone take up almost all the cap space and with no wiggle room, Miami wouldn't be able to sign veterans to their minimum or even rookie to their rookie contracts. Another example of a team that would be in trouble would be the New York Knicks. They are paying hefty salaries for Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudamire. No solft cap means less of a chance they can have some manueverability to get pieces they need.
My message to the owners is they need to think long and hard before settling on a hard cap. I understand that most of the teams in the NBA are losing money, but the hard cap won't make it any better. That means more players out of jobs in the NBA. That means more teams not as competitive as they could be. This means you possibly not seeing the money you used to make come playoff time because you couldn't get that piece you needed to make the playoffs. Now make your decision based off those statements owners. Does the hard cap look so appealing now?