http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2 ... -warriors/
When the opening proposal of your upcoming labor negotiations is described by one source as “just a photocopy of [Commissioner David] Stern’s middle finger,” you may be on your way to a lockout. The NBA is in the midst of one of its busiest off-seasons ever, but we should enjoy the activity while it lasts. With the collective bargaining agreement — the governing document for player and owner relations — once again up for negotiation next summer, the 2011 off-season may be an extended vacation. Here’s how the key issues in play might be shaping the Warriors’ current decisions.
On July 1, 2011, the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners will expire.
Unless certain provisions have been put in place, the owners will lock the doors to the gyms — and the direct deposits into players’ bank accounts will stop.
Right now, both sides are digging in — and there’s good reason to believe the dramatic changes being discussed will lead to a drawn out dispute.
At the risk of gross over-simplification, the owners are entering these negotiations looking to cut costs with many NBA teams allegedly losing tens of millions of dollars annually — while the players are looking to hold onto their current earning power. These opposing forces will play out through a few issues:
Adjustment of basketball related income (”BRI”)
Implementation of a hard cap
Lower salaries and shorter deals
Taken as a package, the owners are likely to push for a lower cap with fewer loopholes and player contracts that are cheaper and shorter. If these changes come to pass, the remnants of the old system may alter the power dynamic of the NBA.
Its implications on the warriors-
When you consider the nightmare scenario — a year-long lockout — there could be a mega-free-agency period in the summer of 2012 with two years’ worth of free agents hitting the market. By my understanding (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), players don’t get paid during the lockout, but the terms of their contracts continue to run
Therefore, someone with a deal ending in the summer of 2012 (say, Charlie Bell) might not get paid for the 11-12 season, but his contract will still end at the scheduled time. For the Warriors, this would allow them to hit pause on any deals that expire at the end of next season (say, Brandan Wright) — then wait a year for the labor situation to sort itself out — and choose from two years of free agents in reassembling the team. Lee, Ellis, Biedrins, Wright, Curry and Udoh would still be under contract — the rest of the roster would be up for grabs. The same principle about capped out teams holds here as well — squads like Lakers, Mavs and Heat would almost certainly be capped out under a lower figure and less able to utilize exceptions to round out their squads. On the other hands, teams without much long-term salary commitment will have room to sign current free agents to much more affordable deals. The Warriors would be closer to the latter category than the former.