Dismiss Notice
Guest, I have a big favor to ask you. We've been working very hard to establish ourselves on social media. If you like/follow our pages it would be a HUGE help to us. SoSH on Facebook and Inside the Pylon Thanks! Nip

Is the NBA star system broken? If so, can it be fixed?

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by Average Game James, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    This has come up in bits and pieces across the Kyrie and AD threads and I think it’s worthy of discussion on its own...

    While from a headlines perspective the superstar melodrama is a huge win for the NBA, there are certainly issues with the current system when a player can essentially force their way out with 2 years left on a contract and where many NBA teams, absent tanking and drafting a generational talent, have little/no chance to attract and retain a superstar and therefore very little chance to realistically compete for a championship...

    While there are exceptions (‘04 Pistons) and examples of teams that smartly locked up future stars on good contracts (pre-KD Warriors), for the most part stars win in the NBA. And with star players underpriced, this means an already scarce resource is now clustering, and a good number of teams have zero chance to sign one (off the top of my head: IND, CHA, DET, ATL, CLE, MEM, NO, MIN, SAC, UTA - that’s a third of the league). Personally, I’d rather see more even teams battle it out that than know who will very likely win the championship before the season even starts - the Western Conference 2-9 is really interesting, and it’s not unreasonable to say at least 3 teams have a shot to come out of the East. While the NFL does a lot of things wrong, the fact that a team can go from last place to a Super Bowl appearance in a year (PHI) or two (Rams) is cool. The NBA is pretty much the polar opposite with at best maybe a half dozen teams that can reasonably compete for a title. I think efforts to disperse star players and create some parity would be a welcome change.

    Beyond the question of whether something should be done (parity is nice, but superstars in NY and LA are generally good for the league too), there is also the question of what, if anything, could be done? A few thoughts that range anywhere from plausible to “it could work, but there is no way the players/owners would go for it.”

    1. Eliminate the max contract. I can’t imagine the owners or players going for this, but it’s really the best answer. In a league with 50-60 max contracts but far fewer true superstars, it encourages formation of super teams. But, if AD could make twice as much money going to the Clippers instead of the Lakers, would he be so eager to team up with LeBron?

    2. Limit the number of max contracts per team to 2. Obviously a bit more complexity to this or you could just go “max minus $1” but maybe something like 2 max deals and then no other contract can be more than 20% of the cap. We’ve seen guys take a little less to play with other stars, but does Bosh take that big of a hit to team up with Wade and LeBron in Miami? More broadly, this helps the NBA rank and file (more money for the mid-tier players) and leaves teams with fewer big contract liabilities, so this doesn’t seem unworkable.

    3. Lower max available to teams that already have max players. Basically, if teams have max players already, the most they can offer to a FA is 5% less (or some other number, the 5% is just hypothetical) than the max he is eligible for for each max deal they already have (e.g. 35% max eligible player can only be offered 30% by team with one max player, 25% by team with two). So, not only does the current team have the higher/longer max to offer, but it also means teams that already have stars can offer less. In theory, should encourage staying with current teams or more dispersion of top players.

    4. Compensation to teams losing max FAs. Obviously, nothing would offset the blow of losing an AD or LeBron, but something along the NFL franchise system at least gives teams something to soften the loss that might make some teams call their star’s bluff and being willing to take the lower/shorter contact elsewhere. For example, let’s say any team that makes its FA player a 5 yr max offer and loses him to another team gets that team’s first round picks in the next two drafts (we axe the Stepian rule in this scenario). There are challenges around if picks are owed elsewhere, but presumably that can be worked around (e.g. signing team gives up second round pick in years it cannot convey a first until both firsts are conveyed). I guess the other challenge would be a situation like the Knicks who want to sign KD/Kyrie this off-season... no clear answer comes to mind here.
     
  2. Devizier

    Devizier Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    9,261
    The league is enjoying one of its best seasons in history -- there are tons of interesting teams outside the top tier and plenty of enjoyable games on a given night. I get that people get frustrated by the trade demands et al. but overall the movement of stars isn't that much higher than in past eras (think Adrian Dantley, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone). Most superstars stay with the team that drafted them through their first max contract, which is a pretty long time.
     
  3. cheech13

    cheech13 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    984
    You can't legislate parity into a game that only allows five players onto the court at a time. Superstars are always going to dominate and the teams with those players are going to have the best chance to win. If you're goal is simply to distribute those players more widely across the league you have eliminate max contracts and install a hard cap with high floor. Make teams pay real market value for talent and the superstar team-up era will likely disappear.

    As to the larger point about the system being "broken" I don't know that I can agree. The league is probably at its popularity peak right now and the trade and free agency periods have drawn tons of positive attention to the league. The NBA trade deadline is overshadowing the Super Bowl right now. Who would have ever thought that was possible?

    The biggest issue, if there is one, is the sheer dominance of the Warriors (which itself is a one-time aberration caused by the spike in popularity of the league). Remove Durant from that team and we are probably looking at the most wide open championship race in at least a decade, probably two. The pressure to beat that team is leading to some weird decisions by both players and teams and it'll like work itself out as that team ages out or breaks up for other reasons.
     
  4. Seels

    Seels Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,181
    I don't know I've thought it's been broke for 2 decades at least. Parity in the league has never really existed. I'm not really sure how the league fixes it to be honest -- changing the max contract seems like a blah idea.

    I think a lot of it is fixed by fixing the tanking system but I'm not sure how that is accomplished either. It's kind of ridiculous that a team's destiny will be tied to being as bad as possible one year.

    One thing I would change is the lottery. Either get rid of it entirely, or make it so every team is eligible, even the team that has won 60 games the last 5 years. It's kind of ridiculous that the best positions for a team to be in are either terrible or terrific -- it's not like being the lowest seeded team in the NFL or MLB is discouraged, but being an 8 seed in the NBA might as well be purgatory.
     
  5. EvilEmpire

    EvilEmpire Dope Staff Member Dope

    Messages:
    8,850
    I don't think the current system is broken, but I can understand why some fans get super frustrated when they may be losing a star instead of possibly gaining one. I think I saw a similar thread last year on the Sons of Austin Carr board.
     
  6. Gash Prex

    Gash Prex Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,664
    I find it frustrating because it takes the focus off the season and basketball - and potentially distracts teams like the Celtics and can create unnecessary drama. But ESPN/talking heads sure love it

    I think players should have the power to do what they want but not in the middle of the season. July 1 - go right ahead.
     
  7. doc

    doc Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,871
    Simplify the salary cap. The cap right now is $100M, with the tax threshold at $125M. Set the cap at $125M and then each team gets 1 Max contract at $25M, 1 Max2 at $20M, 2 Max3 at $15M and 4 Max4 at $10M, then you have 4 players for the last $10M. No exceptions, no Bird Rights no mixing contract levels. I suppose the contracts can be as long as you want, but if you give someone your $25M slot for 10 years and they blow out their knee in year 2 you are fucked
     
  8. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    This doesn’t have anything to do with Kyrie at all, FWIW. I just don’t really enjoy all the angling to create super teams a la the Lakers and Knicks. It’s insane to me that LA can just suck for nearly a decade, then sign LeBron, have him use his agency to try to leverage AD out of NO, then sign a max guy in the off-season. All because it’s LA, it’s a more appealing market than a lot of other NBA cities, and there’s no way other teams can offer guys more money/years.
     
  9. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,299
    Makes me wonder how HS football players ever choose, say, Wisconsin, over the U? Why on earth would an 18-year old BMOC prefer to live in Wisconsin over Miami (Coral Gables) where there are so many hot girls in bikinis and 90 degree weather?
     
  10. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    I can see reasons... playing time/opportunity, coaching/scheme and fit, proximity to family is probably more important to college kids (especially without money), national profile of team... but once at the pro level with a max contract attached, zero reason to pick Detroit over Miami...
     
  11. Big John

    Big John lurker

    Messages:
    1,285
    The easiest way to fix it is to stop giving the stars every call. Level the playing field, even if it costs some jersey sales.
    The gap in performance between stars and pretty good players who are non-stars is magnified for marketing purposes.
     
  12. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

    Messages:
    39,287
    To me stars teaming up, however they get there, is the best thing about the league and if anything, should be somehow encouraged more. Personally what I hate is how restrictive it is to make trades, I think it hurts everyone. One example is Carmelo Anthony, there were a few years where NY would have been happy to trade him for a reasonable return and he could have been the 3rd or 4th guy on a title contender, but it was just too hard to do so given his massive salary. Or even the Celtics' current position with Kyrie and AD, it's absurd to me that BOS can't trade for him right now simply because of the type of contract those two are on, even if they can give NO the best package by far. I just don't think that helps anyone.
     
  13. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    The problem is, there’s basically no chance they will team up in Minnesota or Memphis or Detroit... with the current cap and max salary structure, none of those teams has a chance to attract a superstar. So, absent tanking and getting lucky in the lottery, a good chunk of the league has almost no shot. It’s stacked in favor of big markets in every league, but at least the NFL has the franchise tag, and in the MLB smaller market teams at least have the option to spend.
     
  14. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Spoken like a Yankees fan. ;)

    The current system works great if you love the Soap Opera as much as the on-court action, if you're a fan of one the teams that will always attract free agents, or if you're a fan of a team with one or more stars already on it. If your team is one of the NBA's have-nots, well, good luck in the draft lottery. Until you get lucky, and probably lucky more than once, your team only exists to give the superstars opposition - you're the Washington Generals.

    And maybe the NBA is growing in popularity *because* it's like this. Maybe millennials cheer for stars more than teams at a greater rate than the generations before them? Maybe the trick is just to target the big cities and the bandwagon jumpers, rather than the traditional fan who roots for all of the teams in his or her city come hell or high water? And maybe the NBA is also growing so well outside of the US in part because international fans are used to the soccer model of a few super-teams - e.g., Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain - dominating the standings in most years and always having the resources to collect the best players?
     
  15. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

    Messages:
    39,287
    I mean, Conley and Gasol are in MEM right now, Westbrook and George are in OKC.
     
  16. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

    Messages:
    39,287
    Do people really think that if the best 30 players in the league were distributed precisely one per team that the NBA would be more fun to watch? Go back to Magic vs. Bird, that would have been way way less compelling (to me anyway) without McHale and Worthy and Parish and Kareem.
     
  17. Euclis20

    Euclis20 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,697
    OKC is the exception in most of these discussions, but Memphis is not. I like Mike Conley as much as the next guy, but no one is confusing him with a superstar, or even star. 12 years in the league and 0 all star appearances?
     
  18. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    There's a huge middle ground between this sort of socialism and how the NBA currently works.
     
  19. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    9,288
    It wouldn't necessarily be that. A team could have 2 top 10 guys and nothing else or a team could have 5 good starters and a good bench.

    There's no option to do that now. Durant and Curry essentially make just as much as Lilliard and McCollum so they can still have the same type of depth.
     
  20. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    And to keep Conley Memphis had to make the zero time all-star the highest paid player in NBA history at the time... I don’t think anyone else thought he was a max player.
     
  21. Ed Hillel

    Ed Hillel Wants to be startin somethin SoSH Member

    Messages:
    21,061
    I don’t care about parity so much as the players taking teams hostage. You have superstar players with guaranteed contracts pretending to be injured for an entire fucking year, announcing they want out and being forced to sit half the season, signing short contracts and during the season blatantly colluding about where they want to get together and play next. There is more drama off the court than on it.

    The CBA is a hot mess, too, starting with max contracts. You want more parity (they don’t)? Get rid of them.
     
  22. cheech13

    cheech13 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    984
    Clearly the NBA is skewed toward big markets like LA and NY, as evidenced by the league's best team, the Milwaukee Bucks, fighting to stay ahead of Denver, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Indianapolis and thwart the evil juggernaut dynasty from Oakland.
     
  23. Ananti

    Ananti little debbie downer SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,100
    Get rid of the max contract and most of the problem with super teams go away.
     
  24. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    That’s not what I’m saying at all. All I’m saying is that teams should have a more even shot at acquiring top players. As it is right now, with every team only able to offer the same contracts and all the collusion between the top guys, half the league may as well be written off.

    I’d say actually enforcing the tampering rules could help - imagine if the NBA came out and said “the Lakers are not permitted to acquire Anthony Davis” - but we all know that can’t happen (and wouldn’t even if it could be done).
     
  25. lexrageorge

    lexrageorge Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,954
    There isn't much that can be done about players moving to desirable locales when they hit free agency. But I do think it's time to rethink the whole max contract situation. The luxury tax attempted to limit the number of max contracts a team could offer. And provisions such as the supermax and the additional benefits of Bird rights players were supposed to even the field. Only the Pelicans can offer Davis a designated veteran extension, and Davis will automatically lose that opportunity once he's traded or he leaves. But the difference doesn't seem to matter; Kyrie gave up any chance of getting a supermax once he agreed to be traded to the Celtics. Just goes to show that a lot of these provisions had unintended consequences that were not easily forseen.

    I get the feeling creating formal salary slots for veteran players will be a complete nonstarter during the next round of CBA negotiations. Removing the max contract is an option, but small market owners may not go along. They could goose the benefits of a player resigning using Bird rights. I agree with making trades less complicated, as the current structure makes it all but impossible for a good but not great team to improve themselves for the playoff run. But there are still competing interests between the large and small market owners that make that difficult. I doubt the players would go for a hard cap.
     
  26. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    Let’s revisit this in 6 months when KD and another max guy are in NY, and AD and/or Kawhi are in LA...

    And you know what? Toronto and Denver and Milwaukee have been well managed and are exactly the type of teams that should be in the AD derby to push for a title. Except they all know they have pretty much no shot to keep Davis because they have no way to meaningfully top an LA offer and he’s basically saying it’s LA or bust.

    The optics of it just also suck since it’s been clear he and LeBron orchestrated this with the agency connections on the dinners when NO plays LA, etc. If you’re a fan of a small market team, how does it not feel like the league is rigged?
     
  27. Moonlight Graham

    Moonlight Graham lurker

    Messages:
    19
    I think the biggest factor in accelerated player movement is players' emerging preference to sign up for shorter term deals. It's sort of the modern twist on Charlie Finley's proposal at the onset of MLB free agency to limit all contracts to only one year, so then everyone would be free agents each year. In the eyes of NBA superstars, the allure of multi-year guarantees seems to be diminished these days. They seem perfectly comfortable betting on themselves to stay healthy to maximize their future options, especially since they already have enough money to live on for the rest of their lives by the time they are in this position.
     
  28. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    It certainly helps that in the grand scheme of things, NBA players don’t have nearly the same risk of career altering injuries as the other sports. I think a similar realization has led MLB position players to go year to year in arb rather than delaying free agency.
     
  29. AMS25

    AMS25 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    Eh, Paul George was saying LA or bust, too. Well-managed small market teams can draft well and collect assets through trade that other teams want. The Thunder wouldn't have Paul George if they hadn't drafted Sabonis and acquired Oladipo through trade.
     
  30. cheech13

    cheech13 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    984
    I'm not too worried. The Lakers were armed with Lebron and a max slot last summer and couldn't land a free agent. Hometown boy Paul George, who spent a year saying he only wanted to play in LA, didn't even give them a meeting. They are a middling team angling for a major free agent. Maybe they get one. We'll see.

    The big bad Knicks had a superstar and just traded him because he basically pointed out that the entire organization is a tire fire. Their last big free agent acquisition was one-legged Amare nearly a decade ago.

    What you are describing is a gulf between teams that are well run and those that are poorly run. Players want to pair up with superstars and win titles, wherever that may be. The big market angle is overplayed.
     
  31. Philip Jeff Frye

    Philip Jeff Frye Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,701
    I haven't followed the NBA as closely as MLB or the NFL over the years, so maybe my impression is wrong, but wasn't Golden State as much of a basketball Siberia as Minnesota or Charlotte or New Orleans for about 30 years until new ownership did some smart stuff?
     
  32. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    Pre-KD Golden State was an exceptionally well managed team that got its stars on below market deals before they were stars. But in no world should that team be able to sign Durant.

    Separately, with the new arena and the development of the Bay Area the past decade let’s not pretend it’s not an attractive place to live...
     
  33. Swedgin

    Swedgin Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    246
    Historical perspective helps. The max is not going away. The owners locked out the players and gave up half a season to get the max. They needed it to protect themselves from themselves.

    Every time the league tinkers with the salary structure it has an unintended consequence. The supermax is among the worst. The money difference is not enough to entice truly elite players to accept an otherwise unappealing situation. Conversely, teams with borderline elite players feel compelled to either offer their star the full boat (Russ, Wall) or trade them (Boogie) before they end in up that box.

    Either abolish the supermax, tighten the criteria, or (most appealing to the players) provide that the dollars in excess of the regular max don't count toward the cap and tax.
     
  34. m0ckduck

    m0ckduck Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    822
    What about the compensation idea? Nobody’s touched on this since the OP. Doesn’t fully address the problem, by any means, but corrects for it slightly.

    The draft pick or picks surrendered should be a few years out, so that they don’t correspond with the GFIN window that the acquiring team is trying to set up. And the compensation applies regardless of whether the player is acquired through free agency or trade— once a player turns down a max extension offer from current team, his next team will have to surrender draft pick or picks to the former team. So, LA/BOS would be looking at surrendering first round picks in (say) 2022 and 23 as well as whatever they give up now. This would accelerate the Pels rebuild and maybe make it easier for them to do so without tankapalooza.

    Edit: potentially all this would achieve is lowering the value of trade packages that teams are willing to offer at the deadline. But, the first round picks are so unprojectable that it would have to make teams nervous. Every team could be looking at a potential Brooklyn Nets scenario. Also, could be interesting if the former team has some choice over which year’s picks are conveyed.
     
    #34 m0ckduck, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  35. SumnerH

    SumnerH Malt Liquor Picker Dope

    Messages:
    25,591
    I mean, you just answered the question for a lot of people?

    Miami's weather fucking sucks; 90 degrees is unbearable enough on its own, but combined with Miami humidity it's horrific.

    Wisconsin's not fantastic, for sure, and the school year running Aug-June or so mitigates things a lot, but even as a 20 year old there's no fucking way I'd have opted for Miami's weather over most of the rest of the nation.

    (The bikinis and such might've changed the overall calculus, but the weather is godawful)
     
  36. ManicCompression

    ManicCompression lurker

    Messages:
    92
    I feel like people are forgetting how much of non-entity Golden State was as a franchise before Steph and Klay. They were a laughing stock, a franchise that couldn’t figure it out, they were a joke. After some great drafting, they were all of a sudden not that.

    Minnesota doesn’t suck because they’re in a cold weather market. They suck because they hired Tom thibodeau to run their basketball ops and signed dieng and Wiggins to huge contracts. They suck because they drafted johnny flynn instead of Curry. Orlando used to be a free agent destination. Do they magically suck because of their location? No, they’ve made awful decisions for 15 years. Detroit could have Donovan Mitchell in their backcourt right now. Phoenix is awful because they had two top 8 picks and came away with Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss.

    It’s not a mystery why some teams are bad and some teams are good. Are OKC, Milwaukee and Toronto top five markets? Not at all, yet they spend a lot of money and have teams that could give GS a run for their money, especially if some injury luck comes their way.

    I’m no salary cap fan, I think it’s kind of ridiculous for billionaire owners to cap the wages of their employees. But with revenue sharing and the amount of money these teams pull in, there’s nothing stopping a team from being competitive outside of stupidity and cheapness. There’s nothing broken here outside of our frame of reference. If the salary structure in the nba were an issue and money was a real competitive advantage, the knicks wouldn’t be garbage every year. Smart teams with good ownership win no matter the market, dumb teams with impatient ownership lose.
     
  37. m0ckduck

    m0ckduck Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    822
    This is all true, but I think what people find frustrating is how instantaneously a franchise like the Lakers or Knicks can hit the reset button after years of mismanagement. Other teams have to dig their way out with a spoon over the course of years of careful decision-making and luck.
     
  38. Philip Jeff Frye

    Philip Jeff Frye Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    6,701
    Can the Knicks successfully hit the reset button before we talk about how easy it is for them to hit the reset button? They've had four winning seasons this century. The Lakers are currently in the worst run of not making the playoffs in their entire franchise history.

    Yeah, its annoying the read how Lebron is going to get all his buddies come play for him in LA, but maybe it should happen first before we worry that the whole system is rigged.
     
    #38 Philip Jeff Frye, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  39. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,399
    +1 I believe there is little evidence of a big market vs small market or cap structure problem in the NBA.

    The Knicks have had something like 2 winning seasons since 2002 and the neighboring Nets have been a laughingstock since Dr. J. How many playoff series have the SoCal based Clippers won in the last 40+ years? Philadelphia, a large market, had to go through a 5-year "process" of consistent patheticness to become a #3 seed in a weak Eastern Conf. I can remember when Orlando, Atlanta and Miami were THE places to play, not so much anymore. Little ole San Antonio has been A-OK for two decades now.

    Its plain and simple: NBA team success is dictated by Head Coach, GM, Ownership and a hair of luck.

    This thread was started because the Celtics aren't getting their way w/AD, Kyrie is whistling a different tune, the hated Lakers (and Knicks) may get them AND we don't like it (including myself for a few hours). Well, Boo-Hoo. With or without AD the Celtics will be good and an even bigger newsflash that also applies to Kyrie Irving. The Celtics have one of the best young coaches in the game, a shrewd GM, and an aggressive ownership group. They also own tons of draft picks and sensational young players. At some point when no one is expecting it LeBron James career will go off a cliff, young players will zip around him, jump over him and he'll have nagging injuries that will rob him of his will. Father Time happens to every player. Of course, LeBron will still demand a max contract into his 40s as he will claim he puts fans in the seats. Personally, I look forward to seeing this play out over the next decade.
    :popcorn:

    The Lakers, ESPN mouthpieces, Rich Paul, Lebron, and unKlutch can all kiss my arse. AND to Hell with Anthony Davis and his dad, we've got Baynes!:)
     
    #39 benhogan, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  40. In my lifetime

    In my lifetime Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    877
    I disagree on many counts. The NBA has a significant problem, but this is evidenced by GS. The development of a super team is destructive to the league. It is a problem when before the season starts one team has better than 50-50 odds to win the championship. And most of the odds against the repeat are tied to a major injury.

    The cause is obvious - max/super max contracts. Eliminate that and the top 10 players in the league would get contracts of 80+ million/year. With the cap remaining in place; no longer would teams be able to sign 2 or 3 of the elite players in the league. A player would no longer take a little less money to win a championship. In order to go play with a super-team, Durant would have sacrificed 50 million per year.

    There are those in the thread who feel that the owners would never for this hard-won concession. As long as the cap and the draft/rookie contracts remains in place, I don't see a disadvantage for the owners. Competition in the league would increase, many more teams would have a significant chance to win the championship, and fewer teams would be in tanking mode.
     
  41. ConigliarosPotential

    ConigliarosPotential Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Please, please tell me when Atlanta was ever one of THE places to play in the NBA - I'd like to get into my wayback machine and experience such a time.
     
  42. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

    Messages:
    39,287
    See, I think that would be awful, you'd end up with superstars surrounded by junk on too many teams. If you're going to eliminate max salaries, eliminate the cap totally and just let owners spend as much as their revenues, like European soccer (I think this is accurate, but please correct me if it's not).

    Also I don't think this kind of thread needs to have a connection to what is realistic, because most drastic changes aren't realistic, so poking holes in other's suggestions by saying 'that would never happen' is a bit silly (this is a general comment, not attached to any one post). I don't really know what my ideal NBA would be, but I think it would probably start with 4-6 fewer teams than now, maybe expand rosters by 1-2 to not cut the number of players in the league down too much.

    Also the solution to the GS problem isn't making it impossible for stars to team up, it's the exact opposite IMO. Make it easier to create other super teams, make it much more possible for a team like the OKC of Durant/Westbrook/Harden/Ibaka to stay together for at least another year or two. I want to see superstar big men/perimeter combos much more than now, give me Towns/Lillard or Doncic/Porzingis (hey!) or Jokic/Westbrook. I want to see NBA Finals with 6 or 7 All-Star level players between the two sides.

    Oh, but the easiest change to make to help things is to ignore conferences for the playoffs and take the 16 best overall records regardless of conference and seed them 1-16. This one change would increase my interest in the NBA by maybe 40 percent, so sick of 3 of the top 4 teams being in the same conference year after year. For so many years that conference has been the West, but now it's totally flipped and I think 4 of the top 5 are in the East (I'm still having trouble taking DEN seriously), but that's just as bad. It's embarrassing to have a team as bad as CLE was last year make the Finals (as well as a tribute to LBJ), no way that comes close to happening in a 1-16 system.
     
  43. BaseballJones

    BaseballJones goalpost mover SoSH Member

    Messages:
    4,299
    Maybe you wouldn't have wanted the humidity, but you'd have wanted the beaches, the warm weather year-round, and all the string bikinis.
     
  44. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    16,840
    I feel like any single episode of Ballers kind of explains why athletes would choose Miami over Wisconsin.
     
  45. lovegtm

    lovegtm Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    3,139
    This is what happened to Wade, faster than people thought it would, and ended the Heat dynasty overnight when LeBron saw the writing on the wall.

    My main gripe in all this is that the league is unwilling, publicly or privately, to put an end to the charade of Lebron+Klutch. All it would take is one phone call: Silver could tell LeBron to cut the shit and muzzle Windhorst and Klutch, or else the Lakers get hit with an investigation into that relationship. I'm ok with players recruiting players, but the attempted undermining of a 3rd party (Kyrie's relationship with the Celtics), using "journalist" stooges like Windhorst and Shelburne, crosses a big line.
     
  46. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,399
    Wasn't Dwight Howard always pining to make it back to Atlanta? It always felt like a popular offseason spot for NBA players to make home or work out (before LA became THE off-season destination). I could be wrong but doesn't Atlanta attract a progressive, upwardly mobile African American community more than any major city in America? Which be welcoming to young NBA players. But feel free to strike it if I'm incorrect on those accounts.
     
  47. Danny_Darwin

    Danny_Darwin Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,183
    It’s probably worth pointing out that, at a national level at least, basketball is really popular right now, the second-most popular sport behind football and trending upwards at a time when everything else is moving in the opposite direction. Baseball, meanwhile, where it seems like owners and front offices have all the power at the moment, is less popular than ever. So is the current NBA star culture even a problem?
     
  48. ManicCompression

    ManicCompression lurker

    Messages:
    92
    Golden State almost lost to Houston last year. It’s not like their path to the finals was uncompetitive.

    But more importantly, Golden State is temporary. The team as it stands is unsustainable. Paying Durant, Curry, Klay and Draymond will force their payroll above $400 million a season. I know Joe Lacob has money, but that’s a tough check to sign. Plus, they’re getting older and other teams are playing the way they do. It looks bleak now, but winning the finals is not a foregone conclusion for them.

    There is so much talent in the league right now. It’s insane how many generational players are in their prime and how they’ve landed on teams that mesh with their skills. I don’t think it’s necessarily because of the CBA and the way it’s set up, but certainly shorter contracts have led to more fluid player movement, which means more teams are willing to take risks on high end talent because the downside won’t last as long.

    Competition would definitely not increase with no max contracts. In your scenario, the past ten titles would essentially be won by “Lebron team”. Not only that, bad teams would end up doing dumb shit like signing Andrew Wiggins to a 10 year, $300 million contract that makes them uncompetitive for years. The big reason why max contracts are there is prevent the owners from making really stupid mistakes that hamstring their franchise.

    Do you remember the Heatles? They were supposed to win four straight titles. There was no point to the regular season, because we all knew they were going to win anyway. They only won two, and one of those wins was by an eyelash. I think we’ll look back and view the warriors as an amazing abnormality rather than the standard for the nba.
     
  49. Average Game James

    Average Game James Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    962
    He was asking the opposite. Why would anyone pick Wisconsin?
     
  50. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

    Messages:
    5,399
    I agree its annoying to see Klutch/Lebron, Shelburne and the Lakers team up (esp. from a Celtic fan perspective). I just don't think the Lakers have enough to land AD, and all their tampering will lead the Pels and other teams make them pay a premium to get the star players they covet. By the time they land AD in 2 years, Bron's cliff dive could be starting which would create a very average Laker team with no cap space to improve.

    Back to the thread, my vote is the NBA is in great shape, feels competitive and a few simplifications to the cap on the edges would be welcome. Heck, I don't even mind teams tanking and going for high draft picks. It creates opportunities for young players on the tankers to show their abilities at the moment. The draft is great for off-season hoops drama for fans that haven't had much to cheer for all season.
     
    #50 benhogan, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019

Share This Page