Lakers are listing Brandon Ingram as questionable for tomorrow's game against Portland (right patella tendinitis).
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 25, 2017
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DJ2KB24 and John M. are discussing. Toggle Comments
— Larry Coon (@LarryCoon) March 25, 2017
Can the various complexities of NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) be broken down in just 30 minutes?
The simple answer is no, but in early March, Larry Coon, author of the NBA Salary Cap FAQ, gave an informative, half-hour presentation on the NBA’s new deal in Boston at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
“The new CBA really looks a lot like the old CBA,” Coon said. “Which is fantastic when you consider that the 2011 CBA was the result of a long, protracted negotiation, complaints, anti-trust suits, they came up with an agreement just in time to salvage the season.”
Coon noted that lower-level salaries and exceptions, which were based on fixed schedules in the 2011 deal, were raised in the new deal and tied, by percentage, to each year’s salary cap.
“They’re bumping up everything by about 45 percent,” Coon said. “Instead of putting hard numbers in, they put hard numbers in for just the first year. The rest is tied to what happens with the revenue. The revenue goes up a lot and these numbers are going to go up a lot too.
“The system is going to stay balanced in the next agreement. That was one of the big things they fixed,” he continued.
Coon broke down several deal points by associating them with specific players:
Kevin Durant Rule
One of the most interesting features of the new CBA is the designated player veteran extension which encourages superstars to stay with the team that drafted them.
“The impetus for this was obviously Kevin Durant deciding to leave Oklahoma City, going to Golden State, forming a super team with Steph Curry,” Coon said. “They wanted to provide a little bit less movement with these superstar kinds of players. There are two ways to do that. You could further restrict player movement, or you could provide an incentive to stay, and they went with the latter.”
The new rule applies to players entering their eighth or ninth seasons, and they are only eligible if they’ve been with the same team for the previous four years.
“For those players, for the real stars, the ones who meet those high-performance criteria … they’re providing the same opportunity, a higher maximum salary for a five-year contract, you can get the full 35 percent max, if you meet that criteria,” Coon said. “It’s only gonna apply to a few players every year.”
If a player earns the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award in the three previous seasons, they are eligible — like Curry with the Golden State Warriors this summer, who will be eligible for a five-year deal at $207.1 million instead of the typical $177.5 million.
Other criteria include either Defensive Player of the Year or an All-NBA Team designation in either the year before the extension/contract (or in two of the three years prior).
“That’s gonna keep the real star players with the teams they started with, and by and large, when you talk about superstar players, their movement tends to go from small market teams to the bigger market teams,” Coon said. “So, they’re doing something to help keep the safety of every market in the league.”
Yogi Ferrell Rule
The new CBA also includes the advent of the two-way contract, for players to have convertible deals that will have them partially in the D-League (or the G-League starting next season) and the NBA.
“Two-way players are, by and large, D-League players who have the ability to be called up by the parent team for up to 45 days a year. This is designed to help improve the D-League as a place for developing talent,” Coon said.
Salary will be based on days spent in either league. Teams will be given a 16th and 17th roster slot for two-way players.
The Dallas Mavericks found a nice prospect in Ferrell, signing him as a free agent away from the Long Island Nets (affiliated with the Brooklyn Nets). That wouldn’t be possible if he was signed to a two-way originally with Brooklyn.
Brendan Haywood Rule
The handling of non-guaranteed contracts in trades has also changed, at least for contracts signed in July or later.
“One of the things that happened in the trade market over the last few years is we saw a lot of crazy trades not for basketball value, but for the guy’s contract,” Coon said.
The last year of Haywood’s 2015-16 contract was for $10.5 million, but none of the salary was guaranteed. The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired him as a trade asset, eventually dealing him to the Portland Trail Blazers for a sizable trade exception.
“For new contracts, they’re only counting that guaranteed salary in the trade math,” Coon said. “So, a $10 million player, $1 million guaranteed, the trade math is based on $1 million, not $10 million.”
Mo Williams Rule
The Atlanta Hawks acquired Williams from the Cavaliers, even though he had already announced that he is retired as a player (unofficially, no retirement paperwork was filed).
Atlanta turned him around to Denver in trade, who then waived him. The 76ers claimed Williams, then waived him — only for the Nuggets to claim him back off waivers.
All that maneuvering by Denver and Philadelphia was to get to the salary cap floor of $84.7 million.
“Teams have to spend up to 90 percent of the salary cap, some teams won’t until the last minute,” Coon said, noting that the acquiring team is credited with the players’ full salary towards the floor but only pay the portion owed for the remainder of the season.
All of this will go away.
“In the new agreement, the salary gets applied to the team’s cap prorated,” Coon said. “Two-thirds of the way through the season, you trade for the guy, you get credit for a third of the salary.”
Chris Bosh Rule
While Bosh would like to play for the Miami HEAT, the team won’t let him a clear a physical because of a blood-clot issue.
To handle similarly unique cases in the future, the new CBA has set up a fitness-to-play panel.
“If a physician diagnoses that a player has some career threatening, life-threatening condition, illness or injury, the league or the Players Association can refer the players who want to use the fitness-to-play panels,” Coon said. “The panels consist of three doctors, medical experts in the field of which they’re referring the player for, and they’re going to evaluate the player using the best gold standards of medical evidence.
“If they say the player can’t play, he cannot play. If they say the player can play, he’s cleared to play, as far as the league is concerned,” he continued. “You can’t force a team to play any specific player, ever. So, the team still doesn’t have to let the player play, just like they have that discrimination ability with anybody. But if the panel clears the player to play, and the team doesn’t let the player play, they have 60 days to either trade or waive him. It gives the player some recourse to be able to find work elsewhere if the panel clears him.”
Kentucky vs UCLA
Fox vs Ball
Let's go! pic.twitter.com/qzaSyS1mkk
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 25, 2017
— Bill Frazier (@bfrazier65) March 25, 2017
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) March 25, 2017
HIGHLIGHTS: Jordan Clarkson sets a new career-high in points with 35, as he goes 8-10 from behind the arc. pic.twitter.com/QU0HzjjB8P
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 25, 2017
In 1995 it was Tyus Edney.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) March 25, 2017
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 24, 2017
tate793 and Magic Phil are discussing. Toggle Comments
— Bryan Toporek (@btoporek) March 24, 2017
If the Lakers aren’t willing to wait it out and take their chances on George signing with them in free agency, the Pacers should demand at least two of Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle or L.A.’s 2017 first-round pick (assuming it doesn’t fall outside of the top three and convey to Philadelphia). An offer built around Ingram and Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball or Josh Jackson, as Lowe suggested, could help Indiana expedite its rebuilding process, whereas the Lakers would still have Russell, Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Ivica Zubac and Larry Nance Jr. surrounding George.
The Boston Celtics stand out as the other likeliest suitor, as the two sides discussed the possibility of a deal around the trade deadline. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Celtics failed to meet the Pacers’ asking price at the deadline, but they supposedly did put the Nets’ 2017 first-round pick on the table, which is effectively guaranteed to fall no lower than fourth overall. If Boston fails to advance to the conference finals, it could convince general manager Danny Ainge to finally pull the trigger and consolidate the treasure trove of assets he’s accumulated to acquire George.
According to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes, George would not “commit long term” at the trade deadline to any team other than the Pacers or Lakers, so it’s hard to fault Ainge for not pulling the trigger at the time. The draft lottery will provide clarity as to how much else he’d need to include in a trade for George—such as whether an offer structured around the 2017 and 2018 Nets picks along with Marcus Smart would be too much, not enough or just right.
mclyne32 (Director), John M., and MongoSlade are discussing. Toggle Comments
Luke Walton said Julius Randle texted him last night about Arizona loss. Luke said he was in a good mood today until loss was brought up
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 24, 2017
— Lakers News (@lakers_news) March 24, 2017
Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand) – For me, the only young players that I would not want to trade are Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac. Everyone else is fair game for me in the right deal. The player I would be most willing to trade is Julius Randle.
Trevor Lane (@Trevor_Lane) – Still, draft pick aside, if the Lakers determine that they simply want to speed up their rebuild and move on from some of their young players, depending on the return, I think the guy to move is Randle. He’s an absolute beast when he’s on, and he has a lot of potential, but his physical limitations lower his ceiling a bit and makes building around him more difficult than the team’s other young players.
Eric Avakian (@EAvakian5) – With the duo of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka now in place, the franchise enters an interesting fork in the road on the path to rebuilding towards a contender. During all the hoopla that comes with the NBA free agency, the Lakers gauged the availability of some star players around the league, including the likes of DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George. If the Lakers were to pull the trigger on a trade, I believe they need move in a direction that works for the overall chemistry of the team. When looking at potential trade pieces, the value they have built also comes into play. Therefore, I think the two easier players to find trade partners for will be D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.
Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH) – For me, the young players who are most expendable are the two who’ve been with the team longest: Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
Paul George has been the player most often linked to the Lakers recently but he is not set to be a free agent until 2018 and a trade would require that the Lakers send out some of their young core, potentially putting George in a no-win situation.
But another prominent player could be in the mix. According to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, people around the NBA believe that Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin will consider the Lakers as a potential free agent destination:
“That Griffin would also stay and reap the biggest payday he can seems likely, too—in theory. But more and more people around the league believe he would be open to a fresh start—perhaps with the Lakers or the Boston Celtics, who have coveted Griffin for years and would offer a new chance to win. The most intriguing fit might be if he were to go home to Oklahoma to join Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, but his interests in the entertainment industry make staying in Los Angeles a priority.”
Griffin is set to be a free agent this summer, along with fellow Clippers’ players Chris Paul and JJ Redick, if he opts out of his contract which would seem to be a formality at this point. If the Clippers continue their lack of prominent success in the playoffs (they are currently the fifth seed in the Western Conference), it’s not inconceivable that Griffin will look for greener pastures. Staying in LA could be a bonus for a player who is involved in the stand-up comedy and entertainment scenes.
If Griffin does choose the Lakers in free agency, it would open up the team for more win-now moves, such as trading Julius Randle in a package for the aforementioned George.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. This could as always be a case of an agent using big-brand franchises such as the Lakers and Celtics to drive up the value on a free agent. Griffin will earn a max deal wherever he goes, but putting pressure on the Clippers to build around him could be a viable strategy for his long term goals. Griffin joining a team like the Lakers will always be unlikely due to LAL’s current status as a bottom-of-the-league team.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting proposition for a team that has been rebuilding for years and would like to jumpstart its winning ways under new leadership.