On Getting Locked Out…

If you’ve ever been locked out before, you know just how much it sucks.  All you want is to be inside somewhere, but because of some mistake or oversight you are stuck sitting on the stoop.  Now imagine a world where both NFL and NBA players have been locked out by their Owners.  Won’t that suck far more than the few minutes you spent waiting for the locksmith to arrive?

Now I like football, but I could make-do if some of the season is lost next year.  Especially if the lost games are those first four games that the Chargers tend to screw-up year after year.  But not being able to fuel my basketball addiction from October through June, or some part of that time span will make me one pissed-off camper.  I’m aware that I have precious little ability to affect this situation, but if the three of you reading this each tell one friend, and they tell one friend, they then start chatting about my ideas with John Hollinger and Bill Simmons, and then they mention one of my ideas in passing to someone that does have power to affect the situation I can tell my grandkids about the time I saved Tim Duncan’s last year in the NBA. (Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?)

What follows below are some ideas that I’d like to see in the next CBA:

1. Revised Luxury Tax – I like the idea of big market teams helping small market teams stay competitive, but I think that the penalty needs to be steeper. That’s why I would propose a sliding tax based on the amount a team is over the tax line. Hopefully, this will make GM’s think twice before offering stupid contracts that hinder their team for years to come. I think switching to a hard cap without some sort of transitional step like this would be a bad idea.

2. Elimination of the Biannual Exemption – I just don’t see the value of this cap tool. I’d rather teams just use the Veteran’s Minimum exemption year after year. I’m a bit of a player movement junkie, and I think this could create a more active market for established players.

3. Third Round added to Draft– I do not have an inherent problem with the practice of the drafting and stashing players in overseas leagues. I would however like to see teams use their First and Second round picks on players that they want now. Of course there will always be an Andrea Bargnani, Ricky Rubio, or Tiago Splitter that is just too tempting to not select early in the draft, but for every one of those players, there are three more that are taken late in the First or sometime in the Second based on their ridiculous upside potential. Therefore, I propose that a Third round be added to the draft. Players picked in this round cannot be signed to the NBA team that selected them until two years after their selection. In the meantime, they can be placed with that team’s D-league affiliate or continue to play out their foreign contract. Hopefully, this will open the door up for more players to earn their way into the big dance.

4. Increased Trade Flexibility – Instead of requiring trades to match within 125% plus $100K for capped-out teams, I’d like to see something that would increase the gap in contract values to allow teams to dump their dead weight and malcontents more easily. May teams over the cap, but under the luxury tax line can trade salaries that are within 150% of each other, and if that puts them over the tax line then so be it. Tax-paying teams would be limited to the old salary matching rules.

5. Shorter contract lengths – Six year contracts are just too long and they harm teams. Heck, even five years is a bit long considering how much can happen during that time frame. I like teams having an advantage in re-signing their own players, so let’s let them offer five year deals and everyone else gets four. Again, I like player movement, but I also want there to be more parity in the league. While dynasties might be nice for the casual fan, hope is important those of us that have picked a team to worship. The ability to adjust rosters more easily gives that sense of hope back to long suffering fan bases for teams like Minnesota.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back in the near future with more ideas that I think would be good for the CBA as well as a few that I think are just plain dumb *cough-franchise tag-cough*

[ED. – Man Diddy, you sure know how not to end posts]

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