The owners want to take a far greater percentage of the basketball-related income. They want to pay millions less for maximum deals and shorten contracts. Most of all, they want a hard salary cap and assurances that protect themselves against a diminished economy and, well, themselves. Everything is hurtling toward a 2011 lockout, a negotiation that’ll likely feel far more like a standoff.
Via Yahoo! Sports’ Andrian Wojnarowski
The Owners are out for blood in 2011. The economic recession was thought to be a reasonable cause for the players to accept a certain number of compromises in return for a few things on their wish list being cleared in return. Instead, the owners have decided to use the economy as a tool to attempt not just significant alterations to the existing structure, but a drastic realignment of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A hard cap brings with it a leveling of the playing field for smaller market teams, which would stem the tide of losses for certain teams. However, it’s hard to find a scenario where the union agrees to mimic the NFL agreement, which means non-guaranteed contracts, bloated rookie contracts for players who have done nothing in the league, and would result in the elimination of exemptions like the Mid-Level Exception.
This kind of a hard line is obviously just the starting point of one end of the spectrum, but judging from Adonal Foyle’s response on behalf of the union, this one’s going to get ugly, fast, and stay ugly, long.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.