Jerry Buss

NBA teams put in stiff luxury tax penalties… which luxury-tax payers will still benefit from


Wait, what?

From Ken Berger of

The luxury-tax “cliff” experienced by tax teams, by which they felt the full brunt of going slightly over the tax level by losing all the tax money they would’ve received had they stayed under, also was addressed in the owners’ proposal. The league offered that such teams would receive half the tax money squandered by going from being a tax receiver to a tax payer.

via Talks blow up with ultimatum, Wednesday deadline –

So just so we’re clear on this. You’re the small-market owners. And you’re threatening to detonate professional basketball in the United States if you don’t get more financial help. And you’re creating an acrimonious atmosphere with the players that essentially amounts to legalized extortion. And giving them ultimatums and threats. And yet the system you’ve supported which creates stiffer penalties for going into the luxury-tax… is still going to give them half the collective money back?

To clear this up, if the Knicks send an exorbitant amount of money, they pay the tax amount into a pool that is redistributed to the teams, with the tax-paying teams essentially getting a rebate.

I’m not going to crunch the numbers because I suck at it, but basically, the Knicks will still earn money from the luxury tax pool, despite being tax payers. The fact that the tax they will likely spend will far exceed the amount they get back isn’t the point. It’s that giveback that makes it easier to swallow. If you’re a small-market owner, couldn’t you find the financial gap between where the union and league are, almost entirely in the amount you’re going to be surrendering to the luxury-tax-paying teams, who again, chose to spend that much?

It’s maddening. But then, it’s teams looking out for themselves. They want to keep their options open, so that if they draft a Tim Duncan, they can spend around him to compete and keep him, while also easing the burden on themselves. As always, as we’ve seen in these negotiations, the league wants the players to make up the whole difference, while giving themselves all the breaks they can handle, thereby extending the flawed system.

Funny way of doing business.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

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.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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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.