LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers embrace after the game at Staples Center on January 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  The Cavaliers won 126-121.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Report: Max salaries to be set at higher percentage of salary cap under new CBA

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Chris Paul serves at the National Basketball Players Association’s president, and the union’s vice presidents include LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Stephen Curry.

Think the new Collective Bargaining Agreement benefits those max players? You bet it does.

The current CBA sets max salaries as a percentage of the salary cap based on years of experience, and the tiers were commonly described as:

  • 0-6 years experience: 25% of the cap
  • 7-9 years experience: 30% of the cap
  • 10+ years experience: 35% of the cap

But that wasn’t quite accurate.

Max salaries were based on a percentage of an altered cap calculation, one used two CBAs ago and kept just for max salaries. That altered calculation produced a lower cap number, so max salaries were a lower percentage of the actual cap than advertised.

The system was needlessly complicated. Thankfully, the new CBA will render it obsolete.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

How big a deal is this? The old max-salary calculation often trimmed more than $1 million from what a straightforward calculation would’ve produced.

Here’s a history of the max salary under the current CBA. The simple max shows the straight 25/30/35 percentages of the actual salary cap. The true max shows the actual max salary, as determined by the more complex calculation. For 2017-18, I used the projected $103 million cap and estimated what the “true max” would’ve been had the current system remained.

Year Experience Simple max True max Difference
0-6 years $14,511,000 $12,922,194 $1,588,806
7-9 years $17,413,200 $15,506,632 $1,906,568
10+ years $20,315,400 $18,091,071 $2,224,329
0-6 years $14,511,000 $13,668,750 $842,250
7-9 years $17,413,200 $16,402,500 $1,010,700
10+ years $20,315,400 $19,136,250 $1,179,150
0-6 years $14,669,750 $13,701,250 $968,500
7-9 years $17,603,700 $16,441,500 $1,162,200
10+ years $20,537,650 $19,181,750 $1,355,900
0-6 years $15,766,250 $14,746,000 $1,020,250
7-9 years $18,919,500 $17,695,200 $1,224,300
10+ years $22,072,750 $20,644,400 $1,428,350
0-6 years $17,500,000 $16,407,500 $1,092,500
7-9 years $21,000,000 $19,689,000 $1,311,000
10+ years $24,500,000 $22,970,500 $1,529,500
0-6 years $23,535,750 $22,116,750 $1,419,000
7-9 years $28,242,900 $26,540,100 $1,702,800
10+ years $32,950,050 $30,963,450 $1,986,600
0-6 years $25,750,000 $24,235,294 $1,514,706
7-9 years $30,900,000 $29,082,353 $1,817,647
10+ years $36,050,000 $33,828,431 $2,221,569

Considering annual raises in a multi-year contract are based on the first-year salary, these differences add up.

For example – coupled with the new over-38 rule making a five-year, rather than a four-year, deal tenable – if he re-signs with the Clippers, Chris Paul can earn about $57 million more on his next contract under new CBA than if the current system continued. It’s good to be president.

But before any cries of self-dealing, consider that superstars are probably still underpaid given what they provide their teams. Any max salary still limits earnings at the top and leaves more money for lesser players. The max salary increasing slightly is a step toward fairness.

The league’s middle class of players might lose slightly here. But a big hit goes to the lawyers and accountants who were paid to handle two salary-cap calculations, one for the actual cap and one for the max. I think we can appreciate the step toward simplicity with only one calculation necessary going forward.

Blazers C Meyers Leonard dunks on Celtics’ Mickey twice in five minutes (VIDEO)

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Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard is an athletic young guy who has made a name for himself as a fade man off the pick-and-roll. But against the Boston Celtics on Saturday, Leonard decided to roll to the hoop instead, and it sort of worked out.

Unless you’re Jordan Mickey, in which case it didn’t.

The first poster dunk came during the final minute of the first quarter in Boston, where the Blazers were running a sideline out of bounds play.

Via Twitter:

The second came at 9:51 in the second quarter, with Leonard again rolling to the rack on a play with Allen Crabbe. Mickey again wound up as the help man, and again found himself on the wrong end of a highlight reel.

We’ll just forgive that off arm for now.

Jabari Parker held out of Bucks lineup vs. Heat for breaking team rule

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MIAMI (AP) Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker is out of the starting lineup for the first time this season Saturday night at Miami after breaking a team rule.

Parker will play coming off the bench, coach Jason Kidd said.

Kidd declined to elaborate on the move, which came after the Bucks held a long players-only meeting following a loss Friday at Orlando. The meeting got heated at times, and Parker said he wasn’t well received when he expressed his point of view.

Parker has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games. He was replaced in the lineup by rookie Thon Maker, making his first career start.

Gregg Popovich on Trump: “Can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth” (VIDEO)


Today across the country many hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets as part of the Women’s March to protest Donald Trump, his misogyny as demonstrated in prior comments made about women, and policies he’s promised to put in place to weaken women’s health including defunding Planned Parenthood and gutting the Affordable Care Act. Gregg Popovich, no stranger to speaking his mind about Trump, was asked about the marches today and how he felt about the former reality TV star’s first hours in office.

Popovich responded for around four minutes, spanning a wide breadth of topics including Trump’s maturity level, respect for the presidential office, and Trump’s cabinet members waffling on implied meaning when he insulted a handicapped reporter in November of 2015.

Via Cleveland.com:

I wish that he was more — had the ability to be mature enough to do something that really is inclusive rather than just talking and saying ‘I’m going to include everybody.” He could talk to the groups that he disrespected and maligned during the primary and really make somebody believe it, but so far we’ve got a point where you really can’t believe anything that comes of his mouth.

Popovich also expressed his frustration with Trump’s insecurities, referencing his need to discuss the size of the inauguration crowd from Friday — reported widely by major news outlets in both text and video/photographic evidence — as far smaller than Barack Obama’s in 2009.

“I’d just feel better if somebody was in that position that showed the maturity, psychological, and emotional level of somebody that was his age,” said Popovich, adding, “It’s hard to be respectful of someone when we all have kids and we’re watching him be misogynistic and xenophobic and racist, and make fun of handicap people.”

It’s an interesting period in American history to be sure. Things are at such a fever pitch after Trump’s election that whether people like it or not — and no doubt many won’t like Popovich’s comments or this article about it — the lines between diversion and real life, including politics, has begun to blur.

It’s great to see that coaches and players in the NBA are able to speak their minds about topics openly like this, perhaps surprisingly so when you consider the amount of money involved for the league and teams.

If you’d like to read the full comments you can do so here:

Ricky Rubio will miss Nuggets game for personal reasons

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Ricky Rubio has left the Minnesota Timberwolves for personal reasons and will miss at least the next game on Sunday against Denver.

Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau says he expects Rubio to get back into town late Sunday and rejoin the team for practice on Monday.

Rubio did not play in the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night because of tightness in his left hip. Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones filled in admirably, helping the Wolves defeat the Clippers, 104-101.

Rubio has been the subject of trade rumors for much of the season, with the belief that Thibodeau would prefer a point guard who shoots better from the perimeter. In his previous five full games, Rubio was averaging 13.2 points and 14.0 assists.