Author: Kurt Helin

Adam Silver

Salary cap could jump from $63 million to $91 million with new TV deal, league wants to “smooth in” increase


This is what the new television deal means for the basketball side of the NBA:

The salary cap, which is at just over $63 million this season, could jump all the way to $91.2 million in the summer 2016, according to Ken Berger of (That number assumes the full $2.68 billion a year the league will get on average in the new television deal starts that high out of the gate, Zach Lowe of Grantland says it starts at $2.1 billion, but that still puts the cap in the ballpark of $85 million.)

Or, look at it this way: Under the new television deal, if LeBron James signs a max contract in the summer of 2016 it will be worth about $6 million to $8 million more a season than the max deal he just signed this past summer ($20.6 million this season). Which is why even if he picks up his extension for the 2015-16 season he will be, without a doubt, a free agent in the summer of 2016. As will Kevin Durant. As will a number of other players.

Those numbers are estimates, but they are not going to be far off. That flood of cash could have all sorts of unintended consequences around the league and it has teams concerned and trying to alter their plans. At the press conference announcing the new television deal with ESPN and Turner Broadcasting (TNT), NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed wanting to smooth out that massive flood of new money into the market.

“When this deal kicks in in 2016-17, it will lead to a substantial increase that year in the salary cap,” Silver said Monday morning in New York where the announcement was made. “There is precedent for smoothing that increase in, something the NFL negotiated with its players association when it then entered into large increases to help teams in the planning process, essentially smoothing that money into the system.

“I had a brief conversations with Michelle Roberts, the new head of the (players’) union, on Friday to tell her these new deals were coming, and in fact we have a meeting later this afternoon to gauge their interest in creating a smoothing effect. I mean they will get their 51 percent no matter what, it’s just a question of how it comes in in terms of the cap. It will have a profound effect and I’m sure the union has already begun studying it just as we have been studying how it will effect our system team by team.

“And a lot of is just happenstance in who has a free agent, who happens to have cap room, what class happens to be coming up. As we all know, certain players and agents have been timing their contracts so they would become free agents in 2016-17 knowing we would be entering new television deals.”

For the record, the NFL smoothing wasn’t really all that smooth, teams were caught off guard this year by the jump in the cap.

That said, phasing in the massive cap increases rather than having one massive jump in two years likely makes sense to the owners, and it gives franchises time to adjust their plans on roster building accordingly.

The NBA players union might be open to smoothing things, out, if only to ease concerns in their own house. As Zach Lowe put it at Grantland:

Would the union want (Anthony) Davis making nearly $25 million per year on his max deal while Kyrie Irving’s max nets $16.5 million, simply because Davis entered the league one year later?

However, if they are going to give they are going to want to get — and not just the money owed. The players feel (rightfully) they got hammered in the last CBA and they are not in the mood for concessions just to be nice, or for “the good of the game.” Franchise values are skyrocketing ($2 billion for the Clippers sticks with a lot of players) and they will only climb higher as the owners get this new flood of cash. Roberts and the players union isn’t going to just help out the owners because they’re nice.

All of those concerns will roll over into 2017 when the players will likely opt out of the CBA and push for more concessions.

The money on the table has certainly gotten everyone’s attention.

Raptors’ Terrence Ross with huge breakaway slam on Kings (VIDEO)

Terrence Ross, Nik Stauskas

Toronto opened their preseason at home against Sacramento and Terrence Ross added a few fireworks with the second quarter steal and breakaway dunk. Oh, it is good to have basketball back.

Ross went out of the game when he bruised his right knee, but the injury is considered minor and he is listed as day-to-day.

DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 21 points in 21 minutes.

Jameer Nelson is your starting point guard in Dallas (for now, at least)

Dallas Mavericks Media Day 2014-2015

Dallas is going to go with a point guard by committee, a three-headed monster this season (trying to replace Jose Calderon, who is running the triangle in New York). That said, someone has to get the ball at the start of the game, one guy has to be the lead.

That’s going to be Jameer Nelson. Gary Harris and Raymond Felton will back him up.

That always seems the logical outcome and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confirmed it, speaking with Tim MacMahon of

“When we were recruiting him this summer, I told him we were looking for the best guy to be a starter for us,” Carlisle said of Nelson. “I really like Harris off the bench. That said, I think Harris is one of our three or four best players. But we’ve had a history here of bringing some of our better guys off the bench.

“At this point, Devin and I have talked about it and continue to talk about it. He’s willing to do anything. He wants to be a Maverick and wants to win.

“I like Jameer in that spot and Felton, he’s going to be out the first four games. So if there were some tea leaves here, that’s what it may look like. But it’s early to commit to anything. We got to see how it goes in games.”

This is a good fit. Nelson is a veteran guy who can run the team and get the ball to Dirk Nowitzki, or he can be a spot up shooter when Monta Ellis is attacking or Nowitzki is kicking out.

Plus it keeps Harris, who comes with more quickness, in a sixth man/change of pace roll. And Felton, he can get minutes whenever there are extras.

The rotation is going to shift and change over the course of the season, but look for Carlisle to lean heavily on Nelson. He’s the best option they have.

Report: Kenneth Faried agrees to five-year. $60 million extension with Nuggets

Denver Nuggets Media Day

Kenneth Faried had a breakout World Cup this summer in Spain where he was one of Team USA’s starters and top three or four players — if you’re going to do that, doing it right before you are eligible for a contract extension is the perfect time.

That performance helped make sure the man is getting paid to stay in Denver — five years, $60 million reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has reached agreement on a five-year, $60 million contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

The deal includes a partial guarantee in the fifth year that assures Faried he will make no less than $52 million over the life of the contract, sources said.

I think this is a fair deal for both sides, not max but the Manimal is certainly getting paid.

Faried was a hard guy to put a real value on. Faried brings relentless energy, he pulls down rebounds, his hustle gets him points especially when the Nuggets get out and run, and he can be the glue on a team. However, he doesn’t create his own shot nor is he a particularly good defender. In the right setting he can lift a team to a new level, but he’s not your No. 1 or maybe even second offensive option (that said he did put up 13.7 points a game on a very nice .573 true shooting percentage last season, plus got 8.6 boards a game).

Faried’s game fits very well with what Denver does.

Faried does not have the kind of game that ages particularly well traditionally, so paying him for what he brings now makes some sense but teams might be leery about the dollars and length of his next deal.

But him playing with the confidence he clearly gained with Team USA, plus the return of JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari, not to mention the addition of Arron Afflalo, make Denver a very interesting team this year.

Kyrie Irving looked great in first preseason game for Cavaliers (VIDEO)

Kyrie Irving, Jake Cohen, Yogev Ohanyon

LeBron James was back and getting all the hype — he knocked down his first shot and looked good. Although he only played the first half.

Kyrie Irving looked awesome in that game.

Take that with a handful of salt, it was a preseason game against Maccabi Tel Aviv. You don’t want to read too much into it.

But there have been guys who have gained confidence and gotten a real bounce out of the World Cup, and Irving was just the MVP of the USA’s gold medal effort there. He could have a monster year.

At least he got it off to a good start.