Tag: NBA sign-and-trade

National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern, speaks after taking part in contract negotiations between NBA and players association in New York

Report: Owners could be open to minor system tweaks


If the owners and players sit down and talk before Wednesday’s deadline set by David Stern, the owners might be willing to make some tweaks to the system they have laid out.

The system has been part of the issue. Union president Derek Fisher has suggested he is willing to move more on split of league revenue (the union’s last offer was 51 percent to the players, down from 57 percent before, the owners want essentially 50/50), but they wanted concessions to keep the player movement and team spending system closer to what was in the last labor deal. The owners want both the money and system changes.

But apparently they’ll listen, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

As one ownership source told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night, “If there were a couple of tweaks needed around the edges – not fundamental deal points – I believe there could be a deal if everything else is agreed upon. But there needs to be a meeting with David and Billy for anything to happen.”

There has been talk of such a meeting, but nothing has yet been set. Which is ludicrous really, but then again this whole lockout has gotten ludicrous.

The system changes the players want would benefit the highest-spending teams — allowing teams paying the luxury tax to use sign-and-trade deals and have a full mid-level exception to use. In the past, teams like the Lakers and Mavericks — big spenders — have used the mid-level to bring in good role players to go around their stars. The sign-and-trade is a different matter, according to Zach Lowe at Sports Illustrated that has barely ever been used by tax-paying teams (five times total in the last six years, and Shawn Marion to the Mavs from Toronto is the only example you might recall, the rest were almost pure salary dumps). The sign-and-trades that seemed to freak out owners (LeBron James to Miami, Chris Bosh to Miami, Carlos Boozer to Chicago) would not be impacted because those teams were under the salary cap at the time.

All that said, talking system tweaks is moot if the two sides are not talking.

Players smile, sign-and-trade seems to be part of new CBA

Miami Heat's LeBron James gestures after being fouled in NBA basketball playoff action against the Philadelphia 76ers in Miami

If there was one thing I thought small market owners would fight to keep out of the new NBA labor deal it was the sign-and-trade. It’s what LeBron James and Chris Bosh had after-the-fact. It can be used to hold a smaller market hostage. The player gets his money and his ticket to a new team (although the original team does get something back rather than just lose a player to free agency).

But in all the tweets following the lockout yesterday was this from ESPN’s Marc Stein (something later confirmed by NBA.com’s David Aldridge and others).

Example of “system” issue where NBA owners/players now agree? Sign-and-trades. WILL be allowed in new deal after fears they’d be outlawed

Players love the sign-and-trade — move to a preferred team and still get the old-team extra money? You bet they are down with that.

Sign-and-trades favor the wealthy teams, allowing them to bring in high priced deals that will be around a while. Which is why I’m surprised it survived. Maybe there are enough provisions in whatever the new luxury tax will be that the owners feel safe it can’t be abused. For example, Stein suggests whether luxury-tax paying teams would be allowed to use it to bring in more talent remains to be seen.

But it looks like it will be back.