One of the things that Adam Silver and Peter Holt said at their press conference Thursday, in-between explaining their completely ridiculous obstinacy regarding the 50/50 split and looking like someone stole their 1992 Alonzo Mourning rookie card (I will never forgive that kid), is that federal mediator George Cohen starts his sessions by getting both sides to state the little things they agree on. It’s a baby-step kind of process. It shows you’re not completely and totally diametrically opposed at this point in the negotiation.
From the New York Times, we’ve learned a little bit about what it is that they’ve agreed upon. They’re things which will have a huge impact on how the league is run, even if both sides consider them microscopic compared to the big issues that lie ahead.
¶ There will be a one-time “amnesty” provision that will allow each team to waive a player (with pay) without his salary counting against the salary cap.
¶ There will be a “stretch” exception, available every year, allowing teams to waive players and stretch out their remaining salary over a number of seasons, thus reducing the annual salary-cap hit.
¶ The midlevel exception will be set around $5 million, a decrease of $800,000, but more than double what the owners were seeking.
The stretch exception is the biggest piece out of that. It means that owners will be able to get out of those terrible contracts that they give out. It also means that you’re going to see players making money from several teams in a season. That happens now, but it will increase. This could really help teams in the rebuilding process. If you’re laden with a huge contract you whiffed on, say… whatever the Blazers do next. The Blazers could then dump the player and stretch out the salary over a longer period of time, freeing them to overpay for someone else in the next free agency. Think of all the players the Blazers can overpay for!
In all seriousness, these measures provide a backbone for what the new league is going to look like. You know, eventually. When we have a season. If ever.
I’m going to go back to crying in this bottle now.