The Quick Fix

Published: October 14, 2011

Okay, so yesterday I promised that instead of just bitching about the problems, I will come up with some solutions. And no, I am not just going to steal from others. I’ve got my own out-of-the-box ideas that benefits gives both sides what they want (or at least what they say they want).

So after reading the quotes and listening to the podcasts from Stern, Hunter, Silver, and Fisher, it is clear that the hard cap is the problem. We all got wrapped up in the revenue split for so long, but that is going to settle somewhere between 50 and 52 percent in favor of the players and nobody really seems to be debating that anymore. That means that we need to figure out this hard cap verse luxury tax thing and give each side a big chunk of what they want.

The owners say that they want competitive balance and that just cannot happen with the current system- a system that saw the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks spend 50 million dollars more than double what the Sacramento Kings spent this year. The players, meanwhile, think that revenue sharing is a big part of the solution and that the current luxury tax system properly penalizes teams that go over it and rewards teams that stay under. They point to small market teams such as San Antonio and OKC as models of efficiency that can thrive under the current system. But we all know that is the exception and not the rule.

So what shall we do? Well, meet in the middle of course! Here is my proposal:

The luxury tax is based on the past five years and how you have spent in that window. The first time you go over the luxury tax, you pay $.50 for every dollar over. The second time, dollar for dollar. The third time, $2 for every dollar over. The fourth time, $3. And if this is the fifth straight year that you are over the tax, the penalty is $4 for every dollar over the tax.

There will also be a salary floor that penalizes teams in the exact same fashion. A penny pinching owner guts his team and does not spend $45 million on his product- he gets a luxury tax penalty. This solves all problems. It allows good teams who built the right way to go over the tax from time to time and not be punished heavily for it, but it crushes the teams that go over it year after year (Dallas, LA, NY, etc.) and therefore gives the league more competative balance.

I can go on with examples of how this would apply to teams like the Heat, but I think you all can figure it out. I want to hear from you. Thoughts?


  1. Joe Gerrity

    October 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Interesting idea. I’d probably start it at 3:1 and then have the teams move up or down a scale of 1:1-5:1 each year depending on whether they were above or below the line the year before. Set the floor nice and high as well.

    Maybe add in an annualor bi-annual two year mid level exception as well for every team, which can be split between up to two players. If you keep the guys they don’t count against your cap. If you trade them, they count for the team who gets them. That should keep a lot of people happy since the MLE is one of the driving forces in free agency.

    Nice to have you back. I’ve been going crazy.

  2. NolaHog

    October 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    They’ll never do anything this imaginative or sensible. We’ll lose the entire year and some sort of owner-friendly agreement will be implemented next year. I grow more disgusted by this thing as each week passes.

    I acutually had a dream the other night that the lockout ended, but I saw on the news story that part of the agreement was that the Hornets were eliminated (contracted). My girlfriend said I was moaning a lot in my sleep.

  3. Zombian

    October 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Nice to see you back! I have been missing the podcasts even with a lack of things to talk about.
    So here is my quick fix that doesn’t really solve anything as far as the caps go but helps end the lockout:
    Players from each team help pay a portion of the salary to the employees who are affected: those who sell tickets, run concession stands, the people who scan your tickets. They are unemployed and are making 0.4% of each players yearly salary. This would give the players more sympathy in the public eye and more influence in the cba. They could make a better deal for themselves out of it and end up making more money. The lockout would be over AND more people would want to see their once seemingly greedy stars, now altruistic stars play basketball.
    All that said and done I do support revenue sharing with a hard cap lol.

  4. Tim

    October 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Good idea. I still think Cuban would empty his pockets though :/

  5. Seattle Needle

    October 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    They’ve actually proposed something similar to that. It involves teams only being allowed to stay over the tax for a certain amount of years, being taxed more for each year they are over the tax and having the tax level raise the higher they get above the cap.

    The players have also proposed something similar but at much lower rates. I really hope that the mediator can get them to meet halfway.

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