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?


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