December 2011 Basketball Wiretap

Stern Anticipates Thunder Needing To Make Tough Decisions On Who To Keep

Dec 26, 2011 11:06 AM

On Sunday, David Stern dismissed the argument that the luxury tax will hurt small market teams like the Thunder.

The Thunder already have Kevin Durant on a rising extension and would need a large payroll to retain Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.

“That's ludicrous,” Stern said. “The idea that the luxury tax hurts small markets is ludicrous. It may impact a small market that is a great team and has to raise payroll. But at bottom, it's designed to eliminate the ability of teams to use their economic resources to distort competition.

“It does have a bite if you have any team that's well assembled and you want to keep it together. So if you have the Thunder over here and the Heat over there, they're both going to have to deal with luxury tax issues. That's not a small market (issue).”

Stern added that the Thunder, like any loaded team, would someday potentially have to surrender one of its stars.

“People are saying to Miami, ‘Well, you're going to have a decision to make with respect to one of your big three.' And they may say the same thing to Oklahoma City, and that's a good thing."

Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA CBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Mickey Arison Cast Vote Against CBA, Opposes Revenue Sharing Plan

Dec 22, 2011 11:35 PM

Heat owner Micky Arison revealed Thursday that he voted against the league's new collective-bargaining agreement. Arison said he cast his vote only after the deal already had the required majority.

"I did everything I could, from both the owners' side and the players' side to get a deal done as quick as possible, to miss as few games as possible," Arison said. "So you've got to connect that to our vote."

It is the revenue-sharing element that had Arison in opposition.

"While I did everything I could behind the scenes, and some not-so-behind-the-scenes, to get playing by Christmas," Arison said, "when you come down to it, financially, it's important to understand that revenue sharing and the CBA together, it's a tough financial deal for us, particularly the revenue-sharing piece of it, the way it's structured.

"For us to have to pay revenue sharing to larger-market teams was disturbing, and we will. And so that was a kind of protest vote on our part."

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tags: Miami Heat, NBA, NBA CBA

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Hunter Intends To Remain As Director Of Players Union

Dec 22, 2011 12:18 AM

NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said he has no plans to step down and wants to continue his job through the life of his contract.

There has been speculation that Hunter no longer would serve as executive director and he received his share of criticism from players and agents during the intense labor negotiations.

"I've got like five years remaining on my contract, and that probably will be enough," he said. "I think (criticism is) just part of the process and it can't be avoided. We had the same issue in '98 and that a lot of our guys didn't follow it and a lot of times they react because someone else is giving them misinformation and they really don't understand the deal. And time will tell. As contracts become publicly known, then attitudes are formed as a consequence of that."

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Tags: NBA, NBA CBA

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Herb Simon Optimistic About New CBA, Says Pacers Need Help With Arena

Dec 21, 2011 9:53 AM

Herb Simon expects the new collective bargaining agreement to help small-market teams like the Pacers.

"I think it's an improvement over the last CBA," he said in a phone interview. "That, along with the new revenue sharing, will help the smaller markets."

Simon still believes his franchise needs help offsetting the $15 million to $18 million annually in operating costs of Consenco Fieldhouse.

"We're still going to need some help on the arena side, but not on thebasketball side," Simon said. "We still need to finalize our deal with the city to alleviate some of the arena expenses in a building that they own. That's the issue.

"It's never been the Pacers are losing money. Part of the reason we're losing money is because we're having these arena expenses that most other teams don't have to deal with."

Indianapolis Star

Tags: Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA CBA

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Rose To Sign Five-Year, $94M Extension

Dec 20, 2011 9:12 PM

Derrick Rose and the Bulls have agreed to a five-year, $94 million contract extension, according to sources.

Rose's extension is for roughly $10-11 million more than he would have been eligible to sign under the previous CBA.

The extension will begin in the 2012-13 season and is eligible to start near $16 million in the first year. 

K.C. Johnson/Chicago Tribune

Tags: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

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Durant Becomes First Beneficiary Of 'Derrick Rose Rule'

Dec 20, 2011 4:29 PM

Kevin Durant has become the first beneficiary of the so-called 'Derrick Rose Rule'.

Durant meets the eligibility considerations by being named to the All-NBA first team in 2010 and 2011.

Had Durant not been granted the larger maximum salary, his 2010-11 earnings would have been $12,922,194 and his five-year extension would have totaled $74,302,616. By being granted the larger maximum, Durant earns an extra $2,584,438 this season and an extra $14,860,519 over the life of his extension.

As a result of Durant's new designation, the Thunder are also now over the salary cap.

Larry Coon/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

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Paul Allen Not Selling Blazers, Unwilling To Pay Tax Under New System

Dec 20, 2011 10:15 AM

Paul Allen, who bought the Blazers in 1988, said he intends on remaining the owner, but he will no longer be among the highest-paying owners, like the early 2000, when his payroll skyrocketed to as much as $108 million.

“As an owner, you really want to do the team right, the fans right, and the community right and build a winning organization,’’ Allen said. “So I’ve invested a lot, but the crazy luxury tax days and all those things, those are gone. Those are gone ... There’s no enjoyment to losing money.’’

Allen would not give a long-term commitment to owning the team, saying his health will be a factor in his involvement, as will the success of the team.

“I think if at some point things were getting stale, or if we were going to be a lottery team forever ... that would be a challenge,’’ Allen said.

Jason Quick/Oregonian

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA CBA

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NBA Season Ticket Sales Hold Steady

Dec 19, 2011 3:08 PM

According to league officials, renewal rates from existing season ticket holders are coming in at the 80-plus percent range, about the same pace as at the start of last season.

“Teams have been extremely aggressive in their outreach,” said Chris Granger, executive vice president of team marketing and business operations for the NBA. “We’re happy with the pace of sales given the compressed time frame.”

The NBA has 10 of its 30 teams with 10,000 or more full-season ticket plans, the same number as last year.

While league officials would not disclose that list of teams, among the clubs reaching the 10,000 benchmark are Miami, Boston, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, and both the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers.

Sports Business Journal

Tags: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA CBA

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Maloofs Encouraged By Season Ticket Sales, New CBA

Dec 18, 2011 6:39 PM

Joe and Gavin Maloof said Sunday they are optimistic about keeping the Kings in Sacramento.

“Tickets are definitely up over last year,” Gavin said. “They're up 10 percent over this time last year, and they're continuing to move.”

“I'll give you an example of how much better things are going," Joe said. "We sold $1 million worth of tickets last week. In five days. That's a lot of tickets. Gavin and I, we live here full time now. We're here every day, and we're still calling people.”

The Kings owners made their first public comments about the new collective bargaining agreement.

“I think it's a very fair deal for everyone involved,” Joe said. “The players are going to do extremely well. We're going to do a lot better. In the long run, it came out great for small markets like us (20th nationally), it really did.

“The revenue sharing is huge. Our market alone, it's going to be a tremendous amount of money, so the gap between the larger markets and smaller markets has really narrowed. Now we have a real chance to compete against larger-market teams, which is what the league wanted to get accomplished. And, like Gavin says, we have great flexibility with our team payroll, so we can strike at any time.”

Sacramento Bee

Tags: Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA CBA

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Jefferson Will Likely Remain On Spurs Roster

Dec 16, 2011 10:38 AM

Gregg Popovich didn’t quite come out and say the Spurs would not use amnesty on Jefferson this season, but it sure sounded like the team is planning on opening the season with him in the fold.

“Each year, he’s understood the system more and done a better job,” Popovich said of Jefferson. “I think he wants to come back and have an even better year than he did last year. I think he was fifth in the league in shooting his 3s, and he got better defensively. I think he’ll move forward from there.

“It’s kind of interesting, everybody’s always asking about amnesty, and I’m always wondering, ‘Why Richard?’ As if we didn’t advance in the playoffs because of Richard.”

Jefferson’s scoring average dipped from 12.3 points to 11 last season, but he was much more efficient in his second year with the Spurs than his first.

Jeff McDonald/San Antonio Express-News

Tags: Richard Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

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Leonsis Wants Wizards To Become Destination Franchise, Voted To Approve CBA
Ted Leonsis shared his vision for the Wizards.

Washington Post

Jordan Supports NBA's Competitive Balance Plan, Explains Hard-Line Stance
Michael Jordan paid a reported $275 million for the Bobcats.

Associated Press

Cuban: Mavs Haven't Decided To Chase Max Free Agent, May Pursue Several Stars
Mark Cuban believes star-caliber players will be priced lower due to the new collective bargaining agreement.

Dallas Morning News

Sarver Claims He Pushed For Compromise During CBA Negotiations
Suns owner Robert Sarver was portrayed as one of the most difficult owners to work with during CBA negotiations with the Players Union.

Arizona Republic

Source: Paul Moving Closer To Filing Lawsuit Against NBA
Chris Paulís representatives met with officials of the Players Association on Monday to discuss taking legal action against the NBA.

Mitch Lawrence/New York Daily News

Josh Smith Transformed Emotionally, Loses 25 Pounds Physically
Josh Smith was prepared to be traded from the Hawks when the 2011 Playoffs ended, as the up and downs of his tenure with the Hawks began to wear on him.

Jeff Schultz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NBA Renews Major Advertising Deals
The NBA renewed three of its major long-term partnership deals.

Wall Street Journal

Fisher: Overall Approach In This Business Is Getting Difficult To Stomach
Derek Fisher undoubtedly witnessed a different side to the NBA during his experience negotiating the new collective bargaining agreement.

Ken Berger/CBS Sports

Bobcats Vice Chairman Says New CBA Will Make Team 'More Competitive'
Bobcats vice chairman Curtis Polk, who also acts as Michael Jordanís financial advisor, offered a review of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Charlotte Observer

Kohl Believes Bucks Can Compete, Profit Under New CBA
Herb Kohl believes small-market teams have "a real opportunity to be profitable" thanks to a new collective bargaining agreement.

Journal Sentinel

Wojo: 'Basketball Reasons' Excuse Laughable Considering How Little NBA Office Knows About Basketball
Dell Demps had kept NBA VP Stu Jackson briefed on talks throughout the process and David Stern had promised not to interfere in the Paul situation.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Union Gives NBA Monday Deadline To Trade Paul
If a Chris Paul trade is not reached, the union will pursue other options including litigation.

Chris Broussard/ESPN (via Twitter)

Cuban Cites New CBA In Defending Decision To Part With Chandler, Barea, Butler
Mark Cuban explained his decision to let Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, and Caron Butler leave the Mavs in free agency.

Eddie Sefko/Dallas Morning News

Hornets Reach 10,000 Season-Ticket Mark, Optimistic About Securing New Ownership
Hornets team president Hugh Weber said the team could have a new owner in the next 60 to 100 days

Jimmy Smith/Times-Picayune

Source: Paul Could File 'Biggest Lawsuit League Has Ever Seen'
By blocking the Chris Paul trade, the NBA may have cost Paul millions in guaranteed money.

ESPNNewYork.com

Did Paul's Confrontation With Owner Factor Into NBA's Decision?
Chris Paul was an active participant in NBPA labor negotiations with the owners.

RealGM Staff Report

Stern Suggests Retirement On Horizon
While sources denied rumors that David Stern's retirement is not imminent, he hinted at it during comments he made on Thursday.

Henry Abbot/ESPN

Board Of Governors Ratifies New CBA
The NBA Board of Governors has ratified a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement, enabling training camps and the free agency period for the 2011-12 season to begin.

Press Release

Salary Cap Set At $58.044M, Luxury Tax At $70.307M, Minimum Payroll $46.435M
The salary cap for the 11-12 season will be at $58.044 million and the luxury tax line will be at $70.307 million.

Ken Berger/CBS Sports (via Twitter)

Players Approve New CBA
The players have approved the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement.

Ken Berger/CBS Sports (via Twitter)