February 29, 2012

Kings to stay in Sacramento

Filed under: National Basketball Association — Giorgio Varlaro @ 3:08 am

Supplied via Google Images

On Monday the Kings and the NBA announced a tentative deal which would keep the team in Sacramento, California. A new $387 million arena would upgrade be an upgrade from Power Balance Pavilion, the Kings home since 1988. The new arena will be an upgrade from the Power Balance Pavilion, which has the lowest seating capacity in the NBA (17,317).

As early as February 2011, David Stern had serious discussions to relocate the team to Anaheim. The Maloof Family, which owns the Kings, went as far as preparing a case for relocation to the Board of the NBA in New York City, but Ron Burkle showed strong interest in buying the team to keep them in Sacramento. Due to this and a strong support from their fans, any thought of the Kings changing to the Anaheim Royals vanished.

Under the proposed terms of the deal, the city will contribute $200-$250 million, mostly by leasing out parking garages around the facility. The Maloofs have agreed to contribute $75 million in upfront cash, which includes the sale of land around the team’s current suburban arena, along with paying off a current $67 million loan to the city. Arena operator AEG also agreed to pay almost $60 million.

Despite attempts by Anaheim to lure the Kings, the fate of the franchise is in the hands of the Sacramento City Council, which has approved every arena measure to date under the current project. The arena, which would open for the 2015-16 season in the downtown Sacramento rail yards, is a vote away from breaking ground.


December 5, 2011

NBA back for the Holidays

Filed under: National Basketball Association — Giorgio Varlaro @ 8:01 pm

Supplied via Google Images

The past six months for sports enthusiasts has been demanding with the NFL and NBA discussing labor negotiations. Both leagues had pressing issues with the downfall of the recent economy. Teams were not making projected revenues thus causing a serious change in shared revenues between owners and players. With increasing costs for both parties, each wanted more to secure their respective future.

In regards to the NBA, which released its Christmas Day television line-up last Friday, players’ shares decreased from 57 percent to 51.15 percent this season, and could drop to 49 percent if revenue falls short of projections. The six percent decrease is expected to make up the reported $300 million the NBA lost last season.

Other important labor changes occurred with the amnesty clause, a punitive luxury tax, rookie extensions, and contract length.

The amnesty clause will allow teams to release one bad contract (the player must still be paid), but none of his salary will count toward the salary cap or luxury tax thresholds. The contract must be in place at the start of the new CBA, but the team does not have to play the amnesty card immediately. The clause can be used one time during the length of the new CBA.

Furthermore, players released in this manner will go through a modified waiver process in which teams under the cap can make offers to assume some of the player’s remaining contract, with the remainder paid by the team that released him.

The punitive luxury tax is the NBA’s way of trying to instill a hard salary cap. Small-market teams did not get the hard salary cap they sought, but some have argued that the punitive nature of the new luxury tax is just like a hard cap.

The previous luxury tax was $1 for each $1 a team was over the luxury tax threshold. Now there will be a sliding scale based on how much over the cap a team is. That tax could reach as high as $4.75-to-$1 or more if a team was more than $25 million over the cap in four of any five seasons beginning in 2011-12.

In regards to rookie extensions, each team can designate one player to be eligible for five seasons at the maximum salary of up to 30 percent of the salary cap, provided he has been named the NBA MVP or an All-Star starter twice or a first, second, or third-team NBA player twice (Derrick Rose). All other will abide by the former four-year rookie scale.

This new provision could help small-market teams retain their young stars by allowing them to cash in quicker, but whether that will be enough to keep them with their original teams remains to be seen.

Finally, the maximum contract length for a sign-and-trade is four years with maximum 4.5 percent salary increases, and the maximum length of an extend-and-trade contract is three seasons.

Starting in 2013-14, teams are prohibited from acquiring a free agent in a sign-and-trade if their team salary post-transaction would exceed the tax level by more than $4 million. This is expected to keep players with their small market teams, but the possibility of it actually working still needs to be seen.

March 28, 2011

NBA Lockout on the Horizon?

Filed under: National Basketball Association — Giorgio Varlaro @ 9:48 pm

Supplied via Google Images

With some exciting hoops action over this past weekend in the NCAA, thanks to wins by Virginia Commonwealth and Butler, the game of basketball seems to be at an all-time high publicity wise. Once a champion is found out next week however, more college players will play the waiting game as to whether there will be a 2011-2012 NBA season. The current National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to end on June 30th and players and owners have been unable to come to terms on a new salary cap or player contract revisions.

The owners have proposed a hard salary cap to replace the current system that allowed for certain exceptions. They also seek lesser contract lengths, values, non-guaranteed deals and the loss of freedom for free agents. The players have countered this offer, but both sides have yet to come close to a new deal. Trying to help both sides is Executive Director Billy Hunter. Hunter has had frequent talks with NBA Commissioner David Stern and Union President Derek Fisher, but with the season ending and the playoffs starting in the next week or so, discussions have been at a standstill.

The NBA  is enjoying its most talked about season possibly ever with the “Big Three” in Miami, Derrick Rose’s play in Chicago, and the trade for Carmelo Anthony to New York. Even with this success, the league is this projecting around $350 million in losses. Due to this, and the current downturn of the economy, the owners of NBA teams have proposed their current offer to the players and have been quoted by reporters to want to get a deal done.

Which league in your opinion has a better chance of having a regular season next year, the National Football League or the National Basketball Association? Is it smart for the owners to try and restrict player’s contracts and thus security with career-threatening injuries possible every night? Would a lockout hurt the NBA, like it did in1999 when only 50 games were played in the regular season?

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