News of an NBA lock out for fans is disheartening but usually the details of the quarrels between the owners and players have little effect on the fans themselves. A fan isn’t interested in the players’ level of health care or their pension plan; nor is he concerned about the owners’ bottom line. The fan base merely wants to watch their favorite team play the game that they love and be amazed by the feats and abilities of the stars.
The NBA has some worrisome times upcoming as the players and owners’ CBA (collective bargaining agreement) is set to expire at season’s end and unless the two sides make some dramatic concessions to their demands a lock out prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season is inevitable.
There are many points of contention between both sides and most have little to do with Joe Schmoe NBA fan, except one. The one idea being talked about on the owners’ side and one that the players’ union would undoubtedly be completely against is the implementation of a hard salary cap.
Unlike the NFL and NHL, the NBA uses a soft salary cap which allows teams to go over the limit for team salaries with numerous exceptions. A good example of the flexibility of a soft cap is the Lakers who currently have a payroll of 90+ million dollars despite the league salary cap limit being set at 58 million. The Lakers were able to get over the salary cap with exceptions that allow them to sign their own players and free agents without restrictions of the cap. In a Hard Cap world, there would be few exceptions and a team must keep their salaries below the set limit.
If a hard cap is shoved down the players’ throat and they relent by accepting the terms, what does that mean for the prospects of the Laker organization which has an incredible advantage by having an owner not afraid to spend the money necessary to form a championship team?
What happens to the Lakers current squad if a hard cap is set effective immediately and they need to get under the threshold before the start of next season?
We look at some of the devastating effects of a hard cap on both the current Laker squad and the future of the organization.