Joe Johnson - 6 years 120 million +
Rudy Gay - 6 years 84 million
Drew Gooden - 5 years 32 million
Amir Johnson - 5 years 34 million
Brad Miller - 3 years 15 million
Amare, Boozer, Pierce, Allen getting all max or near max deals....etc.
Most people ask, what is going on in the NBA today? What are these owners thinking? They're just throwing money around like it's is 2006. Aren't we in 'the worst economy since the Great Depression?" What could they possibly be thinking by throwing around long term big deals to such old and marginal players???
That's the billion dollar question!
I get it. I think I figured out what these NBA owners are doing. This being the last year of the CBA, heading into negotiations the Union and the owners are going to be fighting for every last penny moving forward. However, what Billy Hunter doesn't get, is that he's about to be played, and played well.
The conventional wisdom is the nba revenues went up, owners are spending like drunken sailor and the players are the lifeblood of the league. However, in pressing this argument, he's playing right into these owners plans. Albeit, not ALL are on board, but if you take a look around, a lot of the small market teams are paying through the nose currently for marginal talent, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Toronto(I know they're not small, but they're small for USA marketing standards and revenue) are paying some exorbitant contracts PURPOSEFULLY.
I mean, really, this is the cycle to BREAK the Union and give the owners the leverage they've lacked on the revenue of their league for decades now. Unlike, their NFL counterparts, the NBA is strapped with guaranteed contracts, long and expensive contracts and a luxury tax to attempt to level the playing field. What these owners are doing is taking a couple steps backwards, in order to move a mile forward. How? Through patience. Through their plan. By giving out the large contracts NOW of all times, they're going to have the leverage in these negotiations. They're going to be able to sit back and wait for THE CBA to be what THEY want it to be. With these large, long term lucrative contracts doled out this summer, coupled with the large, lucrative contracts of years past, these players aren't going to want to sit and wait out a lock-out for FUTURE years, when their payday is NOW!
Take Matt Barnes for instance. 2 year 10 million dollar deal. I believe that is his largest payday(or close to it) of his career/year. (Correct me if I'm wrong here). But why would a player like Barnes want to sit out a lock out just to watch his freshly signed contract only be honored at 50% of it's total value. He's not getting another contract like that. Same can be said for Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Gooden, Paul Pierce and a plethera of other players in the twilights of their careers. The younger players like Gay, Amir Johnson, etc will get addicted to their new found paychecks of over $100,000 bi-monthly. How will they cope when the well runs dry. Sure I understand this is a lot of money, but these young athletes are notorious for their riotous financial behaviors. Many will under-anticipate their needs and their financial liabilities and will soon be more motivated to strike a deal that gets their paychecks flowing back into their bank accounts and pronto.
You see, by giving out these contracts now, they're giving more players reasons to play the game, and the game will not be played on their terms, rather on the owners terms. The owners, not all, but most, are willing to take the hit NOW, in order to secure their financial solvency moving forward and secure their economic success. The difference between the individual and collective factions of 30 owners vs 400+ players is steeper than most realize. The owners are more easily united, have the ability and motivation to wait out the RIGHT deal for them and are looking to break the unions back this coming year.
So you see, there may actually be a method behind the madness we're witnessing this off-season, and while those contracts may be short-term nooses around certain franchises necks, the rope hanging these franchises up that are killing their ability to thrive financial is about to break. It's just a matter of patience for these owners. The owners are just increasing the incentive of the players into impatience which favors the owners.