The only real concrete progress in NBA lockout talks that anyone is willing to talk about on the record is a tenative agreement between owners on revenue sharing. David Stern told the media on Friday that under the new collective bargaining agreement, revenue sharing will triple from $54 million to more than $160 million next season, and is expected to quadruple by 2014 to $210 million or more. The mechanism by which revenue will be shared isn't clear, though the great Ken Berger reports that a source says the L.A. Lakers would share $50 million under the deal, and the New York Knicks would share $30 million.
The devil really is in the details on something like this. The Sacramento Kings rate in the bottom 10 market sizes in the NBA, and if you looked at local revenue, they could be bottom five most seasons. As the Nexus Report outlined, there's a small corporate base here, a relatively small TV market and a struggling economy that's worse than most comparable metro areas. The one bonus is that there's no competition: Sacramento has no other major league teams to compete with the Kings, though we all know crazy Niners, Giants, A's and Raiders fans who make the trek into the Bay Area on a regular basis.
The Kings would definitely be a receiver ... but how many other teams would join them? Are the Kings in line to take in $20 million a year when revenue sharing fills out in a few years? More? Less? Every bit helps, but the mechanism by which it moves matters greatly. Until we see that, it's hard to say whether it will put the Kings on anything like an even playing field with the other three teams in California. Let's hope it does.