Are you enjoying the wild NBA Playoffs so far? Good, because it looks like it will be the last pro basketball we'll see for a while. It was revealed yesterday that the NBA is looking to impose a hard cap of $45 million per team in the next collective bargaining agreement. As someone said on Twitter, the NBA may as well have proposed that the cap be $45.
To put into perspective how crazy this number is, the current NBA salary cap is $58 million, plus it's a soft cap - teams can, and do, go over that amount. In fact, only the Sacramento Kings came in under the new proposed $45 million limit this season, and only six teams came in under the current cap of $58 million (it should be noted that two of those teams are still in the playoffs - Oklahoma City and Chicago). Under the new hard cap (all teams would have to be under $45 million, no exceptions), Kobe Bryant's $24.8 million salary would eat up 55% of the Lakers' cap room. The NBA is also pushing for non-guaranteed contracts which might become as big a sticking point as the new hard cap proposal will be.
Sure, it's early in negotiations and the NBA is bound to budge a bit on their early demands, but this still isn't an encouraging sign for fans of pro basketball. The player's union will fight tooth and nail against non-guaranteed contracts and a drastically reduced salary cap. Which means I'm going to have to get creative with story ideas after these playoffs end since we may have not have any games to comment on for a long time. Be afraid, very afraid. This the end, beautiful friend, this is the end.