Kevin Durant’s $210 Million

NBA players and owners now have the new collective bargaining agreement in their hands and it is their job to decide if they like it and why shouldn’t they? Both benefit from the spike in television money. The rich get richer. NBA players avoid a lockout and a strike and the wrath of the paying customers.  By compromising and executing a deal the league and the union show they are not tone deaf.  To argue about a few million here and there while the rank and file fan has to worry about rent and mortgage payments and bills after Xmas was to travel down a road from which recovery would have been difficult. Fans want rich people to just play basketball. It was not just a good P.R. move to settle the labor issue, but it was practical as well.

The money will be extraordinary for the top players this summer when they negotiate contracts. Steph Curry, who has long been underpaid because his salary was based on his injury past, will finally get his. Kevin Durant and Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, all free agents, will prosper.

The max player salary for those elite stars who have been in the league a decade (Chris Paul, Kevin Durant) will shoot up to a $36 million baseline and a five year deal may be worth up to $210 million. The max player for those in the league 7-9 years (Steph Curry, Blake Griffin) will be a $31 million baseline and a five year deal may be worth $185 million.

The Over 36 rule is eliminated. That was a rule that barred teams from signing players over the age of 36 to lucrative long term contracts the players would never be able to meet because of injury and age. The rule has been changed to Over 38 contracts. Contracts for players over the age of 38 are shorter.

The one and done college rule is still in place to the chagrin of colleges who are gutted each year their freshmen bolt to the NBA. The league has long wanted to change the rule. Watch any NBA game and see how the should be college sophomores don’t know how to play. An extra year would benefit everyone. But the union doesn’t want restrictions. They point to the high school players who have achieved. The union compromise was a “Zero and Two” rule where high school players could come into the league but college players had to wait two years. Nothing was accomplished on that front so the one and done rule remains in effect.

The preseason will be shorter, the max number of exhibition games is six, rather than eight. The regular season starts earlier with fewer back-to-back games.

Numbers: According to the union, franchise worth has rocketed 240% but players salaries have only gone up 9%. The average value of a NBA team is $1 billion dollars. The fiscal Grand Canyon between labor and management has widened instead of gotten smaller. The laborers, the players, are the reason management accrues such large profits and valuation and to some this large inequality borders on economic treason.  More than likely this is why Draymond Green said, “Stand for something or fall for anything. One day we will get it right…maybe.”


photo via llananba