On April 21st I wrote a piece titled "The Miami Heat can't win", in a nut shell I said that history will judge the Heat in a negative light, no matter how the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh fare together in Miami. I also added that the upcoming collective bargaining agreement would be used to punish the big three..
Now while I said it tongue-in-cheek, and don't really believe that the owners and GM's will exact some vendetta against the Miami Heat in the next CBA. I do believe that if the owners are serious about fixing the money problems that exist, the next NBA season could be shortened or nonexistent.
Even though the NBA has been wildly popular this year, David Stern has said that the league will lose around 300 million dollars this year. Add that with Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner projecting that only eight of the thirty NBA teams will turn a profit, it's not hard to imagine that the owners might have their heels dug in pretty deep on changing the financial culture in the league.
Just look at some of the things that Stern has thrown out as starting points in the upcoming labor talks.
- 750-800 million in salary reduction league wide.
- Hard salary cap
- Lowering the percentage of basketball related income the players receive.
Now while these are starting points and there will be some give and take during negotiations, it's clear we're not talking about small issues to overcome.
I look at the issues and see, that while not intentional, the Miami Heat could be hit harder than some teams.
Take the salary reduction topic, if the number is dropped in half to 375 million that's still 12.5 million that Miami has to find to eliminate from the pay-roll. Something tells me the kid that mops up the sweat from the floor doesn't make that much.
Another thing that could hurt Miami is a hard salary cap. Here is what James, Wade, and Bosh are owed for the next three seasons:
2011-12: 47.5 million
2012-13: 52.1 million
2013-14: 56.6 million
2014-15: 61.2 million*
2015-16: 65.7 million*
(* player option)
That's quite a bit to be paying three guys on your team, in fact looking at payroll on other teams only Miami has this much money tied up in three players. Now while the Lakers owe Bryant, Gasol and Bynum 59.1 million next season, L.A. has a team option on Bynum and Odom for the 2012-13 season so they could help themselves on payroll after next season.
Even without knowing a dollar amount, a quick look at payroll of every NBA team shows that Miami would have the most problems working under a hard cap.
I admit that I'm speculating on what could come out of the new contract talks and how it could impact Miami, but I don't think that I'm going that far out on a limb with the line of thought that I'm on.