Legal jargon has turned into business jargon as the NBA closes in on finalizing the CBA agreed upon in principle by the league and the players. A lot of it is confusing and a lot of it means little to most fans. But some of it could have a direct impact on the Milwaukee Bucks.
If you’re hardcore into labor negotiations and need the full breakdown, check out Larry Coon’s breakdown of the last CBA vs. the new CBA.
If you’re looking to learn some of the highlights and how they apply to the Bucks, we got you covered.
- Amnesty Clause
Upon first reports of the new CBA allowing teams to purge themselves of one bad contract, keyboards everywhere took a pounding as people excitedly slammed out the letters D-R-E-W G-O-O-D-E-N alongside the word good riddance. But intel appears to have quelled that movement amongst Bucks fans. Today, Chad Ford and John Hollinger report yet again, that the team is unlikely to use the amnesty clause on Gooden this season.
The clause would clear Drew Gooden’s contract from the Bucks salary cap (something the last amnesty provision didn’t do), which would give the team just over $6 million to do with what they may this off-season. But the team would still have to pay Gooden, so whatever player replacing him would essentially be earning his salary and Gooden’s salary. The doubling of salary is probably one reason Milwaukee hasn’t been so anxious to clear Gooden from the books.
The other reason is likely the lack of time Gooden spent on the court with Andrew Bogut last season.
Milwaukee’s ideal pairing up front spent just 411 minutes on the court together last season. By comparison, Bogut spent 826 minutes with Luc Mbah a Moute as his power forward last season. When Gooden wasn’t injured, he was often forced into a backup role, as the Bucks lacked much behind Bogut. If Milwaukee can get Bogut and Gooden on the floor together often this season and still doesn’t see results? This CBA’s amnesty clause can be rolled over and used any time until the next CBA expires, so long as it is used on deals signed during the last CBA. Next season could be Gooden’s last as a Buck if his pay and performance don’t line up a little closer.
- Revenue Sharing Improvements
If, as Don Walker’s sources say, the Bucks had been receiving roughly $5 million a year in revenue sharing, under the new agreement, that will jump to $15 million. Details have yet to be finalized on the revenue sharing deal though, so we can’t be sure just what sort of impact that extra $10 million will have, but any time a team with as thin as profit margin as the Bucks have can pick up three times as much money as they had been, that’s a help.
- Luxury Tax
Milwaukee has never paid a dollar in luxury tax penalties, and don’t expect that to change any time soon. Unless the extra revenue being generated from revenue sharing has The Senator feeling awfully generous, the additional luxury tax penalties that will be levied upon teams starting in 2012-13 should be all the more reason for Milwaukee to keep salaries relatively tight. Teams previously paid a dollar for every dollar they went over the calculated tax level, starting in 2012-13, penalties will grow with even $5 million above the tax level a team goes.
The league has advertised this sort of penalty system as a means of competitive balance. Their logic is major market teams won’t be able to spend as freely in free agency and through contract extensions if their owners are paying out so much in penalties. But this sort of tax could come back to haunt a young team like the Bucks if they hit big on a few drafts. If Bogut and Brandon Jennings are the anchors the Bucks are hoping for and if Tobias Harris or another young player proves to be someone worth legitimate money, all of those contracts adding up at once could be too much for a small market team to handle, revenue sharing or not.
The luxury tax keeps the onus on Milwaukee to be smart when handing out contracts to non-star players, but really won’t be an issue unless the team ends up with a couple of star young players.
- Restricted and Unrestricted Free Agency
Teams will now have just three days to match an offer sheet signed by a restricted free agent. Mbah a Moute falls into that boat as soon as free agency gets started, so the Bucks could be one of the first teams to have to make a quick decision.
Additionally, free agent deals are now limited to five years with 7.5 percent raises for Bird free agents (a player who has played with a team for three years) and four years with 4.5 percent raises for other free agents. Shorter contracts are one thing owners were very insistent about, and I’m sure Herb Kohl felt no different, having had an up-close and personal seat for Michael Redd’s final few years in Milwaukee.
Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.