Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2 year opt outs

I expect to see a lot of 2-year opt outs in the NBA contracts that will be signed later this week. There are two reasons for that, which are related. This will hopefully be good for the Bucks (more on that later).

The first is that the TV contracts for the NBA expire at that point, and if NBA ratings continue to go up there will be a large increase in revenue to the league. With the new CBA, 50% of that revenue goes to the players (down from about 57% in the previous CBA), meaning there could be a sizable increase in the salary cap for that season. The other reason is Lebron, as pretty much everything in the NBA is about Lebron.

I expect Lebron to resign with the Heat for a large contract but with a likely 2-year opt out. Lebron can get money anywhere he wants to go, but he also wants to win championships. He has a clear path to the finals with the Big 3 in a weak Eastern Conference so Miami just makes sense in the short run. Lebron knows about the TV money too, but that is probably less a factor in his decision than Wade’s knees. Does Wade have another season or two of elite level play, even if it is for only 50 regular season games and the playoffs? Probably. Does Wade have 4-5 more seasons of elite level play? Probably not. The 2-year opt out combined with the salary cap increase gives Lebron a chance to opt out and move on if needed, as well as opening the number of options he has due to the salary cap increase.

The Bucks should be in a decent position to take advantage of this, should it happen. The Bucks have 4 players with significant contracts expiring in 2 years (Ilyasova, Mayo, Pachullia, and Henson’s rookie deal). I don’t expect the Bucks to be able to bring in any big free agents with all that open cap space. However. the Bucks may be able to take advantage of a team desperate to clear space for a shot at Lebron. With about 25 million in expiring contracts the Bucks will have flexibility to move them for a quality player(s) on long term deal.


  1. My ranking of NBA "seasons":

    5) Regular season
    4) Draft season
    3) Free agency season
    2) Strike / lockout shortened season
    1) Post-season

    1. Seems about right. Considering the regular season's ability to thaw the winter ice for several long months, it'd be nice to move it up on the list, but it certainly doesn't match the excitement of the others.

  2. My gut says LeBron is going back to Cleveland (pronto), but my gut also thinks gyros are occasionally delicious, so there you go. Beyond chasing championships with that young nucleus, and restoring his hometown rep, this is his shot (in his prime) to have his "own" team. If Cleveland is the case, it'll be interesting to see how his contract shakes out.

  3. I think he ends up in Cleveland, but not for 2 years. 2 more shots with the super friends, Ray Allen and some other thrown ins wins them the East and 6 consecutive trips to the finals. Irving isn't going anywhere as he is about to resign for 5 years. That allows 2 years for them to figure out what they have in Wiggins, Bennett, Waiters, and Thompson who will all still be on Rookie contracts. Then Lebron sweeps in to lead the kids to another 6 finals. Poor Bucks.

  4. Not 7? The two year opt out, and then on to Cleveland does make a lot of sense. But have you considered the version where Lebron comes to play for Milwaukee, mainly because it's a burgeoning cultural metropolis. "North Beach" if you will. That, and he can't resist the lure of squeaky cheese curds. Milwaukee's also close to home, but not too close, so the grandparents can't pack up the old K-car more than every other weekend (don't ruin the fantasy with any talk of private family jets- absurdist mularkey). Turns out Lebron and Larry Sanders share an affinity for Impressionist Art and hiking, so in the future to come, they spend countless hours roaming the Baraboo Hills: drinking local wines, pontificating over the merits of Rousseau, even missing a game against the Bulls because Lebron is NOT GOOD with a compass (did you see 'the Decision'?). He and Larry also start their own Local Cable TV Variety Show, strangely called "The Larry Sanders Show", in which Lebron plays a very affable Ed McMahon to foil Larry's Conanesque antics. It does well... for the 11pm Wednesday night slot. Turns out Lebron also plays sidekick on the court as well, as Ramon Sessions re-signs for peanuts, but then goes on to lead the Eastern Conference in scoring AND assists. Just saying... don't be surprised... you heard it here first.