Did the NBA screw up the new collective bargaining agreement?

In discussing the possibility of a Dwight Howard deal and the rumors of Andrew Bynam going to Cleveland, Terry Pluto points out some strange new rules in the CBA that make a deal very unlikely.

1. There are at least 40 million reasons why Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum won’t sign contract extensions to help complete a trade. That’s right, 40 million, as in about $40 million. Howard and Bynum are under contract through the 2012-13 season. If they are traded and sign an extension now, it can be for no longer than three years.

2. That’s why Howard’s agent has said his client has no interest in signing an extension now. He’ll wait for free agency. The new labor agreement changed the rules on players signing extensions before free agency. It made it wiser for players to wait to become free agents because they can sign longer, more lucrative deals. (So much for helping teams keep their stars.)

3. Bynum is expected to follow the same path as Howard. Why sign a three-year deal in the $60 million range when he can wait a year, and sign for more than $100 million over five seasons?

4. Any agent that takes a contract extension for a prime-time player in the final year of his contract is either giving poor advice or has a client — who because of injuries — wants security now. That’s why every proposed deal for Howard has been a mess. He won’t commit to a contract now because he can get so much more later.

Dwight Howard is taking a lot of heat for his flip-flops on what he wants to do, but it’s hard to blame him for this CBA quirk that seems to be making it much harder to get deals done. Also, as Pluto points out, it makes it much harder for teams to lock up and keep their star players.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Look out for the Cavs

So far, my preseason optimism for the Cleveland Cavaliers seems justified. Mo Williams has given the team a legitimate compliment to LeBron James on the offensive end, LeBron has responded by taking his game to the next level, and the other players on the roster are contributing as well. Terry Pluto breaks it down.

After their first nine games heading into Saturday night, the Cavs are a much better offensive team than at any time in the Mike Brown Era. They are averaging 100.7 points, sixth-best in the league and well above the 96.4 (ranked 24th) last season. The reason is the addition of Mo Williams, the decision to sometimes play a small lineup with LeBron James at power forward and the revival of Delonte West (10.0 points, 54 percent shooting). James has said he’s faced the fewest double teams at any point in his six-year career, and that’s because opponents have to defend Williams, West and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Cavs are shooting 48 percent, third best in the NBA.
It’s only been three weeks and all of this can break down, but the fact is Daniel Gibson, Wally Szczerbiak and Williams do have a history of making outside shots. West is gaining confidence. James is averaging 7.3 assists, passing to open teammates all over the floor as the team has improved its spacing. The Cavs are shooting 77 percent at the foul line, well above their 72 percent last season. It certainly helped that Williams (96 percent) made his first 23 foul shots.

One area suffering a bit is rebounding, as James leads the team with 8.3. Ilgauskas (6.7) is playing farther from the basket than in the past, because he is more comfortable shooting medium-range jumpers. They still rank seventh in rebounding, but usually are in the top three. They had a recent stretch of being outrebounded in four of five games, which bothered Brown. He is pleased with the defense holding opponents to 42.5 percent shooting.

OK, it is exciting to see the Cavs develop on offense, especially how West and Williams are molding together. When James goes to the bench, Williams helps the substitutes keep scoring because the guard can create his own shot. Anderson Varejao is playing with tremendous energy, and even shooting a shocking (for him) 70 percent at the foul line. Ben Wallace has had some strong games on defense. They look like a team that can win 55 games.

Related Posts