Screw Free Agency!!!

Was reading jerrydlux's FanPost this morning called The Max Deal. Was going to comment on it, but that comment was about a FanPost I thought about writing, and as I was writing the comment, I realized that I could not format it the way I wanted to as a comment and it would have been too long as a comment anyways. So here's the FanPost.

So obviously we're in the moratorium of free agency right now. Players are talking with their agents and teams, their agents are talking to teams, players are verbally agreeing to deals, but nothing is signed yet. There are some players that didn't wait, and others that are waiting for larger dominoes to fall in hopes that it raises their market value and/or gives them better options of where to go to try and win a championship. Though I've been relentlessly refreshing the interwebz and my twitter to get the latest updates as often as possible, I'll admit, I hate free agency.

I agree with part of the sentiment jerrydlux was getting at, players getting paid more than they're worth. Mind you, I've thought that way about the whole entertainment business since I was 15 (even wrote a report on it). Well just before free agency started, when we heard about all of these players wanting this money, giving up that money, going over the CBA and who can do what, I thought to myself: There has got to be a better way to pay these players. And honestly, though this is very rough, I just may have.

First, let me state, I know diddly about business. I'm a software engineer, it's what I do. So if there are things that I state that aren't true, can't be done, goes against some laws, etc., it's because I honestly know nothing about business and don't want to spend my time learning it (maybe some time in the future). I know there's a lot that I can learn from the wealthy industrialists in here!!! Also, let me state this: This system completely nullifies the need for any agents, ever. So don't worry about agent fees when doing any of the calculations below.

Ok, so how should we pay these players? A base salary with bonuses. But isn't that what we already do? Kind of. They negotiate a contract with their agents and the teams and that is their base salary. They get bonuses if they reach a certain milestone, receive an award, etc. However, I don't even want to go that far. EVERY player starts out with $2.5M a year and then gets paid off of advanced stats. Yes, advanced stats.

What advanced stat you say? Well, I'm honestly not sure. But for this FanPost, I'm going to use WS. Why? Just because I wanted to and I wasn't going to use PER and didn't want to take the time to calculate WP (for some reason the website won't pull up at work). My using WS is the reason why I'm also starting them with a base salary of $2.5M. There are players who obtain negative WS and they should have to give back some of their money.

So $2.5M over the course of a year breaks down to $48,076.92 less taxes every two weeks. That's a nice chunk of change there. And as said above, you don't have to worry about the player losing money on agent fees. Why? Because the players are going to get paid on how well they produce on the court for that year. And heck, if they get injured during the year, the team shouldn't have to pay them any extra to sit on their butts (all medical and rehabilitation expenses will be covered as long as said injury was sustained during a league organized event such as practice, game, NBA cares, etc. If you broke your toe at home walking around in the dark, tough luck kid.)

So how do the bonuses work out? Well, we're going to use a hard cap in an effort to keep the little markets in the mix. So let's use a round number of $80M. Let's also keep the same roster size of 15. This means that all players signed is $37.5M out of the cap, leaving $42.5M (or, if more than 15 players were signed during the years, it's $80M - numPlayers * $2.5M). Of this remaining $42.5M, not all of it will be split between the 15 players based on how well they play via a percentage of WS (Add negative WS to total WS as if they were positive). Nope, there are likely other deductions.

If you are league MVP, you get a $2.5M bonus. If you are DPOY, you get a $2.0M bonus. If you are SMOY, you get a $1M bonus. If you make First Team All-NBA, a $500K bonus, Second Team All-NBA, a $300K bonus, and Third Team All-NBA, a $150K bonus. The same numbers apply for All Defensive teams as well. If you are Finals MVP, you get a $2.5M bonus as well. There are probably other awards that I could include as well, but that is enough for this FanPost (and honestly, does the league give them money for winning these awards or are they built into their contracts from the team? Do bonuses count against the cap? See, told you I don't know this business.). All bonuses will be paid in a lump sum two months after the season has ended.

So how would that have related to the Pistons salaries this year. Well, here are the Pistons WS and what their bonuses would have been:

Player WS Bonuses Total Salary
Andre Drummond 9.9 $12,673,192.77 $15,173,192.77
Greg Monroe 5.9 $7,552,710.84 $10,052,710.84
Kyle Singler 4.4 $5,632,530.12 $8,132,530.12
Brandon Jennings 3.9 $4,992,469.88 $7,492,469.88
Rodney Stuckey 2.2 $2,816,265.06 $5,316,265.03
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 1.8 $2,304,216.87 $4,804,216.87
Jonas Jerebko 1.4 $1,792,168.67 $4,292,168.67
Josh Smith 1.1 $1,408,132.53 $3,908,132.53
Will Bynum 1.0 $1,280,120.48 $3,780,120.48
Josh Harrellson 0.7 $896,084.34 $3,396,084.34
Tony Mitchell 0.2 $256,024.10 $2,756,024.10
Charlie Villanueva 0.1 $128,012.05 $2,628,012.05
Luigi Datome -0.1 -$128,012.05 $2,371,987.95
Peyton Siva -0.2 -$256,024.10 $2,243,975.90
Chauncey Billups -0.3 -$384,036.14 $2,115,963.86

Well, if you ask me, that looks about right. Andre was the best on the team, should get the most money. Greg was second, should get the second most money. It all seems to line up.

Now, here are some other thoughts that I'd have for this.

  • Rookies sign contracts for 5 years, every year is a team option.
  • After rookie contracts, players may resign for no more than 5 years (all years are player options).
  • Teams would never have to worry about trades causing them to go over the cap. (moar trades)
  • This allows teams to be built, not bought. I think if a system like this was in place, Wade, Bosh and James would definitely only be combining forces to win a championship and we may not be going through what we are now. (One drawback may be that "friends" could easily combine and form super teams if money wasn't an issue.)
  • Since a lot of players do want the money, they may be LESS likely to be on teams with other superstars in hopes of being the most productive player. This would spread the talent throughout the league a little better.
  • There could be an equalizer tax applied to teams in states with no state taxes. I honestly don't know what each state taxes are, but if the highest were 25%, the teams without state taxes or lower state taxes would take the equivalent amount out of their players' checks and give it to the league for revenue sharing (increasing the cap each year).
  • I think this would also up the level of effort given. Players may practice harder, study harder, etc. in hopes of becoming a better player (not saying they don't try hard now, but some may take it easy once they're in the league). Players would be less likely to do something stupid in practice to get suspended as it would affect their pay (maybe eliminate fines?).
  • One potential drawback could be hero ball. It would be my opinion that the coach should handle that. If they feel like a player is not doing what is needed in the interest of the team, to up their stats to up their pay, the coach should sit them. The coaches pay would be determined on wins and how far they get into the playoffs (doesn't count against the cap) and would be more worried about Ws than the ego or pocket book of any said players.

My apologies for how rough this is. As I said, I don't know business. Does this sound like a plan that would help the league? Would it be something you think the players would accept and maybe even the owners? Do you think the base should be dropped or raised (if so, to what)? What would your suggestion be for teams that play in the playoffs? Should they get an extra $5M each round they make it past? Would love to hear your thoughts DBB.

Just for comparison, here's how the OKC Thunder and Miami Heat salaries would have looked (without MVP and other bonuses):

Oklahoma City Thunder
Player WS Bonuses Total Salary
Kevin Durant 19.2 $11,275,167.79 $13,775,167.79
Serge Ibaka 9.6 $5,637,583.89 $8,137,583.89
Russell Westbrook 5.2 $3,053,691.28 $5,553,691.28
Reggie Jackson 4.9 $2,877,516.78 $5,377,516.78
Nick Collison 3.6 $2,114,093.96 $4,614,093.96
Jeremy Lamb 3.3 $1,937,919.46 $4,437,919.46
Derek Fisher 3.1 $1,820,469.80 $4,320,469.80
Thabo Sefolosha 3 $1,761,744.97 $4,261,744.97
Steven Adams 2.9 $1,703,020.13 $4,203,020.13
Caron Butler 1.6 $939,597.32 $3,439,597.32
Perry Jones III 1.5 $880,872.48 $3,380,872.48
Kendrick Perkins 0.8 $469,798.66 $2,969,798.66
Andre Roberson 0.8 $469,798.66 $2,969,798.66
Hasheem Thabeet 0.0 $0.00 $2,500,000.00
Ryan Gomes 0.0 $0.00 $2,500,000.00
Reggie Williams 0.0 $0.00 $2,500,000.00
Royal Ivey 0.0 $0.00 $2,500,000.00
Mustafa Shakur -0.1 -$58,724.83 $2,441,275.17

Miami Heat
Player WS Bonuses Total Salary
LeBron James 15.9 $10,192,307.69 $12,692,307.69
Chris Bosh 8.0 $5,128,205.13 $7,628,205.13
Chris Andersen 6.0 $3,846,153.85 $6,346,153.85
Dwyane Wade 5.5 $3,525,641.03 $6,025,641.03
Mario Chalmers 4.8 $3,076,923.08 $5,576,923.08
Ray Allen 4.1 $2,628,205.13 $5,128,205.13
Shane Battier 2.4 $1,538,461.54 $4,038,461.54
Rashard Lewis 1.7 $1,089,743.59 $3,589,743.59
Michael Beasley 1.6 $1,025,641.03 $3,525,641.03
Norris Cole 1.2 $769,230.77 $3,269,230.77
Udonis Haslem 1.1 $705,128.21 $3,205,128.21
Toney Douglas 0.7 $448,717.95 $2,948,717.95
James Jones 0.7 $448,717.95 $2,948,717.95
Greg Oden 0.5 $320,512.82 $2,820,512.82
Roger Mason 0.3 $192,307.69 $2,692,307.69
Justin Hamilton 0.1 $64,102.56 $2,564,102.56
Joel Anthony 0.0 $0.00 $2,500,000.00
DeAndre Liggins 0.0 $0.00 $2,500,000.00

*NOTE* - It appears that when a player on a team has negative WS, the total salary for that team is less than $80M. Not sure as to what to do with that money. May need to refine my formula.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Detroit Bad Boys community and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all fans or the staff at DBB. The DBB staff reserves the right at any time to edit the contents of FanPosts as they reasonably see fit.

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