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July 30, 2011

Stray thoughts on lockout, etc.

-- Some of you have asked me what's the significance of FIBA not clearing Bismack Biyombo to sign an NBA contract. It's about money and leverage. That Spanish team doesn't mind losing Biyombo to the Charlotte Bobcats, but they want every bit of a buyout of about $1.4 million to release him.

The Spanish Federation and, by extension, FIBA is backing the team. So Biyombo and the Bobcats will eventually have to pay up to get this resolved.

This is the pitfall of using high picks on International players. But as Dirk Nowitzki, the Gasol brothers and Tony Parker all demonstrate, foreigners can have huge impact on an NBA team's success.

-- I think the NBA was wise to compromise about letting players go overseas during an extended lockout. I doubt the NBA could have done much to stop that, and the deal they cut with FIBA secured the two most important things -- that overseas contracts get voided at the end of a lockout and players assume any risk associated with injury.

-- College scouting would seemingly be one of the few aspects of basketball operations not affected by the lockout. However, I'm told NBA scouts have been barred from attending practices, on the off chance they'd run into current NBA players back at their alma maters.

Essentially, teams have been told they can scout only events open to the general public (as in games, not practices). The scouts I know find practices important in evaluating players' work habits and how they interact with coaches.

One scout I spoke with said it's absurd the NBA doesn't trust its player-personnel folk to practice common sense in these situations. As he put it, "So Mark Cuban can appear on the ESPYs with his players, but I can't do my job on college campuses?''

The man makes a point.

-- Did you notice the Carolina Panthers signed all but one of their draft picks by the start of training camp, and that included No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton?

The NFL just discovered how handy a rookie pay scale is. The concept, which the NBA has used for years, limits rookie salaries. It also narrows what's negotiable in a rookie contract. Thus, there will be fewer holdouts among rookies.

The NBA almost never has a rookie miss training camp. Now that should be true for the NFL as well.

Posted by Observer Sports on July 30, 2011 at 02:34 PM | Permalink


Since the NFL learned something from the NBA, maybe the NBA can learn something from the NFL in terms of a franchise tag. That way the players can stop running the league and more teams can be competitive.

Posted by: bobcatfan | Jul 31, 2011 12:28:10 AM

David Stern has expressed misgivings on the idea of forcing a player to stay with a particular franchise for an unlimited amount of time.
Under NBA rules the "retaining'' team can pay a player the most money to stay, compared to the field. I think Stern sees that as sufficient advantage.
So if LeBron James chooses to leave for Miami, for less money than he would have made in Cleveland, Stern sees that as a reasonable choice for a player to make.

Posted by: rick bonnell | Jul 31, 2011 9:08:44 AM

Bismack Biyombo- another screw-up from MJ.

Posted by: ben | Jul 31, 2011 3:39:11 PM

the problem isn't that LeBron goes to Miami for less money, the problem is that star players leave mid markets (Lebron, Deron, Chris Bosh, Amare)for large markets, regardless of the money.

with a tag the mid market teams have a chance. if NBA goes to a hard cap and shares revenue more equally, it doesn't matter.

In NFL, they have a hard cap, and for the most part the revenue is equal. So I don't really understand the importance of a tag in NFL, but if the owners have it, so much the better for them.

Posted by: bobfan1 | Jul 31, 2011 6:04:20 PM

ben.....you're going to call it a flop before he even practices? really? good luck with that kind of evaluating.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 1, 2011 10:07:34 AM

Al McQuire formerly at Belmont Abby and Marquette said sports was a coffee break. Revamp.

America in debt 115 trillion total. What does that look like?


Posted by: raw deal | Aug 2, 2011 11:36:29 AM

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