So, for some reason I was thinking about how some players might be happier playing in Europe. Some NBA teams (or at least their fans) might also be happy to have those very same players play in Europe (okay, I was thinking about Darko specifically). Then I started thinking about the CBA, and had an idea.
My thought was this: Why not allow non-NBA FIBA teams to make contract buyout offers for NBA players? They could then negotiate salary with the players, and if the terms were accepted, the NBA team gets paid a buyout fee and the player comes off the team payroll. As far as cap ramifications, there are a few different ways you could set it up:
- Make it a "get out of jail free" card, where the player totally comes off the cap when he leaves
- Keep the current rule where the player remains on the cap despite being bought out.
- Some sort of rule where a percentage (40%?) of the remaining NBA contract counts against the cap, but there is some cap relief (I think I'd favor this)
Financially, wouldn't this be good for the NBA? It would allow the occasional bad contract to go away, and free the money up for somoene more productive. You could make it so that 50% of the buyout fee goes straight to the league or something. I don't know how often a rule like this would apply, since players that are signed to exorbitant contracts wouldn't want to leave tons of money on the table (I would assume that most of the time if a team wanted to get rid of them, they would be overpaid and a Euro team wouldn't be willing to pay nearly the same amount of money). I'd have to imagine though, that it would come into play sometimes - take Darko for instance. A year or two from now, if he gets buried on the bench, don't you think he'd be agreeable to taking a pay cut and playing ball somewhere where he can thrive on the court and be the main guy? He'd still hold pretty good value to some foreign teams. The idea wouldn't be so that guys like Eddy Curry would come off the payroll easily, it just seems that in some cases guys would be better off somewhere else, and the team would be as well. Thoughts? Is this wildly unrealistic?