All locked out and no place to go, Part 3: The 2005 Agreement

So the system had to be fixed. The owners saw that even with their escrow system, the salary cap structure and exceptions were driving spending (in a competitive environment) up beyond their control. So, in the negotiations in 2005, the owners took steps to control salary growth.

The owners established the luxury tax as independent of the escrow system - if a team went over the tax, they paid the tax, period. This was seen as a good way to discourage team spending, despite the ineffectiveness of the previous conditional luxury tax. The tax threshold was set at 61% of BRI, to try to prevent teams from driving the BRI split up above that.

And the owners attacked the salary cap structure. They reduced the maximum years and salary for maximum contracts. The cut the maximum raises for all contracts, thus lowering the value of the mid-level exception in particular.

Unfortunately, to make cuts to the big contracts, and establish their tax (which players saw then as a hard cap, believe it or not), they had to give back.

And the players’ union was wily. They exchanged the slightly reduced pay for superstars and mid-level guys for drastically increased pay for low-level players. The …

All locked out and no place to go, Part 2: The Beginning of the End

Finally, we get to the meat of the CBA history. The last decade and a half has defined these negotiations in several ways, and it started in 1998 when the owners saw that the revenue split had grown to 58%. This was caused by the ever-growing team salaries described earlier and was well over the limiting 51.8%. So the owners nullified the CBA, bringing about the 1998-99 lockout.

The revenue split had been rising steadily because it was not defined in the CBA - the revenue split was supposed to be controlled by the salary cap. However, with teams utilizing such exceptions to the cap as Bird Rights, rookie exceptions, and minimum salary exceptions, the average payroll was growing quickly far beyond the salary cap. The salary cap system was failing - it was designed to define a precise relationship between the league revenues and the player salaries - but had instead become a sort of ‘floor’ for team salaries, as more and more exceptions were used to stay ahead of the competition.

Another very important point is player raises. In standard contracts, there were high yearly raises (10.5% for new players, 12.5% for retained free agents - these have since dropped …

All locked out and no place to go, Part 1: The early years up to the end of the first lockout by DanH

Hi everyone.

Our resident capologist DanH has put together a thorough history of the NBA collective agreement and an analysis of how it got this far and where it might be going. We will be posting it in sections over the next week or so. It contains extensive information and lots of context for ongoing discussions about the labour disruption to the game we all love. We hope this will be the start of an ongoing presence for DanH on the RF blog team.

The entries will cover the following time periods:

1. The early years up to the end of the first lockout
2. The ‘beginning of the end’ up to the end of the 1999 agreement
3. The 2005 agreement and what has happened since
4. End game - the 3 main drivers of the push for change
5. Conclusions - How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Lockout, and The Way I See It Ending

This is some amazing stuff folks. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Without further ado, take it away DanH!

So, this sucks. No basketball. No offseason of trades, free agent signings, training camps. Nothing basketball-related to talk about that is even remotely interesting in …

Report Card Time: Joey

‘trane

I like the big lug, but he?s always at least a step slower than the pace of the game. I had hopes that he could be a Joel Anthony-type player (and that?s not asking too much), but he doesn?t have the defensive IQ and he may not have the right coaching to draw out the best from him. Worth keeping him around as a bench big with the hope that he catches up one day. Not a rotation player.

Grade: C-

LX

Joey had some good games against lesser teams, but had a tough time against quality opponents. He always did well as the lead cheerleader while on the bench. A good character guy to have filling out the roster. And there is still the possibility that he eventually overachieves.

Grade: C

oneironaught

Wouldn’t mind seeing him back. He’s a big body capable of providing energy as a last resort. Every now and then he will provide a highlight, or at least perform the highlight camera mime from the sideline when somebody with a tangible skill does something noteworthy.

Grade: D

fancylad

His towel waving and high fives were full of passion and some …

Report Card Time: Linas

‘trane

Injured for the majority of the season. He had plenty of decent games for the raps early on, but struggled from the outside and couldn?t really play much PF because of our logjam at that position. He might have been our best post player at one point, but we never really used him that way. He?ll be out of commission for a good chunk of next year as well, so he?s really earning that big contract.

Grade: Incomplete

LX

I never got a good sense of what his role was, outside of that it was meant to expand on any role he had in the past, at least at the NBA level. And he never looked entirely comfortable, which took away from some of his natural strengths such as facilitating and shooting from long range. It’s possible that he’s simply a bad fit, and with him needing to sit with an injury for a good chunk of next season, it’s going to be hard for him to find his proper place on this team.

Grade: Incomplete

oneironaught

My expectations were too high. And so were Kleiza’s. His year in Europe inflated his ego …

Report Card Time: Julian

‘trane

Could possibly be a good role player on a playoff team, but turned out to be a bad bench warmer with the Raps. Add to that the insult of refusing to enter a game, and JuJu was pretty disappointing.

Grade: D-

LX

I liked his defense, and his instincts as something of a point forward at times. And then as he earned more minutes his effectiveness on both ends suffered. He was probably another player that wasn’t helped by trying to take on a bigger role.

Grade: D-

oneironaught

Has some tools, as evidenced by his ability to play the point forward… kind of. Capable defender. Didn’t leave much of an impression on me though. Most memorable moment came when he apparently refused to enter a game. Pardon me while I yawn. He’ll be an afterthought in Raptor’s lore.

Grade: D

fancylad

D. as in D league.

Give me back Marco Belinelli

Grade: D

Acie

Fools gold. There’s a reason why he hasn’t received consistent minutes to date on the two teams he’s been on.

Grade: C-

INSIDER

there were a few games this season where he came out on fire…. showed fantastic D, hustle, and …

Report Card Time: James

‘trane

Picked up in late February after getting limited minutes on the Bulls, so his stats are skewed lower than his production in Toronto. Well worth a late first rounder, and I hope he can continue to develop. Not the most consistent player, but gave us really good backup SF that could contribute in several ways. Too bad we didn?t have a #1 option.

Grade: B-

LX

I like him best as a guy that can rebound from the SF position and create a little bit. He could be a really nice fit in a good defensive system. He could be an important piece of the puzzle, either as a starter or a bench player, as long as he’s not asked to do too much. He could really benefit from defensive upgrades and a clear sense of direction from the team on offense. He showed some ability to lead, and be a bit of a glue guy on both ends, but too often needed to overcompensate for too many deficiencies.

Grade: B

oneironaught

Probably better than anybody we could’ve nabbed with the Heat’s late first rounder. Jack of all trades offensively, physical defender. …

Report Card Time: Reg-gie

‘trane

Started off the season convincing many of the members on this board (myself included) that we had a team that could be more competitive this year. An absolute monster of a rebounder and the kind of guy that infects the whole team with defensive energy. But another long-term injury put him out of commission, and the only silver lining was that Ed Davis got more minutes. I hope we can keep him at a much lower price.

Grade: Incomplete but I?ll give him a B+ on the 30 games for completely changing the dynamic of the team.

LX

Reggie could be very valuable as a guy that changes the momentum of a game. He needs to be the guy that can be counted on in short spurts. As good as he played with big minutes, I just don’t think he’s a guy that gets starter’s minutes on a good team. I love what he does for chemistry, and as something of an extension of the coach. I think he would be great to have around to help with Ed Davis’ development.

Grade: B

oneironaught

I relate to his candy fetish… and he rebounds well …

Report Card Time: Sonny Weems


‘trane
I almost left this comment as simply ?meh?, but since it?s a contract year, he deserves more than that. Sonny had a great first season with the raps, and perhaps increased expectations more than they should have been. He can be a nice role player, but he had too much responsibility this year and couldn?t keep things consistent on either end of the floor. I hope he?s realistic with his contract demands if and when he comes back to the NBA because he could be a part of a growing team. He could really use a mentor.

Grade: C
LX
Just another victim of the mish-mash of a roster that could not sustain any proper identity. Add to that the desire to play his way into a nice contract, along with a bad back, and bad results are almost assured. It will be interesting to see where his head is at going forward, whether he is still here or somewhere else.

Grade: C-
oneironaught
If focused and unselfish, he could end up being a marginally good bench player, providing offense in doses and defense at the wing. But, unfortunately, he plays with a sense …

Report Card Time: Leandro


‘trane
Missed 24 games due to injury, and perhaps should have had surgery at the beginning of the season. Although he can still score in bunches and did win us a few games, he went 1 on 5 as the primary offensive option far too often, and provided little else. Seems like a great locker room guy, but I think he was a negative impact on the on-court development of our young team.

Grade: C-
LX
Leandro was the most talented player in a Raptors uniform on some nights. And that says a lot about the roster. When you have specialists like Barbosa and Reggie Evans taking on key roles instead of supplementing what is there, then it’s just too hard to build on any success. It’s time for a more balanced roster to come together and fail or succeed on it’s own merits as the team continues to develop, and it’s hard to see where Barbosa fits going forward.

Grade: C
oneironaught
A nice piece on the wrong team. Without any kind of pecking order, or discipline, he had his fun - too much fun. Thought he could at least spell some time at …

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