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New CBA is Bad News for the Los Angeles Lakers

I just read an article at that outlines the differences from the new CBA from the 2005 CBA.

My initial reaction was, "WTH! The Lakers got screwed in the new deal!"

Here's one item that really grabbed my attention:

2005 CBA: Teams paid $1 for every $1 their salary was above the luxury-tax threshold.
2011 CBA: Teams pay $1 for every $1 their salary is above the luxury-tax threshold in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Starting in 2012-13, teams pay an incremental tax that increases with every $5 million above the tax threshold ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc.). Teams that are repeat offenders (paying tax at least four out of the past five seasons) have a tax that is higher still -- $1 more at each increment ($2.50, $2.75, $3.50, $4.25, etc.).

We all know that the Los Angeles Lakers' owner Jerry Buss doesn't spare a dime to make the team competitive. As a result, the team has gone over the luxury tax with regularity since 2005. But the results for the Lakers since that CBA was ratified has been great: No missed playoffs, three NBA finals appearances, and two NBA championships.

With the new deal, the Lakers are looking to pay up to three times their luxury tax.

Here's another item:

2005 CBA: No additional limits for taxpaying teams.
2011 CBA: Taxpaying teams have a smaller midlevel exception, can acquire less salary in trade, and cannot use the biannual exception. Starting in 2013-14, teams more than $4 million above the tax level cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade transaction.

This means that a team like the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves get offer a veteran a higher mid-level exception compared to the Lakers. This is the league becoming serious about "competitive balance."

And that doesn't make sense to me.

With the exception of the Oklahoma City Thunder (which relies on young players with lesser committed contracts), most of the playoff performers are spending on players.

So instead of encouraging teams to spend to win, they punish spenders while giving the cheapskate teams no incentive to spend more.

The deal is good for ten years (with the option to be reviewed after five years) and the future looks restricted for the Lakers.


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