Word on the street in the past few days has featured some potential cracks in the Union's solidarity. Union head Billy Hunter has insisted all along that all the players are united, but we know that can't really be true. At best, all he can do is hope the league's premier talent is on the same page. If it isn't, or if they try to undermine Hunter, their position will unravel fast.
Is the union splintering? My guess is, they splintered months ago; this is merely window-dressing.
One of the components of the new CBA deal is going to be something called the "stretch" option. Ziller examines how this tool will become available, and how the true cap masters (Sam Presti, for example) will be gaining an additional paint brush for their palette, while others will be hindered by the availability of too many options.
I personally think that the Union holds onto the position of eliminating age restrictions only nominally. The age limit helps the union just as it helps the league, because part of the value in the average* NBA contract is driven by veteran players who can demand things like the mid-level exception. Since roster spots are limited, an introduction of more young talent, even if it increases the quality of basketball, has a cumulative effect of downward pressure on the average salary due to rookie scale contracts.
Ziller writes that the NHL players who lived through their own protracted strike are telling the players to take the deal. I agree; as I've written before, the next deal on the table for the players will be the best one they get going forward.
Mayberry catches up with Greg Overbey, who was the OSU student responsible for helping to launch Kevin Durant's flag football career.
Amick makes a strong observation that while we can easily calculate things like break-even points, the projection for future growth after a work stoppage is much more murky.
We've touched on this before, but there is a future risk embedded in sacrificing part of this season. Beckley Mason points out that it lowers the potential leverage that the NBA might be able to negotiate from TV networks if they are worried about future work stoppages.
More links after the jump.
I think Durant is right; 1 on 1 ball is all about shot-making. I think Durant would probably beat LeBron James too.
I have a soft spot for Knicks guard Andy Rautins, who played for my favorite college team and has a dad who is an upstate NY legend.
Building on the above study, this is the next level of analysis. I think it would be difficult to argue with the team that is generating the most buzz right now.
Which is, in a word, awesome.
Our blogging brethren writes that reality is starting to sink in. Today, we should be talking about the Thunder's win(!) over the Lakers, not about Union letters.
Want to see what a simulated opening night might look like? Good to see that the BP guys are still banking on the Thunder's weaknesses from last season.
Blott takes Ben Wallace to task for his arrest last week.