With the NBA’s salary cap rising to $92 million this summer, free agents should be raking in a ton of coin, more than many of us can comprehend.
Well, not so fast.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t so sure that the NBA’s financial explosion will lead to a boat load of crazy-ass deals, per ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon:
Mark Cuban: “Every player thinks it’s just going to be a money train this summer. There’s a lot of money; there’s not THAT much money. … And I think there’s going to be teams that save their money for next year, because it’s a better free agent class. People just presume now that everybody’s going to get paid a lot of money, and it’ll be interesting to see if that happens.”
The 2017 free-agency class is miles better than 2016’s crop of talent. And it could get even better if a guy like Kevin Durant signs a one-plus-one deal this summer that allows him to re-explore the open market next summer.
Massive short-term contracts are the thing to watch for this offseason. Teams may not be so hesitant to throw, say, Bismack Biyombo or Evan Turner a short-term max deal spanning two or three years. Their salaries keep in tune with the cap rising, expiring once it’s set to decrease, and the ensuing risk is negligible, since the contracts won’t last more than two or three seasons.
This, of course, assumes players are interested in signing such deals. Many of us thought Kevin Love would go the short-term route last summer, because he stood to make more in 2016 or 2017. But he chose financial security over that dice roll.
And there will be other players, many of them household names, who follow suit this year. Their market values will set the tone for what still should be a pretty lucrative summer for anyone who is even a remotely sought-after free agent.