I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the end of each deal is widely accepted as the starting point of the next. Mostly, how the previous 57% revenue split in favor of the players so pervasively defines so many people’s perception of how much the players should or shouldn’t get. In order to explain why this doesn’t work as cleanly as it seems, I’ve come up with the following tortured analogy.
The CBA is a contract. And when a contract ends, the offer for the next one is only tangentially based on the end point of the deal. It is also greatly influenced by how the offering party feels about the value received in the previous contract, as well as the value they think they will get in the future.
In these terms, a CBA could be viewed as similar to individual player contracts.
It’s hard to find a perfect real-life example, but for perspective, consider two current two free agents: Nene and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. Nene made $11.3 million last season while Dunleavy made $10.6 million. Nene is an emerging, athletic center. He is highly coveted on the market. Dunleavy is a solid, but flawed role-playing wing. He will be hoping to find a soft landing from a steep descent in pay.
The players consider themselves Nene.
The owners consider the players closer to Dunleavy.