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Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 2:15 pm  |  25 responses

Rashard Lewis Open to Pay Cut to End Lockout


Many cite Rashard Lewis’ contract as one of the problems with the NBA’s current financial structure, and who can argue? He is scheduled to make a ridiculous $22 million this season after averaging 11 per over 57 games during the ’10-11 season. But Lewis is doing his part to try and get this lockout mess settled. The Washington Post caught up with Rashard in Vegas: “‘I’m willing to sacrifice my salary to get a fair deal,’ Lewis said after playing a game with Washington Wizards teammates John Wall, Jordan Crawford and Javale McGee here at the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series. ‘It’s only fair.’ NBA Commissioner David Stern and the owners contend that a system that allows a player such as Lewis — who made his last all-star appearance 2009 — to make more money than any player not named Kobe Bryant is an example of a broken economic model that needs to be fixed for the overall good of the league. Lewis averaged 11.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 57 games last season.Lewis believes he shouldn’t be blamed for the six-year, $118 million contract he signed with the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2007. ‘Talk to the owner. He gave me the deal,’ Lewis said. ‘When it comes to contracts, the players aren’t sitting there negotiating that contract. I’m sitting at home and my agent calls me, saying, ‘I got a max on the table.’ I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘Naw, that’s too much. Go out there and negotiate $20 or $30 [million] less.’ ‘ ‘I thought my agent did a good job of negotiating my contract, and at the time I was coming out of Seattle, averaging 23 points, playing well. It was perfect timing for me,’ Lewis continued. ‘At the same time, I understand the owners don’t want to overpay players, but you’ve got to do better negotiating. Try your best to save money.’”

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  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So even the players don’t/didn’t understand that the league is locked out because the Owners have no self control. These new rules are basically a conscious for the owners. It isn’t a collective bargaining agreement, it is a collective conscious agreement, to keep owners from themselves.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    I MISS THE JESUS AND SHARD SHOW.

  • Yesse

    I think its the owners responsibility if they make a bad deal.

  • Chukaz

    maybe the league should set up a system in which it fines owners for giving terrible contracts. My buddies and i have a “D-Bag Jar” in which we have to put amounts raging from $1 to $10 dollars depending on how d-bag-like our comments or behaviors are.

  • bike

    It’s not a broken economic model. It’s another example of a mistake an owner made in anticipating a player’s productivity and potential to generate revenue. And six year contracts for basketball players is idiotic. Way too big of a gamble.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    IMO they should keep the soft cap system (teams that go over the cap have to pay a luxury tax, that is inevitably given to all of the teams under the cap) But instead of those teams just catching a little extra profit, I think a % (idk specifics on how much teams receive) of what teams receive for staying under the cap should be “bonused” to their cap space for the following season. F.E. (Hypothetical) Say the Lakers spend $90M this season ($30M over the cap, which means they pay out an extra $60M. Each team in the league under the cap (we’ll say 15 teams to keep it simple) receive an additional $4M onto their cap space for the following season. Tht would allow small market teams to compete for free agents, and would (sort of) deter big market teams from overspending.

  • Double J

    lmao @chukaz for the d-bag jar hahahahahahah

  • Allenp

    Bullcrap Bike.
    Nobody thought Shard was worth that much. Period. Everybody else was offering half that amount. Orlando overbid themselves on potential that no one else saw!
    Every single bad contract in the league not the result of injury was awarded DESPITE all the evidence to the contrary. Arenas, Curry, Shard, Conley. The list goes on. When was the last time an owner actually signed a legit budding star and had that player play like a dog?

  • Rugulose

    Cosign Bike,

    Is an owner making an offer based on anticipated results not the same model every team owner uses in every professional sport? Lewis’ contract is ridiculous, but had he been able to produce, is the economic model still broken? By that logic, isn’t the NBA draft model also broken because Oden was drafted so high but has failed to produce?

  • Rugulose

    @Allenp,

    I get your point, but who is supposed to oversee stupid contract offers by the owners. It’s their money that they are being irresponsible with. No one would buy a team if the league dictated how much every player should be paid. Not to mention all the red tape!

    As you said yourself “When was the last time an owner actually signed a legit budding star and had that player play like a dog?” There’s nothing special about Lewis’ contract, just another stupid in a long line of stupid contracts.

  • bike

    allen. So what you are saying is that these owners simply like to overpay players because…why? If they are not basing it on anticipation of some level of performance, what are they basing it on? That they look good in the team uniform?

  • misso

    im a magic fan & rashard didn’t do that while he was here & he would’ve had a better chance of winning here if he would’ve took a pay cut so screw u rashard

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The owners overpay to keep players away from other teams. Like Orlando with Rashard, he was the best FA available, they needed a shooter, and Seattle could afford almost anything unless Orlando went towards a max deal. So owners will overpay to keep a player out of someone else’s hands. Or even to get a player even if they know he’s not worth the money, just because a lack of available talent elsewhere.

  • bike

    So maybe it’s safe to say that some of these bloated contracts are not always a owner’s stupid decision. The dynamics of supply and demand are simply at work driving up the price of available talent.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    in essence yes. But there is a small difference, in that the overpaying team usually does so in order to avoid a bidding war that they will likely spend precious time on. Like say, Nene wants a bidding war between the Nuggets and the Rockets this summer, but the Rockets are interested in the services of Marc Gasol. Do they offer more for Nene now (because he’s the player they want “more” and find out definitively if they even need to go after Marc Gasol), or do they bid it out with Nene hoping that if they don’t get him in the process it isn’t already to late to make an offer to Gasol. — Either way, the driving up of price of players does not usually benefit any owner/team long term, it is almost always an act for the present/upcoming season type of situation.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    and the supply/demand theory doesn’t really translate to the NBA because the price of “lesser demanded players” is consistently on the rise as well. There are not enough buyers to keep the “market” at a median, every “purchase” is a competition. It is almost Demand and Supply rather then Supply and Demand

  • http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/deeply-embarrassed-white-people-talk-awkwardly-about-race/Content?oid=9747101 Allenp

    Orlando overbid. They made a mistake. They thought Shard’s open market price was higher than it was, they were worried about losing him and Turk, and they were concerned with how Dwight would handle the situation.
    Let me say it again:
    NOBODY ELSE IN THE NBA THOUGHT HE WAS WORTH $100 MILLION!
    Nobody. The contract was universally reviled. Now, the Arenas dead has more wiggle room, because he might have been on the cusp of superstar territory and he was an exciting personality, but even that one is shaky because I believe it came after an injury and it was committing superstar money to a guy who wasn’t yet a superstar and wasn’t guaranteed to become one.
    Committing superstar money to Blake Griffin, or Derrick Rose, or Kevin Durant makes sense.
    Committing it to Zach Randolph and David Lee does not.
    David Lee makes $13 million! Anderson Varejo makes $8 million! Noah makes $12 million!
    These teams overvalue these players because they are worried that other team are going to overpay them and snatch them up. It’s asinine.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    You and me both CAVEMANNNNN. I went to 3 playoff games when him and Ray were scorching the Spurs. Eventually they lost, but it really didn’t matter to me for some reason. maybe cause ‘both teams played hard’

  • http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/deeply-embarrassed-white-people-talk-awkwardly-about-race/Content?oid=9747101 Allenp

    And I consider superstar money a max deal at any level of the salary cap. Players have different levels of max deals depending on how long they’ve been in the league. You should only max a player out if he is a bonafide superstar, he’s so important to your team that the whole thing falls apart if he bounces.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    right, it’s the owners fault. They drive their own prices up. Protecting themselves via the new CBA is the only option they see that will actually work. Which is crazy, to think these billionaires don’t have the self control to let one go every once in a while…..unless maybe that’s the secret to becoming super rich?!

  • fitzy

    you guys all think the owners are sitting there going “lets max this guy”? Cause I sure as hell don’t i think it’s the agents pushing ridiculous contracts. Which is totally expected of them so they’re doing their job right. However I think it’s ridiculous when you have people,no ANYONE making 22 mill a year. I’m canadian so I’m gonna use hockey here(typical) but ovechkin and crosby are both making 9M a year and they’re far better than any player in the league. To me when you have the best players making 9M that’s a half decent system. Just my .02

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Except the NHL is considerably smaller then the NBA, especially in total revenue. 9 Million a year in the NHL is pretty comparable to the 15 Million max deal in the NBA

  • http://Slamonline.com Rocksinmypants

    Someone should sign air bud. Then there’s no surprises about performAnce.

  • http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/deeply-embarrassed-white-people-talk-awkwardly-about-race/Content?oid=9747101 Allenp

    Before the NHL crushed the players union, hockey players got the same deals.
    And neither Crosby nor Ovechkin are better than Bron.

  • fitzy

    crosby is compared to gretzky, so relative to each one’s sports, i’d say he is.

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