With the Eagles season officially going down in spectacular flames before we even reach December, I suppose it's time to forgive and forget the NBA's most recent unthinkable act. Unless Jeffrey Kessler somehow finds a way to twist some arms and get this thing into a courtroom, where he's been desperate to get it from the jump, the NBA lockout is about to end with the first games to be played on Christmas.
It looks like we've got a season, minus 16 games. Though the season has yet to be finalized, we do know there will be 66 games, there will be at least one back-to-back-to-back for every team, but no more than three, and there will only be 18 out-of-conference games for each team. That last bit means the Sixers won't play in every city, though you'd think they'll play every team at least once.
The timing of the schedule actually probably works in the Sixers favor. Typically, they're on a monster road trip to allow the Ice Capades to take over the Wells Fargo Center. Last season, the trip began on December 18th and lasted through January 3rd. They'll probably start on the road this year, as well, but the trip won't be nearly as long as it has been in the past. There's also no guarantee the trip will take them to the West coast. It could be a "local" road trip with stops that would allow them a home cooked meal.
Anyway, there are i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed, and we've got a ton of work to do to get ready for some basketball. The first step is for the union to reclaim interest (if that's what it's called), then the agreement needs to be finalized and formalized, then voted upon by both sides. Assuming that happens, then we'll get the schedule and start thinking about actual decisions.
Here's a quick update on where the Sixers stand against the cap/tax:
- Currently, Brand, Iguodala, Nocioni, Williams, Turner, Speights, Holiday, Meeks and Brackins are under contract for a total of $54,117,266.
- The salary cap will be the same as last season, so $58,044,000.
- The Sixers will probably sign Vucevic, I would assume for 120% of slot, so somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.69M (I sincerely hope the practice of 120% of scale being the norm is thrown out with the old CBA, but I'm not optimistic)
- Then you have the two qualifying offers hanging out there for Thad Young ($3,992,108) and Spencer Hawes ($4,051,024).
- When you add in Hawes and Thad, plus the Voose, the Sixers are at $63,574,498. Or less than $6.5M below the luxury tax threshold.
- They can afford the full MLE ($5M) without going over the tax, assuming they don't re-sign Thad or Hawes to a long-term deal with a first-year value more than $1.5M higher than their qualifying offer. If they renounce or lose either of those guys, it would create more room under the tax, but wouldn't create enough cap room to do anything with even if both QO's were rescinded, then Bird Rights were renounced.
- If they use the amnesty exemption on Brand, it would drop their number to about $46.5M this season, then they could also rescind the QO to Hawes and get right to the edge of a max contract, which they could extend to...who knows? Nene?
- If they use the amnesty on Nocioni, they'd have to jump through a bunch of other hoops to make it worthwhile in any way.
Much, much more to come when some more details become available, but that's the best lay of the land I can offer at this point.