Q: OK, you’re freaking me out with this punitive tax talk. What’s the point of having a mid-level exception in the new CBA if it’s this difficult to use? — Evan.
A: It’s there for the teams caught between the cap ($58 million) and luxury tax ($70 million). Actually, if it is for the reported $5 million, it would be there for teams between $53 million and $70 million in payroll. That, essentially, is where the NBA would like all of its teams to operate. That, of course, also is an area off-limits when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (and their salaries) already are on the roster.
Q: Who caves first: players or owners? — Rob.
A: The players already have caved. It’s merely a matter of to what degree. The interesting part is that while an NBA official told me he thought it would take four missed checks to fully sweat the players, apparently two are enough. I would almost guarantee a majority of players would vote for and take 50-50 right now. And the owners know it.