Weekly Countdown: Winning now means paying later in the NBA
This being a nation of laws in which contracts cannot be abrogated (or so I hear on the Sunday morning news shows), NBA players continued to rake in huge salaries while the larger economy comes shattering down all around them. This season more than $2,144,283,570 is being paid to 507 players, according to official NBA payroll figures I viewed Wednesday.
That makes for an average salary of $4.2 million, which is far more than the Rockets are paying the tireless
The lowest-paid player was
I'm not condoning it, I'm just explaining it. There is one professional basketball league in the world that makes money, and it's the NBA. Making money is the No. 1 goal, and in the interests of the business, certain allowances have been yielded to the bigger stars. Whether this is a natural development or it was dictated by the league bosses years ago, I don't know. But someday when European basketball is being run as a profitable business, you will see the biggest stars in your league dragging their feet and receiving the benefit of the doubt on fouls. These are often judgment calls, and the needs of the business are part of that judgment.
He says he won't accept coming off the bench next season, which may severely limit his options this summer. As a microwave scorer off the bench he could help a lot of winning teams while leading the second unit. As a starter he is going to face criticism that he holds onto the ball too long and doesn't defend, and as a small guard who turns 34 this summer he won't be young enough to carry a team any longer.
There is no market for him. Coming off successive surgeries on his Achilles and shoulder, he is the equivalent of a "toxic asset." But I still (stubbornly) believe that Brand can fit into the 76ers' offense as a non-traditional inside scorer who attacks on the move, as opposed to backing his way into the paint. The 76ers can live with Brand as their big man trailing in transition, because center
And on the other end of the scale ...