Will Kevin Durant Leave the Warriors?
The Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant will be a free agent next summer. Will he stay or will he leave the Warriors?
The NBA has gotten utterly ridiculous this offseason and the NBA has no one to blame but themselves. Any form of competition in the league is gone due to the creation of the most overpowered roster ever created in the NBA in the Golden State Warriors. It's time for the NBA to drastically overhaul how the salary cap works and create a more balance league.
The luxury tax is in place to help stop big market teams, Los Angeles for example, out spend every team in the league. In theory, the luxury tax should work and in some ways it does. There are examples in league history of the tax being too much for NBA owners to stomach. On the flip side there have been more examples of owners not caring about the tax and being fully prepared to open their wallets in order to win. Look no further than the Brooklyn Nets a few years ago, Portland two years ago, or even OKC right now. If you want to go even further back just look at the Lakers over the years. All the luxury tax does it help diminish the spending of small market teams such as Charlotte, Memphis, Phoenix, and Philadelphia because the owners don't have the media market or as deep pockets as the other major teams. The luxury tax needs to be abolished.
The NBA and NBAPA tried to help small market teams retain their homegrown stars with the creation of the “super max”, which basically allows teams to grossly overpay their players. Anthony Davis is the next superstar in line for a “super max” and it will be somewhere over $250 million over a span of 5 years. Again, in theory the “super max” is a good idea but it doesn't always mean a player will still (see Paul George). Max contracts as a whole need to also be abolished if the league hopes to see any form of balance competition.
The first step the NBA can take to help balance out the league is to get rid of the luxury tax and implement a “hard cap”. A “hard cap” will give every single team the same amount money to spend on players to fill out their roster. No longer could New York or LA out spend San Antonio or Charlotte. No longer could Portland afford to pay a tax because there wouldn't be one and no longer would any team not spend because they're afraid of a tax.
The best way to level the talent field is to no longer cap player contracts and allow the market and players to create their value. This idea is a wild one, but it's something people have talked about for years. A solid argument can be made that guys like Lebron James and Kevin Durant have been grossly underpaid during their tenure in the NBA. If player contracts were uncapped along with a hard cap salary cap, players could set their own value to each team. If the hard cap was set at $102 million for example, Lebron James could get $60 million (which he is arguably worth) and the remaining $42 million would have to be spent to fill out the roster. A league where players set their value with a hard cap makes situations like the current Golden State roster impossible.
The NBA has an issue with competitiveness and the creation of “super teams” is destroying the league. The fact that in July of 2018, you can reasonably argue that the 2018-2019 title is already a certain team's to win is absurd. While my presented solutions may never be implemented, there needs to be something done to make the league more fun and more fun.