Morning Links: NBA Talks Contraction, Manning gets Franchised

Steve O Speak

David Stern Talks About The Current Labor Situation And Even Contracting The Hornets:

In a very candid interview NBA commissioner David Stern, we find out a good about the NBA’s thinking regarding the Hornets, including that contraction has been on the table. Why some NBA owners would want to contract the Hornets is beyond me? People need to start realizing that in professional sports, expansion, not contraction is the answer. Remember when MLB talked about contracting a team, including the Florida Marlins who won a World Series earlier this decade, and the Tampa Bay Rays, who are one of the bright young teams in baseball. Why would the NBA look to contract a team that has a pair of stars like Chris Paul and David West? The Hornets problem is bad management, and an over inflated salary structure, not lack of star talent. New Orleans has the star players needed to compete, they just haven’t been able to find the role players to build around them. For as much as we focus on the Kobe-Gasol led Lakers (or Kobe-Shaq version), the Jordan-Pippen led Bulls, and the Duncan-Parker led Spurs, there were other players that helped lead them to Championships. Where would the Bulls have been without Ron Harper and Steve Kerr (among others), or the Lakers without Derek Fisher or Robert Horry, or the Spurs without Horry, Kerr, or Bruce Bowen? The Hornets have never found those complimentary starters or reserves and that is why they have languished as a fringe playoff team. In this day and age when the NBA is bringing in more and more talent from Europe, South America and Asia, why would it make sense to limit the number of jobs available. Now it remains to be seen if New Orleans can support a franchise, but I do know this their previous management system didn’t exactly ‘wow’ the city into believing they should go to every game.

Colts Franchise Manning:

There was no way this wasn’t going to happen, and it wasn’t surprising to see the Colts use the exclusive franchise tag, meaning other teams can’t even talk to Peyton. While he might be in his 30’s, there would be a team or two out there that would be willing to give up a pair of first round picks and a mega contract if Manning hit the market. It is smart of the Colts to ensure that he doesn’t get tempted, but now comes the hard part. Indy needs to sign Manning to a contract that compensates him for what he is worth, while at the same time ensuring that he isn’t to costly that it prevents the team from having quality players in other areas. I still believe that having a long term deal with guaranteed money in future years makes sense in this situation. Sure usually I wouldn’t advocate a strategy that would leave a team with a lot of ‘dead’ money 6 years down the road. But it is better to have a single year of having to worry about tightening the budget instead of being a bit short handed each of the next few years. The Colts aren’t going to compete without Manning so what does it matter if they have to be frugal that first season after he is gone. I think it is better to have that money now when it can really impact the Colts Super Bowl chances, than in a season when it will determine whether the Colts get 6 wins instead of 5.

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