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Latest from the NBA Lockout: No news, but interesting talk

I'm currently existing in this lockout-dominated NBA blogging world with a desire to know just enough to where I can have an answer to the sorta-common question: 'hey, what's the deal with this lockout?'

Beyond that, not so much interest. Sort of like my attitude towards researching the draft, it's way easier to sit back and wait to be told the results, and then analyze that (I recognize that doing this for the draft is far less justifiable).

But when something lockout-related comes along with high praise, it's my duty to check it out, and this post by Tim Donahue over at Pacers blog Eight Points, Nine Seconds is quite interesting. It delves into a counter-argument (of sorts) to the notion that owner spending on wasteful contracts is what has caused the owners to lock the players out. And even after explicitly acknowledging (using a subjective method) the many poor contracts paid out in the last season, it points out the that given the predetermined split of revenue (or specifically, Basketball-Related Income) guaranteed to the players, it wouldn't have saved the owners any money to have less money in contracts. And thus, it's that revenue split that matters most, moreso than whatever mechanisms have been talked about to curtail 'bad' contracts.

Matt Moore over at Hardwood Paroxsym takes aim at reducing things to such a simplicity, saying that the poor contract spending by the owners has an effect on their profitability that's more than just the percentage of BRI, and it's that sudden lack of profitability that's causing this lockout.

I think it's key to always keep the BRI split in mind, and the players themselves have reportedly already agreed to a reduced number from the 57% they earned in the prior agreement. But while it's an important aspect of the negotiations, the waste in some guaranteed contracts is still an issue, as is the disparity of revenue between the teams themselves. As while the BRI split is a league circumstance, certain teams can better cover a shortage (as what happened this past season) than others. Donahue's post includes another point (see? it's quite a good piece of work) that the nature of the cap, max contracts, and rookie-scale contracts created a system that encourages or even forces 'wasting' what's left.

Tom Ziller has more on that last point at SBNation, and how the last CBA did miserably in terms of payroll competitive balance, but that a harder cap may not work either if it's too high. And that if there is no further revenue sharing, there will still be teams simply unable to make a profit, and thus will still be labor strife.

(Ziller also throws in a shot (or I guess it could be praise?) at how well the Bulls have done over the course of the last CBA, which is always nice to see.)

I don't want this to be lockout central. It's too depressing, and in the sad way...I prefer righteous anger. Also I'm even less of an expert on this than I am the Bulls. But expect similar updates once in a while as more educated folks give their take. As I'm not sure we'll have news actual updates for a while, unfortunately. Both sides are expected to meet next week, but it's hard to imagine either feeling pressured into compromise until there's more (games, revenue, and paychecks) at stake.

[Update by your friendly BullsBlogger, 07/28/11 10:08 AM CDT ]: Ziller has more on the lockout today, specifically on what the players should be doing to apply pressure.