When Derrick Rose was asked about the NBA lockout at that recent shoe promotion I attended, he emphasized he believed players from his draft class were the ones getting hurt most by the labor dispute. Rose and his Class of '08 peers were next up to sign their second contracts. For players like Rose and -- as he noted -- Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, that would traditionally mean similar paydays to the ones secured by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of last year's max-level free agents. But with the league's entire infrastructure under construction, who knew how much Rose could potentially have taken off the table?
Turns out, the new NBA lockout rules will be quite favorable for Mr. Rose. And that could mean the Bulls will have less flexibility in the future.
Tom Ziller, break it down:
Players with six or fewer years of service in the league can sign contracts with a maximum first-year salary equal to 25 percent of the salary cap, or roughly $14.5 million for the 2011-12 season. But if that player has already achieved two All-NBA bids, two All-Star starting nods or an MVP award, he can sign a deal that pays him 30 percent in the first year of his second contract, which is also the max for players with more than six seasons of service. This will affect young players signing their second contracts, usually following their third seasons. (This contracts go into effect after the players' fourth season.)
The Trib's K.C. Johnson has how this affects Rose and the Bulls specifically.
Rose will be signed to a maximum contract extension that begins in 2012-13. Under terms of the old collective bargaining agreement, Rose's deal would have started at roughly $14.5 million. However, it's expected the new CBA will feature language rewarding overachieving players such as, say, a youngest most valuable player in league history, to maximum extensions at 30 percent of the salary cap.
That would place Rose's starting salary closer to $17.4 million. With roughly $39.6 million already committed to Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah in 2012-13, the Bulls would be at $57 million for four players.
Of this new CBA wrinkle, Blog-a-Bull says:
This is another form of compromise between the two sides, the players arguing that the younger players who outperform their rookie contracts were actually 'hurt' by signing an early extension, and the owners putting in such provisions to where that young player will really, really (to a Derrick Rose level) need to do well to see that difference made up.
While it's hard not to feel happy for Rose for legitimately earning a super-hard-to-achieve bonus, it could potentially hinder how the Bulls will shape the team around him. As Johnson noted, the Bulls already have such a significant percentage of their salary cap locked in long-term with other starters.
While it is reassuring that a 61-win team has the key components of its immediate future secure, these Bulls are likely still a team that needs a bit of outside aide to take the next step. Like, at shooting guard.
You know, there is one pretty cool new way to shred salary embedded in the latest CBA. Perhaps it's an option that could be exercised on one noisy, defense-allergic power forward if a certain someone were to hit the open market.