The new TV deals that the NBA has announced has certainly got people talking but when one of these people is the current MVP of the NBA, you know it is important to listen to what they have to say. It hasn’t taken Kevin Durant to voice an opinion or two about the new money that is going to flow into the game and you will not be surprised to learn that he thinks the players should be receiving their fair share of the money that is going to be coming from the newly signed deals.
One area that Durant has expressed an interest in is the maximum contract. Given that Durant, alongside LeBron James, is a player at the peak of his power and who ranks highly amongst the biggest names in the sport it is understandable that he would want to see the limit on his potential wages to be removed. In the summer of 2016, just when the new TV deal comes into being, Durant and James will be free agency players and they could be looking to maximise the amount of money that they can earn in their contract.
Kevin Durant wants the salary cap removed
Durant was asked about whether he would be looking to sign on with a max limitation being imposed on his contract and he seemed to be in favour of what was on offer. He said;
Yeah, look at it like this, Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are up there, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area. That’s a conversation you can always have, but until it’s changed you never know what will happen to it.
The whole economic argument of the impact one player can have on a team has been reignited this season with LeBron moving back to the Cavs. The team is the leading favourite for most sportsbook providers with the respect to the NBA Futures market and there is even a lot of backing for James to replace Durant as the MVP this campaign. These are notable features of James moving away from Miami but the demand to see the Cavs in action has sky rocketed, which means you can easily argue that the extra income is coming from the fact that James is back in town. If he wasn’t playing for the team, there would still be a crowd but the additional fans that come along this season will be doing so primarily to see James play. In this light, you can argue that he would be entitled to a larger share of the income that is coming in.
Should there be a gap between the big names and the rest of the players?
This is not the first time this sort of debate has been brought up and no matter how great a player James is, he needs to have team mates on the court and other players in the squad to ensure that he can work his magic. Yes, James will add a lot to the Cavs this season but it isn’t as if he will be trotting out onto the court all by himself. The same can be said for Durant and even though he was the MVP for the season that concluded at the start of summer, he still needs to make sure that he has colleagues on the court with him.
There is an argument that removing the max wage limit will cause disharmony in the dressing room but if the big players push for more money, the owners may find that they have no option but to acquiesce to their demands. As Durant says;
That’s a lot of money. I don’t see how the owners can say they’re losing money now.