Latest On TV Deal: Paul, CBA, Durant

This morning, our own Chuck Myron outlined the number of players that inked deals this offseason that won’t allow them to immediately take advantage of the league’s new TV contracts in the summer of 2016. LeBron James, of course, is famously not among that group after signing a two-year deal with the Cavs. Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer profiles emerging super agent Rich Paul, the orchestrator of that deal, in a lengthy but worthwhile read. Paul also coordinated Eric Bledsoe‘s reconciliation with Phoenix last month, completing an offseason that has left others in the industry impressed, including James’ former agent Aaron Goodwin. “What Rich was able to do this summer was mighty impressive. The sky is the limit for him,” Goodwin tells Haynes.

Let’s take a look at some of the latest takes on the NBA’s new TV contracts:

  • Union executive director Michele Roberts told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck before the league signed its new TV contracts that she saw it as a “safe bet” that the union will opt out of the CBA in 2017, adding that it would be “silly” to assume otherwise. The TV deal is game-changing on many levels, and Beck hears estimates that would set the salary cap as high as $84MM in 2016/17, with maximum salaries for veterans of 10 or more years climbing to $34MM at the back end of their deals. Still, it was no secret that there would be plenty of TV money even before the deals were struck, as Beck notes.
  • Kevin Durant weighed in on the league’s new TV deal on Tuesday, suggesting that the financial windfall is just the latest reason to abolish the maximum contract, writes Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman. “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 getting 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 changes you never know what will happen to it,” he said.
  • The NBA’s new TV deals represent an 186 percent increase in price from the current one, writes ESPN’s Darren Rovell, who adds that it is the largest jump of any of the four major sports leagues. Rovell also examines why the NBA commanded such a price, citing the league’s international appeal and the commercial importance of watching sports live as primary reasons. Rovell also mentions that, as part of the deal, the networks gain the rights to collaborate with the NBA on a digital channel that could potentially be used to target a worldwide audience.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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