FanShot

Meetings reach critical stage

2

Marc Stein's breakdown of what is going to be discussed during this weekend's meetings. I was especially interested in this part of the article: Over the course of the week, various sources with knowledge of the talks have shared some of the concepts being discussed with ESPN.com. Possibilities presented by the league as alternatives to a hard cap include: • The institution of a sliding "Supertax" that would charge teams $2 in luxury tax for every dollar over $70 million in payroll, $3 for every dollar over $75 million in payroll and $4 for every dollar for teams with payrolls above $80 million • A provision to allow each team to release one player via the so-called "amnesty" clause and gain both salary-cap and luxury-tax relief when that player's cap number is removed from the books • Shortening guaranteed contracts to a maximum of three or four seasons • Limiting Larry Bird rights -- which enable teams to exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own free agents -- to one player per team per season • Reducing the annual mid-level exception, which was valued at $5.8 million last season, to roughly $3 million annually and limiting mid-level contracts to a maximum of two or three seasons in length as opposed to the current maximum of five seasons • A new "Carmelo Rule" that would prevent teams -- as the New York Knicks did in February with Anthony -- from using a Bird exception to sign or extend a player acquired by trade unless they are acquired before July 1 of the final season of the player's contract • The abolition of sign-and-trades and the bi-annual exception worth $2 million • Significant reductions in maximum salaries and annual raises and a 5 percent rollbacks on current contracts

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