Years ago

Breakers likely to use Abercrombie as marquee

Here's the problem with the marquee player rule: calling it the marquee player rule... Breakers GM:

"There are two ways a club can use it - straight out for a marquee player and pay someone a lot of money; or use it to manage your cap a little. For us, the first year we'll do the latter. You've got to be financially responsible and justify paying way above the cap.

"We're more likely at least initially to use it for someone like Tom [Abercrombie] to manage the total cap amount and make sure we have the best team possible. Then we'll see how that marquee player rule works for other clubs who might go after different players."
True value comes in the luxury tax. A rich club like the Breakers can push above the cap with some trickle down to the poorer clubs. But it doesn't look like it will be used to sign a marquee player, at least this coming season.

Full article

Clarke also notes that the league/clubs are keen to retain the points cap. Says that there are generally 64 jobs for AU/NZ players whether the points cap is there or not, and believes the parity it aims to bring is important. His comments on that are at the end of the article.

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Jack Toft  
Years ago

The cap/players points does need some refining.

Maybe the player's points could be used as a salary indicator? The salary "cap" is part of the overall big picture. The cap means a team has a set number of points for 8 or 9 players, with one player outside the cap.

The marquee player idea is a good as it allows a team to build around a certain player, or allows a team to hold players. A "tax" used to help struggling clubs long term.

At the end of the day, fans want stable clubs they can support so the NBL wants a surety clubs are financially OK.

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Years ago

Just as an aside, how will the 'marquee player' rule work, in terms of designating which player on the roster gets their salary excluded from the cap? Can a smart club minimise the luxury tax payable by paying their franchise player $320,000 instead of $250,000, thereby going $70,000 over the salary cap and then nominating a $70,000 a year player as the 'marquee player' whose salary incurs the luxury tax? Or will the most expensive player on the roster automatically be the player whose salary counts for luxury tax purposes, once a team goes over the salary cap?

Reply #472848 | Report this post

Years ago

Surely any "luxury tax" would be paid on the amount a team is over the cap rather than on the whole salary of a player who puts them over?

Reply #472851 | Report this post

Years ago

Statman - I'm only going from the original reporting, which explicitly said the tax would apply to the salary amount for a nominated ('marquee') player, whose salary would not be included in the salary cap. I haven't seen anything that authoritatively describes how the rule will operate, such as what defines a 'marwuee player', hence my question.

I have other, lesser questions about when the luxury tax gets paid and whether the luxury tax recipients get to accumulate the money over several seasons or have to "use it or lose it" every seasons etc. But the one I asked seemed more important in terms of how the league's clubs might ultimately benefit or suffer.

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Ganymede 86  
Years ago

Don't mind the marquee player rule as long as it is dollar for dollar tax over the salary cap.

Reply #472856 | Report this post

Years ago

Ganymede - IIRC, the reporting said it would be 25% of the marquee player's salary, presumably distributed equally across the clubs that don't go over the cap.

Reply #472859 | Report this post

Years ago

25% is too low, as we've discussed previously as it gives all the power to the strongest and barely anything spread amongst the the weakest.

Straight luxury tax instead of a marquee player rule covers this Abercrombie scenario and keeps it cleaner. Only downside is no media coverage of "x has signed y as a marquee player", but if the marquee players are going to be Abercrombie and DJ and guys like that, big deal.

Unless the salary cap is set around what Wollongong/etc are spending and there's a luxury tax above that, the league needs another cap or equalisation method.


Toft, I don't think returning to an association of points with salary works that well.

Reply #472868 | Report this post

Years ago

Yeah all good Peter John, I can't recall the wording if the rules so was more stating how I envisage it working rather than querying your interpretations.
If a Breakers by resigning Abercombie next season go over cap by say 100k then surely the tax is in 100k rather than his 300k total? (Assumptions of course)

Reply #472869 | Report this post

Years ago

Only issue i have is whether its necessary.

If you can get Abercrombie at say $230k, using the marquee rule to now pay him $300k seems unnecessary.

And even if you can't get him for $230k teams have to start asking themselves what he is worth..otherwise teams will want a player so bad that they will find themselves paying above market rates. (When letting them walk maybe the best option).

I suppose in a nut shell my concern is that teams will find themselves using the marquee rule only to retain existing players.

And now it only gives someone like Abercrombie more leverage to bargain for that extra $. Now he can turn around and say "Use the marquee rule on me..i need X amount top up to stay". Puts GMs in an even tougher spot to curb overspending.

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Marcus Camby  
Years ago

I don't want the luxury tax more than 25%.

The financially well managed clubs should not be penalised for being financially well managed.

Same goes the other way.

Reply #472879 | Report this post

Years ago

They wont' pay Abercrombie more because he is the marquee, it will allow them to pay other players more.

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Jack Toft  
Years ago

Isaac, if there's no association with salary, then it might be about time to agree with the NBLPA and pull the pin on points.

Reply #472887 | Report this post

Years ago

Points cap is easy to police and a cheap way for rich clubs to provide some level of equalisation - burden is on players rather than themselves. For that reason, it's probably preferable to something like a luxury tax to them.

Of course, the power clubs are likely responsible for the reintroduction of the loyalty concession which does obviously encourage consistency for the sake of fans, but also favours clubs that can pay/win to keep their core together. Proven winners will be in demand from other clubs, but failing clubs are more likely to be chopping and changing to find a winning formula.

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Years ago

I don't think the points cap is having as substantial an effect on recruitment and player movement as some have made out, but while "there are generally 64 jobs for AU/NZ players whether the points cap is there or not" as Clarke said, this system doesn't ensure that it's the best 64 local players available.

Reply #472893 | Report this post

Years ago

^ says who?
Which players aren't in the league because of their points?

Reply #472899 | Report this post

Years ago

Yeah, i don't think the points system shuts players out as everyone seems to think it does.

Australian basketball has depth, but nowhere near as much as what everything thinks.

The guys who aren't in the league at the moment generally speaking aren't NBL standard period.

Leon Henry a classic example. Got left out because of points (needed to save some somewhere). But looking back, Henry simply wasn't/isn't up to the standard of other contracted SFs in the league.

Funny thing is im sure theres players out there who blame the points cap yet teams probably offer them deals and they turn it down because the money isn't what they were hoping. So in that case, the misguided expectations of what the own player thinks he is worth may be the factor keeping him from the league. Ironic.

Reply #472901 | Report this post

Years ago

Didn't actually say the 64-odd local players in the league aren't currently the best 64-odd players available, but that the system doesn't necessarily facilitate or allow for that reality.

Reply #472903 | Report this post

Years ago

So which players aren't in the league that should be?

Reply #472904 | Report this post

Years ago

There are no players not playing in the NBL because of the points cap. Either they're not good enough or they're asking for too much money.

Do you think the points cap put Brock Motum off signing with an NBL team this season or will stop Bairstow from signing if he doesn't make an NBA roster? They'd both be rated 3pts, why not come and play? Because the money isn't there, because the exposure to the NBA isn't there.

The points cap and appeal process need tweaks and some better transparency, but it's not what is keeping our best players out of our league...

Reply #472907 | Report this post

Years ago

It's not the elite 8-10 point players impacted, but the mid-range. So say Vanderjagt, Henry, Carter, those sorts of guys. The points cap has a slight impact on the level of *AU/NZ* talent in the league, but I'd guess it's pretty minor. Whenever someone misses out, it creates an opportunity for someone else. Perth cop Jervis at 7, but they also got him at a bargain the season before. Of course, to a player who feels sleighted, this is all a much bigger deal.

With new teams looming, there will be new jobs all over the place for players and loads of points to work with.

I think the points cap has value, but could always be improved. Maybe things like:

- soft cap with a luxury tax (clubs can buy extra points on a sliding scale)
- statistical formula only gives a suggested base, but ultimately the ratings are by a panel with transparency
- reviews favour non-finals clubs to aid their recruiting
- retention by any club is easy, but addition by the top teams is harder
- concession for SEABL/ABL imports (play a full season in a lower league to get a sub-10 rating for NBL)
- I think the loyalty concessions are misguided

When new teams start, the limit on imports will need to be reviewed, IMO, otherwise the expansion teams could die before they take root.

Reply #472908 | Report this post

Years ago

As I've said, I wasn't actually saying there are currently players shut out of the league because of the points cap ... players in Europe for example might be completely content where they are for whatever reason (be it financial or otherwise). I mean, how would I know what their perspective/playing intentions are?

All I'm saying is, take the example of a team looking to fill the final spot on their roster. They're sitting on 66 points and most of the other teams have more or less used up their roster spots and points cap. There's a player who is rated a 5 who they really want to pick, but instead they have to pick a lesser player with a lower points rating to comply with the cap.

Now such a situation may never arise ... I wouldn't know as I'm not privy to the inner workings of an NBL team. But there exists that possibility, where the best possible player wasn't picked because of the cap.

Having said all that, this particular points cap issue would become less of an issue with more teams.

Reply #472912 | Report this post

Years ago

Some great points being brought up though with possible ways for teams to "cheat" this luxury tax though. It seemed really rushed from the NBL before and I'd hoped that they had thought it out before, but looking at the simple ways around it already, it makes me fear that they really didn't think it through and I hope they didn't leave a bunch of loopholes in it otherwise it will be more comical than the transferring of loyalty points from the last time they tried that!

Reply #472913 | Report this post

Years ago

Same too could be said for the salary cap Anon.
No system is perfect , at least the points cap can not be rorted.

Reply #472917 | Report this post

Years ago

Wookiee - yes, that's kind of what I was thinking when I posted my original question. It may be that the NBL is still working out the details of how to implement the marquee player rule. The first season might lead to some changes. There will always be loopholes and it's just a question of making sure they aren't big ones.

The most obvious loophole is that a 25% luxury tax just leads to wider spending gaps between rich clubs and poor clubs, unless 7 clubs use the marquee player rule to go over the salary cap and only 1 club doesn't. e.g., if 4 clubs use the rule and collectively pay $200,000 luxury tax (25% of $800,000 paid to 4 marquee players), then the other 4 clubs get $50,000 extra each to spend. So the average spend gap has widened by $150,000 per club between the 4 clubs using the rule and 4 not. You can do the maths to see you need a 4:1 ratio or larger of clubs using the rule to clubs not using it for the spending gap not to increase, on average.

That doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. The poorer clubs might use the additional money to employ non-playing staff (someone else suggested this in a post some time back) or do marketing that improves their long term viability. That would improve the NBL's stability as a league, which might be worth the reduced likelihood that the poorer clubs will be successful on court.

Reply #472942 | Report this post

Years ago

The Breakers will be eying the future when making moves like this. Retaining quality players like Abercrombie to compliment their future targeted players ie: Fotu/Loe/T.Webster/Penney and decent imports like Cedric Jackson.

Create a marquee team rather than just chase a marquee player.

Reply #473007 | Report this post

Years ago

There's a player who is rated a 5 who they really want to pick, but instead they have to pick a lesser player with a lower points rating to comply with the cap.
If they really wanted to pick that player, they could've prioritised them earlier.

If a player is in that position where their points value is preventing them from gaining a job with any club, they can have their rating reviewed.

Otherwise, yes, it can make it difficult for a team near the points cap to do as they wish - that's the idea.

Years ago, there was a discussion on OzHoops suggesting that the scale could go to 15 and place greater emphasis on the top end rather than pressure on guys like Teys, Jervis, Carter and so on. But then, even those low-mid players can play pretty serious roles in a championship run.

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