Anon: "Freethrow's I definitely agree that right now the system isn't perfect, but personally I think eventually the big spending by some teams can be a huge positive for building the league up.
IMO the challenge is for the league to embrace the big spending by some clubs, but find a way to harness that to improve the league overall. It comes down largely to if the tax is large enough and if the money from it is actually making it to where it needs to be."
Firstly, please don't apostrophise my psuedonym, it's Freethrows. ;D
You make a very good point. My fear is that the tax is not only not large enough (if you read the statements put out by the league, as vague as they were, they did stipulate the tax rates, and they start quite low, at only a little over the salary cap, and don't get large until teams spend really big), but also that it might not ever get shared to any other teams.
Picture this scenario: Cairns (for example) spend $1 million dollars out of the $1.1 million soft cap. They are under the cap by $100K. For argument's sake, let's say that Adelaide and Illawarra do the same. That's three teams $300K below the salary cap.
Now let's imagine that Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane all exceed the salary cap. Sydney and Melbourne spend $3 million, and Perth and Brisbane each spend $2 million. New Zealand spends exactly to the cap. This is all for argument's sake, not my opinion of what's actually happened, or likely to happen!
According to the NBL's rules, the salary cap taxes payable by Sydney and Melbourne would be a whopping $2,368,750.00 each. The tax payable by Perth and Brisbane would be $868,750 each.
That's a total of $6,475,000 in taxes. Wow! Now, there's only three teams under the cap, and only by a combined total of $300K. According to the NBL's statement on March 30, 2016: "The subsidy will be distributed to teams which may otherwise find it difficult to meet the salary cap."
Does that mean that Cairns, Adelaide and Illawarra would, in this scenario, get $2,158,333.33 each to spend the next year? What about poor old NZ, who spent exactly to the cap? They would miss out. Or does it mean that Cairns, Adelaide and Illawarra would each get the $100K that would bring them to the salary cap? That's equitable!!! Not.
I think this example shows how feeble an attempt at maintaining "the long-term competitiveness of all teams in the league" the soft salary cap really is.