ok, so here's a quick way to get a new deal.
reduce the max salaries of the top 5 players on each team.
a reduction of 15% would yield $7mm savings per team.
the los angeles lakers savings would be highest at about $10.7 mm; the twolves a low of about $3.4mm
that's $210 mm in league savings from my computations of all 30 teams.
typically, at least 3 of these 5 salaries are way too high anyway.
take a look at any team; it works.
(NOTE: i love, and say thanks to, the hoopsworld.com data base.)
in addition, route $45mm back to the top 30 players, as follows:
$3mm per player voted all-nba top team; $2mm for 2nd team; $1mm for 3rd team.
in addition, give $1mm to any player on the all star team (expanded to 30 players) not represented in the top 15 players.
that will make up some to most for the real top players giving up 15% of their max salary.
net, net, we have a $165mm league savings;
this changes the salary structure a bit TOWARDS reward for performance;
makes the league 1/2 whole against the notional $300mm operating loss;
more importantly, each side accepts half the burden, so everyone feels some pain.
also eliminates dumb owners paying too much for fringe players or 2 year wonders.
plus, the 100 or so players that lose salary and don't make any of it back can't out vote the rest of the union.
of course there would be subtleties and more negotiations.
tweaking formulas and star payout rewards;
figuring going f/w contract levels based on the adjusted salaries after the 15% reductions;
ensuring younger players that future contracts will be lower but FAIR;
annual adjustments to the formula based on future league revenue levels.
i'm sure a bunch of other items as well such as rookie scale.
and i'm sure there are a bunch of complications beyond this.
And yes this would be rolled back to current salaries.
but this gets to the core of the problem assuming the league #'s are correct.
and simplifies the solution without contentious cap issues and revenue sharing.
and this simple blueprint works!