Back when I was growing up and the Minnesota Twins were absolutely awful, I often cried out for a salary cap in Major League Baseball. I felt the Twins would never get it turned around, and the New York Yankees were winning the World Series every year.
And while the Yankees are still a dominant force, the Twins have had a pretty good last 10 years, proving that small-market and mid-market teams can have success if good decisions are made.
The NBA has a salary cap, yet I wonder what its purpose is.
The Miami Heat loaded up this offseason, retaining superstar Dwyane Wade and surrounding him with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. That’s a lot of star power.
Now there’s talk of New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul trying to get traded and forming his own version of the "Big Three" in Orlando or possibly New York.
These "super teams" do make it tough for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves of the world. Now, you could argue the Wolves have made plenty of bad decisions in the last few years, but how much of a difference those decisions have made is hard to quantify. Other than getting a better draft pick the year that Kevin Durant was available, at no point could the Wolves have landed a player as good as James or Wade.
However, with the NBA having a cap on how much a single player makes, it allows these players to form "super teams" with each other, which does little to create the kind of parity that makes the NFL and its salary cap so popular.
Without a salary cap, a player of Wade’s or James’ caliber might get $25 or $30 million on the open market. Who knows? But under the current set-up, those players are making much less than that, making it easier for a team to sign multiple top-of-the-line players.
Time definitely needs to pass before we can see the results of these "super teams." But the NBA in the future might have to revisit the terms of its salary cap if teams like the Heat are able to do what they say they’re going to do.