Lance Stephenson...you are everything that is wrong with the current CBA as well as the NBA as a whole. Here you are, a middle second round draft pick who received a two-year guaranteed deal that now the Pacers are stuck with, even if you're convicted of a felony. If this was the NFL and Stephenson had been a 6th round pick and this accusation occurred he would have been on the waiver wire that very day and never heard from again. But that's not the case in the NBA. Because of his guaranteed deal the Pacers have to wait while being dragged in the mud as do-diligence takes place. Imagine how much of a better place the Pacers/League would be in if they didn't have these guaranteed contracts and didn't have to deal with this nonsense. Tinsley would of been waived 5 years ago, but instead the Pacers are still paying him. Jackson and Artest? Think of how much higher their trade value would of been if a team could cut them if they messed up there instead of having to worry about the possibility of holding on to a disaster of a player for multiple years? Like the NFL, the NBA would still take risks on players, only those risks would be year by year (see T.O.) and any negative impact by a player would be relative short term.
The problem with the current NBA is the kids are running the candy store. Players are making all the money, getting guaranteed deals and then move into the front office after they retire and control the money there. The whole league is handcuffed from their ultimate potential until these contracts are non-guaranteed. Currently there's always about a 1/3 of the league preparing for a season multiple years away because of their contract situations. Think of the Pacers for instance, we've been waiting for the summer of 2011 for what seems to be an eternity because we're waiting for contracts to clear the books. What if we could of cut all this excess salary years ago and started over then? Where would the Pacers be now? Where would the fan base be now?
By offering non-guaranteed contracts the League can run the show, not the players and instantly every team will be relevant again every year because there's always a chance that this year could be a winner. The way the system is currently set up there's a handful of teams out there with a shot (think of them as the Globetrotters) and the rest of the league is serving as the National Generals. 10 teams in the league this year will sell out against the following teams (LA, Miami, Boston) and be half full the majority of the year after that. The system needs to be changed so teams aren't committed to players who are going to get paid regardless of how foolish they act. The league needs to stand firm and make this happen, and let's be honest, most of the players in the league barely have a high school diploma, what other jobs out there are really they qualified to do?