It became painfully obvious to this fan that Simon doesn’t really care about advancing past the 1st Round of the NBA playoffs this upcoming season. Knowing our needs to resign Hibbert and Hill, Simon reportedly turned down Bird’s request to add another NBA scorer so we could better compete with the Heat, Knicks, Nets, Bulls, and all the other Eastern Conference teams who have been busy revamping or retooling their teams via draft / trades / free agency this offseason. As a very conservative (albeit successful) business man, Simon wants to use the NBA’s new CBA rules to his advantage although the new luxury taxes will be felt more next year.
From Wikipedia: "The 2011 CBA resulted in several major changes to the salary cap scheme. First, the cap remains a soft cap. The Bird exception remains in place, but teams will have less financial room to retain a player with Bird rights than under the previous agreement.The new CBA also reduced the maximum length of a contract by a year, and reduced allowable annual raises. Bird free agents are entitled to 5-year contracts with 7.5% raises; all other players (including sign-and-trade acquisitions) are limited to 4-year deals with 4.5% raises. Maximum salaries remain at 25, 30, or 35% of the cap, depending on years of service. A player coming off his rookie scale contract, who would normally be eligible to receive a salary of 25% of the cap, will be eligible to receive 30% if he is named MVP, makes an All-NBA Team twice, or appears in two All-Star Games.
Substantial changes were made to the luxury tax regime. The dollar-for-dollar tax provisions of the previous CBA remain in effect through the 2012–13 season. Starting in 2013–14, the tax changes to an incremental system. Tax will be assessed at different levels based on the amount that a team is over the tax threshold, which remains at a level above the actual cap. The scheme is not cumulative—each level of tax applies only to amounts over that level’s threshold. For example, a team that is $8 million over the tax threshold will pay $1.50 for each of its first $5 million over the tax threshold, and $1.75 per dollar for the remaining $3 million. In addition, "repeat offenders", subject to additional tax penalties, are defined as teams that paid tax in four of the five previous seasons. As in the previous CBA, the tax revenue is divided among teams with lower payrolls. However, under the new scheme, no more than 50% of the total tax revenue can go exclusively to teams that did not go over the cap; the use of the remaining 50% has not been specified in the new agreement."
As we can see, GM Pritchard has his work cut out for him. He will have to use every ounce of savviness on a yearly basis to field a competitive NBA team. With Boston and Miami getting older (& with a higher chance for injury to key older players), we have a chance to gain ground in the Eastern Conference but only if Pritchard can work his magic by finding NBA players that want to be in Indiana (which probably only those NBA players who were actually born here). Seems like (fomer Pike High Schooler) Courtney Lee may be our best bet for this offseason….LOL!!! We had also better get an experienced backup NBA PF for David West (in case he breaks down or incurs an injury..God forbid). Antawn Jamison and Elton Brand are still available but likely will sign with contending teams like the Lakers or Nets or whatever potential contender presses hard for their services.
We'll see soon enough just how serious Mr. Simon really is about the 2012-13 NBA Season. If he expects fans to come out and support the team, he had better field a competitive team or expect droves more to stay home.