What is the United States Basketball League’s Minimum Salary Exception?
“The Artists of UFA,” a production from Russia, premier at the Venice Film Festival, may just be the most exciting show I have seen in a long time. Directed by Konstantin Khrenov, the film evokes the legendary artistic and political figures from history. Many of these characters appear in the background of the film, which is rich in visual effects and emotion. Indeed, the film looks as if it was shot in some of the forgotten and beautiful corners of the Middle East.
“The Artists of UFA,” originally intended to be a short film, became almost two and half hours of pure magic when I first saw it. It starts with a rather dull and standard car chase scene, but when the car finally stops, a hooded figure exits pulling off a short sleeve shirt, exposing his brand new UFA uniform. Two other guys are also exiting the car, one is a photographer while the other is a waiter. The waiter quickly gets to work removing the dead body of an American soldier from the trunk of the car. The policeman who had stopped to help is killed instantly. Two other people from the police force are beaten unconscious and taken away to the morgue, where they remain for over an hour before finally being identified.
At the morgue, the body is put on a table, covered with a sheet, and a bullet-riddled eye is what is left after a bullet hits it. Two other Americans are found dead outside the building, they are both dressed in UFA uniforms, one is a medic while the other is an interrogator. At the police station, two more Americans are found dead inside. This is the beginning of the conflict between the police and the FBI agents that have been sent to investigate the attacks.
After some time has passed, another group of ufa players shows up and puts forth an offer to the FBI agents. They offer $1 million in cash for the dead bodies, as well as the current USFAA player contracts, and the team leader and president of United Fascin’t want to take it. Any team of five members can join. However, they must make sure that each player is also a free agent and has no contracts with other teams or with the FBI.
A few days later, another group of players show up at the morgue and shows a much larger amount of money. They throw a bomb onto the table and say that they will give the money to the police if they will remove the bodies. This is the start of what could be a prolonged war between the FBI and United Fascin’t. There are certain legal problems with this deal that don’t arise during the regular season, when there is no international tournaments or free agency moratorium.
The players who started out with a fifth year rookie-scale contract and are now restricted free agents are interesting to watch. Some of them may decide to just hold out and wait out the fifth year of their rookie-scale contract to become unrestricted free agents, while others may decide that they need a little more security and go for the five years deal. However, this deal might not go through as planned, because there isn’t enough time left on the fifth year rookie-scale contract to work out a new one. That would leave the players with a big hole to fill.
It’s possible that a lot of these deals will be voided in the final year of a rookie-scale contract, when the new contracts come into effect. If this happens, the remaining players on the UFA list will have to get new contracts before July 1st of their fifth year. If all five players are UFA, then the salary cap number for that team must be cleared at the end of the year, or else the team will lose its rights to that player. In other words, if your UFA players are all eligible to become unrestricted free agents after July 1st, you may have to turn those players down and sign them to mini-majors, with a two-way or three-year deal. Now, that could get complicated, so you should read up on how to deal with the NBA draft pick restrictions and choose your players wisely.
Some people believe that the UFA exception exists so that small-market teams may use their two-way contracts to lure top picks away from bigger, more successful NBA teams. That might work sometimes, but it certainly isn’t the norm. If a small-market team can’t sign a big name player, it won’t bother signing him if he’s on a two-way contract. If he were guaranteed a four or five year max contract, though, you might be a little more worried. Teams may try to lure big names using the UFA option, but they’re going to do it on the cheap, knowing they won’t get their money back if the player turns out to be a bust.