Basketball: New salary cap system for ANBL

Breakers playing the Perth Wildcats in the NBL Finals series. Photo / Getty Images
Breakers playing the Perth Wildcats in the NBL Finals series. Photo / Getty Images

Rule changes for how teams can construct their rosters will right now leave the Breakers with more questions than answers.

The Australian NBL yesterday confirmed some long-rumoured tweaks to their player contracting model, offering teams an additional import spot, altering the salary cap and, for the first time, putting players' wages into the public domain.

Every team will take time to adjust to the new guidelines but the Breakers, in particular, face a learning process when trying to maximise the changes for their competitive advantage.

The Kiwi club have long enjoyed the benefits of a strong local production line, enabling the Breakers to sneak under the salary cap while also boasting a roster of the highest quality.

While the cap has been raised A$1 million to A$1.1 million, the biggest change has seen that limit become flexible. Teams will now be permitted to exceed $1.1m - providing they pay their counterparts a subsidy based on the extent to which they blow over budget - and those with deeper pockets can ostensibly seize an advantage from those who cannily assemble their roster.

With players' salaries set to be revealed, Paul Henare's Breakers squad will not be alone in hoping that disclosure does nothing to disrupt their chemistry. Generally a strength of the Breakers, off-court harmony among every team could be tested by players knowing the exact details of one another's remuneration in an environment already brimming with egos.

The element certainly adds interest from a public perspective, though. Virtually unheard of in this part of the world but commonplace in American sport, Breakers supporters will soon be able to assess whether players are justifying their cheque.

And that will prove especially true for the imports, players often lured to this part of the world with the promise of a significant pay packet. Given every import is recruited with fingers firmly crossed, teams will be wise to be even more judicious when bringing another unknown character into the locker room.

Former league MVP Cedric Jackson and Charles Jackson were the Breakers' imports last season.

- NZ Herald

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