|ESPN.com: Miami Heat Index||[Print without images]|
One view is that the Heat, Lakers and other luxury-tax teams will not be broken up through the implementation of a hard salary cap and the long-term contracts signed the last few years will not be burdensome under a new deal. In that view, teams can gamble that contracts will be reduced in the next agreement and they will not have to pay them in full.
The prospect of the hard cap would be a doomsday scenario for conglomerates like the Heat and Lakers. But it is unlikely the N.B.A. will break up its most popular, and thus most profitable, teams. The league could try to phase in a hard cap over years by reducing the salary cap a portion each season. This would also be an attempt at promoting parity.