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Teams could be taking big financial hits

Originally Published: June 5, 2009
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

I'm not sure everyone completely appreciates the nuances of the salary cap, so let me make certain everyone understands this: If revenues decline by 10 percent in 2009-10, as commissioner David Stern seemed to suggest in his press conference Thursday night, it will be total financial Armageddon for the league's teams because of the "claw-back" provisions in the salary cap.

The commissioner phrased it like it wasn't a big deal; in reality, this couldn't possibly be a bigger deal. Each year's salary cap is a guesstimate built off the previous year's numbers. If it turns out they were wrong, they "claw back" the amount they were off, in addition to whatever adjustment is built into the cap for the coming year.

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