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Howard's Power Play Essay

1699 words - 7 pages

In the summer of 1996 the apparent fait of the Washington Bullets was up in the air. Juwan Howard the club's all-star free agent forward was working with his agents to solicit a $100 million contract, from National Basketball Association (NBA) team executives. The following discussion will give insight into what transpired with not only Howard but also the teams involved, and the NBA. The benefits, costs, and risks associated with Howard's contract negotiations will also be examined.Juwan Howard was drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1994 as the 5th over all pick. As the 5h over all pick Howard expected to be offered a $24 million deal, the going rate for a player in the fifth position in that years draft. Howard, who could have potentially signed a long term deal under these circumstances, was essentially told by John Nash the Bullets general manager that he was not worth it. Howard was offered an 11 year deal worth $37.5 million with the option of becoming a free agent after his second season. While Howard thought this offer to be unfair and well bellow market value he accepted the offer.Howard quickly established himself as a valuable commodity, both on and off the court. Howard averaged almost 20 pts per game, with 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists over his first two years. Howard's strong work ethic and positive attitude made him a guiding light for his less disciplined teammates.Players around the league playfully began recruiting Howard during games. Howard insisted he wanted to remain a Bullet. After the leagues new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was signed in early July. Falk shortly their after deliberately told a Washington Post reporter that Howard was expected to sign with the Bullets for $15 to $20 million per years over the next seven the longest term allowed under the leagues new CBA. Within minutes of the signing of the new CBA Howard was approached by the Bullets. Howard and his agents asked for assurance that the Bullets' coaching staff would be retained, as well has how the Bullets intended to improve, a team who was eight years removed from the NBA playoffs. Again the Bullets offered Howard what he and his agents felt was a below market offer of $78.4 million over seven-years.Within 12 hours of the CBA Howard had received offers from the Detroit Pistons', New York Knicks', and the Miami Heat. Of the 160 free agents on the market the Heat rated Howard the fourth most desirable, making an initial offer to Howard of $84 million over seven-years, later to increase the offer to $91 million, plus $3.5 in bonuses and perks. The Bullets countered with a seven-year deal worth $84 million stating "Wes and Susan said they had studied the numbers and… this is what they could afford." (Lewicki, Saunders, & Berry, 2006) Feeling agitated that the Bullets and Abe Pollin had not fulfilled their promise to the fans and done all that could be done to keep Howard in Washington, Howard informed his agent that Miami would be his...

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