Mission of NBA Dream League: Provide high school athletes a choice between playing for a paid platform to showcase their talent, learn from coaches and mentors, and create a bridge to the NBA or playing college basketball.
Framework of NBA Dream League:
I) 6 teams to begin the first season. Potential team owners:
- Lebron James & Dwayne Wade
- Mark Cuban & Dirk Nowitzki
- Magic Johnson & Kobe Bryant
- Vivek Ranadive & Vince Carter
- Michael Jordan & Chris Paul
- Shaquille O Neal & Charles Barkley
II) Each team can have 10 players. 5 starters & 5 bench players. Each player will be given a 1-year contract. Contract will be renewed each year in a bidding auction format, if the player wants to return to the team and/or if the team wants him back for a second year.
III) Players will be offered contracts based on a bidding/auction that can be televised on TV, with aforementioned owners and teams bidding for these player’s services.
IV) The players in the league can also seek endorsement deals from companies such as apparel, sneakers, automakers, watches, etc. They can also be signed as brand ambassadors if a company chooses to sign them. It will give the players a chance to make more money.
V) NBA Dream league bidding/auction will be conducted end of June after the NBA season and NBA draft is done. Players who have graduated high school that year will be eligible to play in the NBA Dream League. Invites to play in the NBA Dream League can start in advance so it gives the players time to decide if they want to play in the league or play college basketball.
VI) Training camps can start first week of July and season can start in August. Regular season can run through August and September with teams playing baseball type of series to reduce traveling costs.
VII) If a team plays 3 games every week, then they can play about 12 games in a month and about 24 games in 2 months. Regular season can then consist of 20-24 games in the month of August and September.
VIII) Playoffs will have an NFL type of structure with top 2 teams getting a bye. Remaining 4 teams will play a best of 3 series to decide a winner. 3 v/s 6 and 4 v/s 5. Winners of these series will play the top 2 seeds in another best of 3 series and then the winners of those series will play each other in the NBA dream league finals (Best of 5 series).
IX) If the owners/teams need more insurance for starting an NBA dream league, they can choose to receive a certain % from the players’ endorsement deals.
X) Teams can create a 401K contribution type of a plan that encourages the players to invest money today and financially secure their careers from injuries and other unforeseen catastrophic events that can end their playing careers early.
Why would the TOP players sign with the NBA Dream league?
- The players get a chance to make money straight out of high school.
- They can sign any endorsement deals if a company chooses to offer them a deal.
- They can provide for their families financially as soon as they graduate high school and financially secure their lives.
- Games being on TV and the TOP players going against each other in a 3-month grueling contest, will give them enough exposure to improve their NBA draft status for the following year.
- Players will play a maximum of 35 games in a season assuming they reach the finals and the finals series goes the distance (5 games). That is the number of games college players play before getting into the NCAA tournament. Big difference: the players in the NBA dream league will get paid to do what they do best, unlike playing for a college team.
- These players will make enough money in contracts and incentives so that if a player does not make the jump to the NBA, they can always prolong their careers by playing overseas, play in the G league or go back to college and get a degree and choose another career.
- Players in their twilight years (Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury) to name a few, had the opportunity to play in international leagues. Younger players with potential will definitely get a chance to play in these leagues if they cannot directly make it to the NBA after their stint in the NBA Dream League. This league will create additional earning opportunities for these players.
Why would companies/owners/investors/big name NBA players invest in this league?
- It gives a chance for players such as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and soon to be retiring players like Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter & Jason Terry and other ex NBA players to be involved in a league that displays future NBA stars.
- An aspiring NBA team owner who may not have enough net worth to buy an NBA team can buy into an NBA Dream League team. Owning an NBA Dream League team can be a step in right direction to owning an NBA franchise in the future and to understand the NBA business model before being part of it.
- Current NBA owner’s contribution to the teams in this league will be monumental in offering arenas/venues for the regular season and playoffs to take place.
- From a marketing perspective, the ownership stands to benefit from:
- Endorsement deals to the players and earning a reasonable % commission from it. For e.g. University of Phoenix offering degree programs to all the players in the NBA dream league (free or at discounted costs). Players and universities offering online degree programs will greatly benefit from this arrangement. Larry Fitzgerald completing his degree with University of Phoenix while playing for the Arizona Cardinals is a great example of being a well-rounded athlete.
- Shoe deals
- Watches deals
- Car deals
- Luxury Yachts deals
- Clothing lines & apparel & accessories deals
- TV deals with networks covering the regular season and playoffs.
- Sale of jerseys and other team and player memorabilia.
- Trusted fan base and around the clock coverage in traditional and social media.
Is the NBA Dream League feasible? I leave that question for the NBA owners, ex NBA players, current NBA players who are nearing retirement and potential investors to answer.
Imagine a league with 6 teams and 10 players each. That covers 60 picks in the NBA Draft. All of these 60 players could be playing in the NBA Dream League making a lot of money even before entering the NBA.
Players such as Lebron James, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade & Carmelo Anthony who are nearing retirement and their kids are entering or close to finishing high school, can graduate high school and directly be a part of the NBA Dream League playing for their dad’s team.
Hypothetically speaking, if this NBA dream league was in existence today, Shareef O Neal could be playing for his dad’s (Shaq’s) team this season, making millions before starting his NBA career.
Objective of the NBA Dream League is to give these players a paid platform for their services. They bring in millions and millions of dollars for the schools and their teams, do they not deserve to be paid in return for their services? If you were in these athlete’s shoes, you probably know the answer to that question.