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Orlando mayor counting on new CBA to help team keep Howard

Aug 22, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

The mayor of Orlando is working hard to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando (remember he can and likely will opt out of his current deal next summer), taking part in online efforts to woo Howard.

And he thinks he’s got some real help coming in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Here is what mayor Buddy Dyer said Magic CEO Alex Martins told him, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“One thing that might give some comfort to Orlando fans is that one of the thoughts in the new collective bargaining agreement is to give an advantage to teams who are trying to keep their incumbent players,” Dyer says. “That would allow the Magic, for instance, to offer Dwight more money than any other team and (entice him) to stay home.”

Two little issues here.

One, the old Collective Bargaining Agreement also had incentives designed to keep players on teams — in Orlando’s case they could offer Howard a higher salary staring point, larger raises and one extra year on a contract compared to other teams. It would have meant about $27 million more over the course of the deal. Ask Cleveland how well that can work.

In the new CBA, those incentives likely will be bigger.

Second, that could backfire.

As Tom Ziller noted at SB Nation, let’s say the Magic can now offer $20 million a year and other teams only $15 million. Now lets say the owners get their way and there is a hard salary cap in the $60 million range (or even the $70 million range). If the Magic now have $5 million less to help get talent around Howard, it might be worth it for him to take less money to get out and have a better chance to win.

But yes, the Magic will have some added money to throw at Howard. We’ll see how that helps.

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