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NBL no two-tier comp: Loeliger

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Adrian Warren

Talk of a two-tier NBL competition with a division between rich and poor clubs is being proved wrong and the new salary cap system is working well, says NBL general manager Jeremy Loeliger.

The new-look Sydney Kings (6-2) are widely seen as the biggest spenders. They lead the league and have added former NBA players Josh Powell and Steve Blake to their powerful roster since the season started.

But the perception that cashed-up and star-studded glamour clubs like Sydney and Melbourne United are on a different level to smaller state capital and regional teams is inaccurate, according to Loeliger.

"We've got Cairns in the top four who have beaten Sydney once and almost beaten them again," Loeliger told AAP.

"Everyone said that Cairns, by all rights given the economic situation of respective clubs, should be on the bottom of the ladder, but it's just not true,.

"Everyone says Melbourne at the beginning of the season were the clear favourites and they are sitting at the bottom of the ladder."

Meanwhile, Loeliger noted a marked increase this season in both live attendances and TV ratings.

The NBL have implemented an equalisation subsidy where clubs who go over the 'soft cap' of $1.1 million, have to pay monies which get distributed next season to other clubs who need it the most.

"Looking at the talent on court now, I would think it would be relatively apparent to most that there are a number of teams who are over the soft salary cap," Loeliger said.

"We want them to be over the soft salary cap. That's a good news story for the NBL because that means that they are making a contribution to the other teams for next year.

"I can categorically say that every team complies with the five players under $400,000 rule, which to me is almost the most important part of the talent distribution, that's basically the anti-stacking provision."

With rosters changing through the season due to injury and import issues, a decision about how much, if any, subsidy will be paid by each franchise, won't be made until the player registration deadline, when each club has played 75 per cent of their games.

There was talk earlier in the season the NBL would publish salaries, but Loeliger made it clear most individuals' wages would not be released.

"You will have for a team all the salaries being paid to each of their players, but without the names next to them, other than where there is a substantial difference between the player value and the contract value," he said.

"Only in those instances will we divulge who the player is and I would think there would be less than half a dozen of those this season."

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