Z Files: Money makes the (sports) world go 'round - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Z Files: Money makes the (sports) world go 'round

Z Files (Source: WOIO) Z Files (Source: WOIO)

Money makes the world go 'round, the world go 'round, the world go 'round. Money makes the world go 'round, it makes the world go 'round.
 
Especially in the world of sports.
 
Not that there's anything wrong with that. Athletes are worth whatever they can get, just as actors and singers and other entertainers are worth whatever
they can generate at the box office. But sometimes, the numbers are so astronomical, they seem make-believe. And while it's easy to calculate the value of an athlete like LeBron James, who increased the value not only of the Cavaliers but the entire city of
Cleveland by hundreds of millions of dollars upon his return, with others, it's not so clear-cut.

How much should Dan Gilbert shell out to Tristan Thompson? I argued, before the start of free agency, that he was the second-most important player
to re-sign, based on how his defense and rebounding helped keep the Cavaliers a title contender despite key injuries. But if $80 million over five years isn't enough for a player who's not a 'max deal' talent, who's misguided, Gilbert, or Thompson?

Gilbert, who's facing a payroll of over $200 million next season including a hefty luxury tax, has to draw the line somewhere. Which brings me to
Delly. Matthew Dellavedova is everything you want in a role player: gritty, tenacious, tough, the kind of guy who never leaves the gym. But he's hoping to parlay his strong playoff stretch into $4 mil a year, four times what the Cavs tagged him with in their
qualifying offer. Delly has every right to go after his first big payday in the NBA. But he may find, rather quickly, that the money doesn't go 'round at that scale for backup point guards.

NFL receivers Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas both beat deadlines and cashed in for $70 million on Wednesday, just as the players' union was threatening
both the Cowboys and Broncos with collusion charges is they didn't break the bank for their top wideouts. Are they worth it?  They obviously are to two teams on the brink of being serious contenders.
 
And of course, in baseball, where the deals are long and the money guaranteed, riches have been flowing for decades. Arod once set the bar, but Giancarlo
Stanton of the Marlins easily cleared it last offseason, landing a $325 million deal. Gonna be interesting to see a team that can't put people in the seats pay that one off.
 
But value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and the top stars, in all sports, must provide it. Owners aren't in business to lose money.
It's the second-tier deals that always spark my interest, because usually we find out that there's plenty to go 'round.
 
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