The NBA Players Assn. has filed a collusion claim against Commissioner David Stern, blaming him for the Dallas Mavericks’ failure to offer top pick Jim Jackson fair market value.
The claim, according to two club presidents, says the Mavericks failed to offer Jackson market value because of a speech Stern made at the Board of Governors meeting in New York on Oct. 20-21, the Dallas Morning News reported. Dallas General Manager Norm Sonju has stated publicly that owner Donald Carter returned from those meetings determined to hold the line against long-term, guaranteed contracts.
The Mavericks initially offered Jackson, the fourth player taken in the 1992 draft, a five-year, $13.75-million contract. Shortly after Carter returned from the Board of Governors meeting, the club lowered its offer to four years at $10.94 million. The final offer was a four-year, $10.8-million contract that would have paid Jackson $7 million this season.
Christian Laettner, taken immediately ahead of Jackson, signed a six-year, $21.6-million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.