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Negotiations Case Study

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Negotiation is a common problem people use to formulate a decision and handle disputes. For example, in 1994 Juwan Howard was drafted into the National Basketball Association. Juwan worked hard, carried himself with dignity and class both on and off the basketball court. During Juwan Howard's sophomore season he placed statistics of past superstars. Howard almost was the highest paid basketball player during the 1996 and 1997 season, but his contract was voided by the NBA. Howard returned to the folds of the Bullets in August 1996 after signing a seven-year contract worth over $100 million. The Heat went to court to challenge the NBA's ruling. In this scholarly paper, Learning Team C will briefly summarize the case study analysis of "Power Play for Howard". Additionally, the team will evaluate the benefits, costs, and risks associated with the negotiation from the perspective of all parties involved.

Case Summary

Miami Heat's Pat Riley was extremely interested in winning a contract with Juwan Howard. The Heat had not been to the playoffs in six years. Adding a talented forward like Howard, would certainly increase their chances, however, to ensure Alonzo Mourning would stay with the team, Riley promised "to make him the highest paid player on the team" after he dealt with some other contracts. This would prove fatal to the Howard deal.

The NBA stepped in and dissolved the contract before Howard could sign it. The NBA stated Miami exceeded salary caps by four million dollars. In the meantime, Howard's agents were working on a new contract with the Bullets. Using the offer he had received from Miami, Howard and his agent was able to negotiate a contract that exceeded Miami's offer due to taxes and taking away some perks.

Howard's Perspective

What happened to professional athletes wanting to play for the "love" of the game? Professional athletes put too high of a price on their skills, which results in the players being greedy for the profession. The professional teams and professional leagues have allowed this to continue. However, the leagues and the teams are not the only ones to blame. The agents play a huge part in the negotiations and offering players substantial salaries in their contracts.

From Juwan Howard's perspective the negotiation of the contract meant he wanted to earn his full market value for the next seven seasons. He knew these were critical playing years for him and he wanted to get the best value for his efforts. His tangible benefits from the negotiation are the financial gain achieved from negotiation. His costs were the efforts and time he would put in training and games. The intangible benefit is the ego boost for a player with a $205 million contract. Juwan's costs from the negotiation are any travel required during the negotiation. The risk involved for Howard was the danger of a lower salary, playing for a losing team, a weak coach, or risk living in an undesirable city.

New General Manager's Perspective

The new general manager, Wes Unseld, had to act quickly and help persuade Howard that the Bullets



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