"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. ”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
So Heisley isn’t spending big money. He is spending the minimum money he is required to spend and rather than pursue a Free Agent for a 4 or 5 year deal, he traded for a 2-year red herring under the guise of getting a 20&10 guy – but really just fulfilling his minimum economic requirements with only short term exposure and no regard for the impact on the basketball court (or the impact on the fanbase).
And that is the dirty little secret of the NBA that Heisley figured out this year. If you keep your salaries between the NBA minimum and $50 million (and the Grizz will not go over $50 million this year or next), keep your front office expense low and do a good job of renting out your CapSpace and available roster spots to Capped Out and Taxed Out teams, then you can be profitable on annual basis even in a small market and even without fans and even with only making a pretense of caring about winning. And that is a safer economic approach than investing in long term talent and hoping to increase revenues by generating wins and ticket sales.