Nobody knows for sure what Michael Jordan will do when the lockout ends.
But at least one thing is certain -- the NBA isn't going to force him to take a pay cut.
The league has already put an offer on the table that will allow players to sign for 105 percent of their previous salary. Since Jordan made $33 million last season, he could get $34.65 million under the most restrictive of the owners' proposals if he returns to Chicago for a shot at a seventh championship.
"We proposed early on that guys who were on a separate level would have `grandfather' rights," NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said. "No matter what, Michael can make whatever deal he and Chicago can negotiate, so I don't think bargaining will affect his status."
The owners have actually made four different proposals. One of them would allow players with 10 years' experience to retain full Larry Bird exception rights. If the players accepted that offer, Jordan could make $40 million, $50 million -- or more -- next season.
Jordan won't announce his plans until the lockout is over. In his last public comments, he said he won't play for Tim Floyd, who was hired last month as Chicago's director of basketball operations and coach-in-waiting. Floyd has offered to step aside in favor of a coach of Jordan's choice.