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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The amount of cap room teams have remaining

The bulk of free agency is behind us, maybe, but we're far from done. There follows a look at how much cap space NBA teams still have outstanding, which, with the exception of the occasions I blatantly do the opposite, will be presented without analysis as to how the situation came about.

All the teams that have cap space, or have had cap space this offseason, are included in the list. That is a total of fifteen teams and half the league. The other fifteen - Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Golden State, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto and Washington - are not mentioned at all.

All salary information is taken from this website's own salary pages. All figures taken from the day of publication - if subsequent trades/signings are made, then adjust accordingly.

It is vital - VITAL - that you understand what a "cap hold" is before you read this. An explanation can be found here.

Players with asterisks by their names are not under contract with the team, and cap holds are separated from active contracts by the use of a simple link break.




    Atlanta Hawks


Committed salary for 2014/15: $48,416,058 (view full forecast)

Remaining cap space: $10,839,436


Atlanta has made only one signing in free agency, facilitated by one trade, and the money jointly spent on Thabo Sefolosha and John Salmons is actually less than the money they were due to spend on Louis Williams. They started with cap space, added more possibly unnecessarily, and still haven't used up the extra bit, let alone dip into the reserves. I say "possibly unnecessarily" because it does not appear as though they have looked to do much with it, got shot down when they did, and the list of candidates is really running out. Here is their current position:

Al Horford - $12,000,000
Paul Millsap - $9,500,000
Jeff Teague - $8,000,000
Kyle Korver - $6,253,521
Thabo Sefolosha - $4,150,000
DeMarre Carroll - $2,442,455
Dennis Schroder - $1,690,680
John Jenkins - $1,312,920
Pero Antic - $1,250,000
John Salmons* - $1,000,000
Mike Muscala - $816,482

Elton Brand* - $4,800,000
Gustavo Ayon* - $2,850,000
Adreian Payne* - $1,546,100
Shelvin Mack* - $1,148,163
Mike Scott* - $1,115,243
Cartier Martin* - $915,243

Renouce Ayon, Brand and Martin, and that's $10,839,436 to spend in cap space. But what on?

They need an extra big and an extra scoring guard. Which they could have had in Lou Williams and Lucas Nogueira. Which they traded for a chance at star power. Which they got absolutely no bites on. The decent but low ceilinged Hawks need a great infusion of talent, something they don't have and stand no obvious chance of getting, despite the spending power. They could at least give it a go with Eric Bledsoe, however inevitable a matched offer sheet is. As it is, the Hawks gave up two of their very few assets for what has amounted to no returning assets. Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha don't count. Could a deal to create space not have been worked out after they had found someone to use it on? It's what Cleveland did.

Friday, July 11, 2014

"Consideration In Trades And Trade Structure" - a league instruction manual

At the end of the July Moratorium each year, the league sends out a memo containing all of the findings from the audit it conducted during it. That audit is what the moratorium period is for - the moratorium is one long end-of-season book-keep in which it crunches all the numbers related to revenue, BRI, escrow, tax and the like, and makes determinations on both the past and the future. That memo generally filters through to the mainstream media - it has to, because it contains all the things that will make the league work next year, such as the salary cap numbers and exact size of the luxury tax threshold. It also contains things such as the latest projection of the season after next ($66.3 million salary cap, $80.7 million luxury tax threshold) and the sizes of next year's exceptions.

This year, however, the league sent out a second memo. Entitled "Consideration in Trades and Trade Structure", it is a reminder and/or clarifier to teams about some of the specifics of what they can and cannot do in trades. Seemingly, they felt this was necessary

Considering the presence of this memo suggests that some teams do not entirely understand the rules (or, perhaps, have been intent on pushing them back a bit), it is self-evidently the case that those of us outside of the league will not fully know them either. So, here goes.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Complete History Of NBA Luxury Tax Payments, 2001-2014

This website and its sole proprietor keep a spreadsheet containing to-the-dollar information on all luxury tax paid to date, updated annually. Here is the latest update.

In the 13 seasons since the luxury tax was created, it has been applicable in eleven seasons; in those eleven seasons, 24 NBA franchises have paid over $1 billion in payroll excess. The exact details can be found here.


(Sorted alphabetically - click to enhance.)

(Sorted by expenditure - click to enhance.)


(Orange cells denote the team that won the championship that year.)

Please use the spreadsheet freely for resource purposes, and feel equally free to suggest any improvements. However, please do not just take it, and if you do cite its data somewhere, please acknowledge its source. While the content is not my IP, I did spend a long time sourcing the relevant information, and in return, I seek only credit and a few page hits for that. Thank you.

Monday, July 07, 2014

2014 Summer League rosters - Miami

Ivan Aska - Murray State graduate Aska has played two professional seasons, splitting last one between Greece and Puerto Rico. He averaged 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.4 fouls in 29.9 minutes per game for Ikaros, then averaged 6.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 fouls in 13.8 minutes per game for Santurce. The 6'7 power forward never really developed at Murray State, saved for an improved free throw stroke he has subsequently lost again, but he brings plenty of athleticism to the table, easily his most alluring quality. There are occasional post ups, straight line dribble drives and mid-range catch-and-shoots in there, but the athleticism doesn't seem to make him a shot blocker, and there are no NBA calibre skills other than it.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

2014 Summer League rosters - Detroit

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - It was a bit of a nothing season for KCP, who was given plenty of opportunity to succeed (80 games, 41 starts, 19.8 mpg) and simply didn't. He averaged only 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game, shooting 39.6% from the field and 31.9% from three, looking very awkward on the offensive end of the court. Caldwell-Pope faired better defensively, given plenty of big matchups (especially at the start of the season) and using his athleticism and wingspan to occasionally be a deterrent to any slashing guard, but on offense he mostly looked lost, was unreliable with the handle, and settled for far too many long twos. KCP projects to be a very good three and D role player, which would suffice despite his draft position, but he absolutely needs to spend the summer honing that jumpshot. There is something there to work with, yet a long way to go.

2014 Summer League rosters - Boston

O.D. Anosike - Anosike played in summer league last year with the Nuggets, then split last year between Italy and France. He started in Italy with Pesaro, and averaged 14.3 points and a league leading 13.1 rebounds in 35 minutes per game. He then bought himself out of his contract in May and finished the season with Strasbourg, where he did little in six games, averaging only 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. The 6'7 Anosike is self-evidently an extremely proficient rebounder - strong, relentless, a decent athlete and a tireless worker, he uses his strength and determination to clean the boards, box out and rebound out of his area. The offensive skills, however, are lacking - Anosike posts little, shoots less, has no range and a very poor free throw stroke, good for some occasional pick and roll action but a finisher in the paint at best, and even then not the best one. Given his size, the fact that he is exclusively a paint player and the fact that he does not protect the rim, Anosike has few hopes of joining the NBA level. But Italy will have him back for many a year to come.

2014 Summer League rosters - Indiana

Lavoy Allen - Allen was the third part of the Danny Granger/Evan Turner trade, but has barely improved in three years. He is still one of the most inefficient scorers in the league - he can hit a mid-range shot, but he only takes them, and there's nothing efficient about a mid range jump shot. You have to hit 50% of them just to score a point per possession, with very few foul shots in the process, and Allen has yet to add the three point range to it. On the plus side, the rest of his game outside of scoring is very solid. He picked up his rebounding rate last year, still passes well, and defends through physicality, temperament and IQ rather than length or athleticism. Allen is said to already have agreed a deal to re-sign with the Pacers, which makes plenty of sense, because he is a very solid backup power forward. They can now waive Luis Scola, save money, and lose little.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

2014 Summer League rosters: Philadelphia

Nerlens Noel - Noel will be the best player from the 2013 draft, barring more significant injuries. There is no reason why this as-near-as-is 7 footer with wingspan, athleticism, instincts, anticipation, body control and hustle should not average 10 points and 3 blocks per game at his peak. The offensive end is less certain, as is the fit alongside Joel Embiid, but that's all stuff that can be worked out down the right. As of right now, the Sixers landed the two best talents in back-to-back drafts without a number one overall pick to do so. And the fact that both have been injured sufficiently to keep the tank open is even better.

Friday, July 04, 2014

2014 Summer League Rosters - Orlando

Kadeem Batts - Batts is somewhere in between Mike Davis and Mike Scott. He is a wiry strong finesse power forward whose game is based around the mid-range jumpshot and who rarely creates. Be it through the pick and pop, the pick and roll, cuts to the basket or through running the court in transition, Batts generally only finishes looks others or opportunity created for him. Even when he posts, it is normally only to a jumpshot. He has the frame to do more in the paint, but not the game. He's a finesse player who will take some contact, but hasn't that much power. He just is. So be it.

On the glass, Batts uses his activity and length to keep balls alive and is a good offensive rebounder for this reason, but is less effective on the defensive glass where he can be outfought. Similarly, he defends the perimeter well, but is not much of a rim protector. He struggles to do much in the post on both ends when up against players of true size, and though he anticipates well and hedges hard, he has not the power of a power position player. Batts has good speed and a good motor, and can seal and finish down low on smaller opponents, but there aren't going to be smaller opponents at the highest levels. And while he can occasionally spot up from three and drive the ball from the line, he can also barrel people over and has yet to add consistent three point range.

What separates Mike Davis and Mike Scott? Scott is smarter, tougher, competes defensively even when overmatched and has a little bit of three point range. Batts ought channel some of this. He could make the league despite his rebounding and his defensive deficiencies, just as Scott has, if he can make enough shots. Scott is learning the three. Batts must too.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

2014 Summer League rosters - Houston

Miro Bilan - The 6'11 Bilan turns 25 later this month, yet this is his first foray into the NBA. He has long been on the radar of clubs around the world, appearing in European championships at various age levels, and finally cracking the Croatian national team this past season. Bilan has never really broken out, however, merely making steady improvements to his game year on year. A brief spell in the Euroleague in 2012/13 coupled with a longer spell in the Eurocup last season to allow him to take on the best European centres at his position, and he held his own on the offensive end at least, where his post and pick-and-roll play helped him to 8.8 points in 18.4 minutes on 58% shooting, alongside 13.3 points in 22 minutes per game of Croatian league play. Bilan is a prototypical European big man - big enough and offensively skilled, but unathletic, and a defensive factor only by the virtue of giving a good hard foul. He can make shots around the basket and from mid-range, but neither his physical tools nor style of play are ideally suited for the NBA and he is probably best where he is. Greg Smith admittedly played a bit like this while being slightly smaller, but Greg Smith was faster and had hands like mattresses. Or like Tim Howard.

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"The brain behind ShamSports could have been featured in a number of these Twitter lists, but because his website often spends our entire working day lodged in one of our browser tabs we decided to take the boring route and place Mark amongst the professors. Deeks might be the funniest man you've never met, he does exhaustive work with the NBA's salary minutiae and transaction follow-ups, and he's a stone-cold must-follow. Stone-cold fox, too, ladies. Or, some gentlemen."