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Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Second 2014 Tremendous Basketball Player Names Tournament - Sweet Sixteen

(Click image to enlarge.)

From the "screw it, we might as well finish it" archives comes the continuation of this aborted attempt at a sequel to the initial Ridiculous Names Tournament. This series originally ran on another site, but that site decided to close down indefinitely for whatever reason, which halted the series. Nevertheless, we resume it here. Might even open a sportsbook so you can bet on the outcome. <

We've already lost three quarters of the entrants. And now, things start to get tougher.



The Name Is The Window On The Soul Regional

(1) Chastity Gooch v (4) Calamity McEntire:

The Gooch has followed the form book thus far, unchallenged in contests versus Ashley Awkward and Arthur Pervy. Now, she comes up against McEntire, who thus far has over Epiphanny Prince and the sneaky-good Mike Smelkinson. There is probably a "Calamity" pun to be made here, but sometimes you have to be the bigger man.

Chastity Gooch or Calamity McEntire?

Friday, September 26, 2014

How Agents Make Money Out Of Rookie Contracts

(originally posted elsewhere)

The general rule for agents is that their earnings off of negotiated player contracts are capped at 4% of the player's salary. Indeed, 4% is an assumed amount unless otherwise agreed upon, as outlined in section 3(B) of the Standard Player Agent Contract:

If the Player receives compensation in excess of the minimum compensation applicable under the CBA for one or more playing seasons, the Agent shall receive a fee of four percent (4%) of the compensation received by the Player for each such playing season, unless a lesser percent (%) or amount has been agreed to by the parties [...]

In practice, this 4% is rarely deviated from. 4% is the norm, and rarely is it any different, especially in contracts involving the more powerful agents. There was an intriguing case involving Antoine Walker and agent Mark Bartelstein some years ago, in which Bartelstein had agreed the fairly unusual concession upon Antoine's signing of a contract with Atlanta of lowering his standard fee from 4% at the time of signing to 3%, at the player's discretion, if it was felt that Bartelstein 'wasn't doing a good job'. (The case went to arbitration over a disagreement over quite what that phrasing meant, and of how much Walker had to pay him. It was not in dispute that Walker owed Bartelstein, but merely how much, based on the arbiter's findings of whether Walker was entitled to pay only 3% or not. Bartelstein won the case and was awarded a judgement of $671,373.) But this case stands out for its novelty, and is certainly not par for the course.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Second 2014 Tremendous Basketball Player Names Tournament - Second Round



(Click here for first round matchups. Also, click image to enlarge.)

The first round over, and there weren't too many upsets. All 1, 2 and 3 seeds made it through, although Nelson Mandela only just beat the plucky Sydney Smallbone, and Ivana Mandic only barely squeaked out the legendary World B. Free by a couple of votes. World B. Free was the last named put on this ballot, as, due to his level of fame (and thus lack of surprise element) plus the fact that his name had a small if acceptable whiff of fakery about it, I nearly did not include him. But I did, and he rewarded this reluctance with a near 13 v 4 seed upset over one of what I assumed would be one of the pre-tournament favourites. This was arguably the best matchup of the first round, and yet it shouldn't have been.

For rules, entry criteria, proof that this people actually exist and the like, see the intro to the first round. For now, with the polls now closed, it's time for more polls. Here are some more polls.



The Name Is The Window On The Soul Regional

(1) Chastity Gooch v (8) Arthur Pervy:

The first matchup is a great one. Gooch returned 81% of the vote in a hefty victory over the plucky but overmatched Ashley Awkward, while Pervy was even more dominant in an 83% landslide victory over Jackie Bedwell. For this to only be a second round matchup speaks either to the overall strength of the regional, the overall strength of the tournament, or my inability to seed. Or some combination thereof.

Chastity Gooch or Arthur Pervy?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Second 2014 Tremendous Basketball Player Names Tournament - First Round

Funny names are funny, and the idea of bracketing a bunch of them is not new. The Name of the Year competition started back in 1983, before the author of this bracket was even a sperm, and that baton has been passed to new ownership, who last year awarded Leo Moses Spornstarr the 2013 winner of the world's ultimate accolade.

Inspired by, and in homage to, this decades long legacy of doing God's work, there hereby follows the second Tremendous Basketball Player Names Tournament Bracket, featuring basketball players of different sizes and calibre, of players both current and retired, male and female, from all around the globe. The question we ask here, as always: which name is better?

To give some context as to the standards we hope to achieve here, the inaugural Basketball Player Names Tournament was won by Steeve Ho You Fat, who beat Grienntys Chief Kickingstallionsims in a tense final. Standards are high. Dreams are bigger.

As can be seen in the full draw above [click to fully expand], the bracket accords with the March Madness tournament bracket style, except arguably with less arbitrary divisions for the regionals. Things of note:


* No consideration is given to a player's current status. Some are long since retired, and some never even went pro. Yet it matters not - if you were a basketball player to an organised standard (e.g. college, its equivalents, and above), whose existence, career and name can be found, you count. Anything college and above is sufficient, although this does mean high schoolers and recreational players are not permissible, which is bad news for fans of Sean Sohappy, Tommy Ghost Dog and Rocky Three Irons the world over. But you gotta have rules, even if I do bend and outright break them later on.

* The age cut-off limit is slightly arbitrarily set at 17, due to anything less than that being impossible to verify. This is bad news for fans of Spanish team Unicaja Malaga, who boast in their youth ranks a 13 year old named Golden Dike. When the story of the hilarity of his name breaks in American media in a few years, remember that you heard it here first.

* All names are verifiably true via other internet resources, and links to such are given where necessary. In one instance, there exists only one reference to the person on the entire internet. But it will do. Play along.

* Little consideration is given to how names are actually pronounced. The only criteria used is how the name looks like it would be pronounced by a particularly ill-informed English speaker.

* What constitutes a 'better' name is entirely in the eyes of the voter only. Vote with your own criteria. Different strokes for different folks. The only demand is that names are judged on names alone, irrespective of the skills, life, times and career of the players to whom they are attached.

* The depth of research that went into this is mildly disturbing, but there is always the chance good names have been missed. If you know of a great name not listed in either this pool or the other one, email it in to mark@hoop365.com.

* This tournament follows the NCAA tournament bracket style, save for the abolishment of play-in games, because, duh.

* There is no condescension here. We love the names and thus we love the people behind them. There may be occasional amazement as to how such names came to pass, but it is not ever intended to be derogatory. Give me the esoteric over the bland all day. (Also, my own name is basically Dirty Penises, so I have no room to talk.)

* Seedings are somewhat arbitrary and open to much conjecture, as is unavoidable, but were determined via consultation with others (who I supposed you could term a selection committee). Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com, who enjoyed the first incarnation more than anyone should ever really enjoy anything, was not of much use at all really.

To the matchups!



The Name Is The Window On The Soul Regional (a tenuously cobbled-together group of players whose names either contain anything that could be conceived as vaguely descriptive; the regionals get less tenuous later on!)

(1) Chastity Gooch v (16) Ashley Awkward:

Awkward, a one time WNBA player and financial consultant who who wants to fatten up Allen Iverson, boasts an awkward surname and the always beneficial use of alliteration. But she surely stands little if any chance of the 1 v 16 upset against Gooch, one of the best players in female college basketball, who sports all three of a tender body part, a belt and a former England cricket captain in her name. If you don't know where on the body the gooch is, then guess, and you're more than likely within a few inches of being right.

Chastity Gooch or Ashley Awkward?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sorry guys, Carmelo Anthony did not get $62 million in advance

(originally posted elsewhere)

For the most part, NBA players are paid on the first and fifteenth of every month, with a standard of 24 paydays per calendar year. Players earning more than the minimum can agree to 12 payments over six months or 36 payments over eighteen months, yet the norm is the norm.

There is room for some further deviation from these standards. Players can receive both advances on their salary, and receive loans from their teams.

There is not, however, room for the amount of deviation that is currently being reported in the case of Carmelo Anthony.

It is being reported in several places around the web, most notably (and I believe initially) the Wall Street Journal, that Melo received 50% of his new $124,064,681 contract in one up front payment. Admittedly, it is not so much expressly stated as it is implied that this is the case, but whichever it is, the idea it spawned that he will or might have already gotten $62 million is wrong. The confusion comes from a misunderstanding about how, when and to what degree NBA contracts can be advanced, a confusion I hope to clarify here.

The first and most important point to make is that salary for a future season can never ever be advanced. NBA seasons begin on July 1st and end on June 30th, so if it is October 6th 2014 and you want an advance on your 2015/16 salary, you are begrudgingly going to have to wait until July 1st 2015 to get so much as a piece of it. This rule alone is enough to show that the idea that Melo received a full 50% of the full life of the contract up front is false.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Jusuf Nurkic revisited

This post from yesterday talks about how Nuggets drafteee Jusuf Nurkic was set to receive less than 120% of the rookie scale, the customary amount. And in doing so, it was mentioned that he would be the highest first round pick to ever do so.

Not quite. It turns out this is a misreporting on my part. Nurkic will receive less than the salary of the 120% rookie scale amount, but he will count on the cap for the 120% amount. Nurkic's buyout with Cedevita was for larger than the amount NBA teams can pay cap-exempt ($600,000 this season), and while teams are eligible to pay more than that amount in an international player's buyout, they must do so by putting any amount greater than that paid into the cap hit in the form of a signing bonus. This is not especially to do in a rookie scale contract, with its fixed parameters, but it is doable if sufficiently small. The figures listed for Nurkic were an even $350,000 smaller than what the full rookie scale would have been, and that is the extra amount of buyout Denver paid, charged as a signing bonus.

These rules were known to me, of course, and the practice is not uncommon. Bismack Biyombo, Andrea Bargnani and several others have been in this same situation, getting less than the full 120% in actual salary yet counting against the cap as the full 120% (and to anyone other than the people signing and receiving the cheques, i.e. us team building fans, only the cap number matters). Nevertheless, it was understood in the instance that the figures given were the actual cap hits and thus included the buyout signing bonus. It was counter checked and passed both tests. And yet now the opposite is said to be true, that Nurkic is signed for the full 120%, and that the whole issue is irrelevant.

There is a process we (I) go through in order to get salary information. It does not always work.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Josh Huestis's D-League adventure, a misplaced exercise in loyalty

(originally published elsewhere)

A few days ago, Darnell Mayberry broke the story that Oklahoma City Thunder draft pick Josh Huestis might spend next year in the D-League, collecting a mere $25,000 or so salary, rather than sign in the NBA. This would be groundbreaking, not as the first first rounder to not sign immediately in the NBA (this happens quite often), but as the first to do so who instead signs in the D-League.

It also makes absolutely no sense on the face of it. As useful as the D-League can be, its salaries are extremely uncompetitive. Players are paid by the league in one of three salary brackets, determined by their ability, and even though Huestis would no doubt be worthy of the highest D-League salary possible, that figure is still paltry. It will be comparable before tax with what an NBA 10 day contract pays, and when I say 'comparable with', I mean 'slightly lower than'.

Huestis would be doing so because the Thunder asked him to, in a pre-arranged deal running unnervingly close to the line. Tom Ziller speculated it, and Zach Lowe confirmed it. The projected second round or undrafted player going in the first round was indeed a eye opener, and it follows that, given that they may have been alone in wanting to take him that high, the Thunder felt they had the leverage to lean on him in this way. Apparently, to agent Mitchell Butler, the fact that it is the Thunder makes it all worthwhile.

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.

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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."