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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Finances of the Terrence Williams/Sergei Lishouk trade

The only picture of Joe Smith ever taken in which he is not smiling broadly.

Yesterday, a three way trade went down between the L.A. Lakers, Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets that saw four picks, three players and one set of redundant draft rights get rehomed just in time for Christmas.


- Houston dealt: Lottery protected first round draft pick to New Jersey; draft rights to Sergei Lishouk to L.A.
- Houston received: Terrence Williams from New Jersey.

- L.A. Lakers dealt: Sasha Vujacic and their 2011 first round draft pick to New Jersey.
- L.A. Lakers received: Joe Smith, New Jersey's 2011 second round pick and Chicago's 2012 second round pick from New Jersey; the rights to Sergei Lishouk from Houston.

- New Jersey dealt: Terrence Williams to Houston; Joe Smith and the two second rounders to L.A.
- New Jersey received: Sasha Vujacic and the two first rounders.


All teams arguably profit from the move, which is how trades should be. The Lakers saved money, and somehow snagged two second round picks in the bargain when they probably would still have been quite happy to do the deal without them. Houston gained a player probably better than the one they would have drafted with that pick, and New Jersey freed themselves of a problematic backup while piling on two first round picks, which they can now either use as trade bait or use to acquire yet more backups. Everyone was a winner, except for Vujacic.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chinese Basketball Association Imports, 2010/11


The first two rounds of games in the 2010/11 Chinese Basketball Association were played this week, giving us an opportunity to confirm once and for all who is actually playing there. With no major English language version of a Chinese Basketball Association website available - other than perhaps here - accurate information as to signings is hard to find. We are reliant upon snippets, leaks, the occasional accurate translation, and often the players themselves.

This is a pity because of the calibre and volume of import players to be found within that league. Every year China lands quality former and fringe NBA talent, normally fairly athletic ex-NBA big men, who put up double doubles and dominate amongst domestic players without the athleticism and strength to stop them. And it's fun to watch their statlines as they do it.

This year, it appears, will be the year of the guard.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Really Overdue 2010 D-League Draft Review

Unequivocally, the NBA Draft is my favourite night of the year. In a few short hours, the entire landscape of the best league of the world's best sport can be changed beyond all recognition. Infusions of talent, mind-boggling trades, wonderful quotables and brave shirt-and-tie combinations are guaranteed; one short evening of drama gives us repercussions and discussion points that can last for years. Whereas sport must always ultimately be able the guys in the uniforms, the men in the jackets have their time to shine on that night. And as an aspiring man-in-a-jacket, its lure is magnetic to me.

The D-League draft does not have the same lustre, for a few reasons. For one, it's not got the same talent level; for two, the repercussions are far less substantial for teams with lower fanbases and far greater roster turnover than the big league compatriots. Lesser calibre players on a far smaller stage must inevitably have lesser impact, less coverage, and thus less lure.

However, whereas the NBA draft has only 2, the D-League draft has 8 rounds. With 16 teams in the league, that means there are 128 draft picks on offer. 128 players means 128 draft capsules, 128 attempts at analysis, 128 opportunities to hunt for trivia, and a good many opportunities to learn.

That was something I wasn't going to pass up.

There follows, therefore, an extended look at the compelling protagonists of the 2010 NBA Developmental League Draft. Little consideration is taken for team need, for draft night is about the players.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"Gordan Giricek on trial for death threats against his wife."

Whilst Googling for news about whether or not former Jazz and Suns guard Gordan Giricek had re-signed with his former team, Cibona Zagreb, I found something astonishing and very different. Very, very different.

The quote in the post title is a translation of the headline of this article from Croatian daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija. The full translation is reprinted below:

Croatian basketball player who plays in the NBA, Gordan Giricek, was examined yesterday at the Zagreb County Court as a suspect for the death threats against his ex-wife Natasha Gulan and her mother, Gordana.

Upon application of his ex-wife, the Municipal Public odjetniĊĦtvo filed another half a year ago the County Court a request for investigative action against Giricek.

It charged that in late August last year while their daughter was with him on vacation in Selce, threatened by phone Natasha said: "I'm gonna kill you! Did you hear me? I'll kill you! ".

Similar threats later, according to the report, sent to the former mother in law.

Gordan Giricek was yesterday before the investigative judge Vanda Sento argued that the statements of his ex-wife's completely untrue, so it was denied a criminal offense.

Online translators, even really good ones, are prone to throwing up ambiguous or non-sensical results. There doesn't appear to be much ambiguity here, however. The report seems clear enough.

EDIT: The story is two years old. Did not see that.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

.....Third Prize Is You're Fired

Continuing the lengthy look at training camp invitees league wide, here's part three. Part one can be found here, and part two is here.




Oklahoma City

- View Thunder roster
- View Thunder salary information

With a full roster, Oklahoma City saw fit to bring in four more. They signed undrafted point/combo guards Jerome Dyson of UConn and Tweety (Demond) Carter of Baylor, as well as fellow undrafted swingman Elijah Millsap of UAB. They later brought in former University of Oklahoma centre Longar Longar to round up the numbers and complete a roster of 19. Curiously, but probably rightly, they did not bring in any of their currently unsigned second rounders. 2009 pick Robert Vaden was rumoured to be a candidate, but eventually did not come over, and 2010 picks Latavious Williams and Ryan Reid also did not sign, despite currently not being under contract elsewhere.

Dyson played for the Cavaliers in summer league, at which time I wrote this about him:

Monday, October 04, 2010

How much centres get paid

Apropos of nothing, here are the total contract values of all centres in the NBA, not including those on minimum salaries (or with really close to minimum salaries, such as Samardo Samuels). In cases where a player's position is debatable or flexible, discretion is used, and the player's primary position is used (i.e. Pau Gasol wouldn't be listed at centre, even though he essentially backs up there, because he starts at power forward). In the case of someone like Al Jefferson - who was paid to be a power forward but who will now be a centre - the latter option is used. Figures are as accurate as I can get them to be, which is very.


- Atlanta: Al Horford (rookie scale), Zaza Pachulia (4 years, $19 million)

- Boston: Kendrick Perkins (4 years, $18.2 million), Jermaine O'Neal (2 years, $11,991,200)

- Charlotte: Nazr Mohammed (5 years, $30.247 million), DeSagana Diop (5 years, $32.393 million)

- Chicago: Joakim Noah (rookie scale, for now), Kurt Thomas (1 year, $1,800,000), Omer Asik (2 years, $3,578,500)

- Cleveland: Anderson Varejao (6 years, $48,204,545), Ryan Hollins (3 years, $7 million)

- Dallas: Tyson Chandler (6 years, $63 million), Brendan Haywood (6 years, $52,267,500), Alexis Ajinca (rookie scale)

- Denver: Nene (6 years, $60 million), Chris Andersen (5 years, $21.17 million)

- Detroit: Ben Wallace (2 years, $4,326,400), Jason Maxiell (4 years, $20 million), Chris Wilcox (2 years, $6 million)

- Golden State: Andris Biedrins (6 years, $54 million), Ekpe Udoh (rookie scale), Dan Gadzuric (6 years, $36,003,975)

- Houston: Yao Ming (5 year maximum), Brad Miller (3 years, $14.256 million), Chuck Hayes (4 years, $8,218,500)

- Indiana: Roy Hibbert (rookie scale), Jeff Foster (2 years, $12,734,500)

- L.A. Clippers: Chris Kaman (5 years, $52 million)

- L.A. Lakers: Andrew Bynum (4 years, $57.2 million)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Anybody Wanna See Second Prize? Second Prize Is A Set Of Steak Knives.....

Continuing the lengthy look at training camp invitees league wide, here's part two. Part one can be found here.




Indiana

- View Pacers roster
- View Pacers salary information

Indiana already has 15 guaranteed contracts, so they didn't bring in many for camp. The only two players they signed were D-League veteran centre Lance Allred, and their second second round draft pick from this summer, Magnum Rolle. Additionally, the contracts of both A.J. Price ($175,000 of $762,195 guaranteed) and Josh McRoberts ($500,000 of $885,120) are not fully unguaranteed, although you can pretty much guarantee McBizzles is making the team since Pacers coach Jim O'Brien has already said he's considering him at starting power forward.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We're Adding A Little Something To This Month's Sales Contest. As You All Know, First Prize Is A Cadillac El Dorado.

No matter how much you may think you know, NBA training camp always offers an opportunity to learn more.

In that respect, it rivals summer league and draft night; all three present chances to learn more about players about whom you previously did not know about, and you get to try to understand what the NBA sees in them. If a player makes it as far as training camp, after all, then they must be doing something right, because all these players have signed valid NBA contracts. They're no longer just here for show; they're under contract, and even being paid a small stipend. In some cases, the player's presence is for no reason other than convenience and/or practice purposes, and some are there purely as fodder. Yet even then, it's intriguing. A contract is a contract. And as Jason Richards has proved in the past, even unguaranteed contracts can be lucrative.

There follows both predictions and analysis, if you will, of the upcoming training camp battles in October 2010. This post is so named because I like to imagine that this NSFW speech by Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross actually takes place at every team's media day. If it doesn't, don't tell me otherwise.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Training camp signings thus far

There follows a compendium of all players who have signed, or agreed to sign, for 2010 training camp. I could not find such a compendium elsewhere and thus decided to make one. This list also includes earlier signings of players with unguaranteed or partially guaranteed deals. In some cases, such as with Cucumber, certain players will obviously make it, yet they are included for the sake of uniformity. There exists the possibility that any of these signings could yet change - nothing is certain until the date that the contract is signed. This was recently proven to be the case with Jon Scheyer, who was going to camp with Utah as recently as last week, even seen saying so himself here. But then Utah signed Earl Watson and Scheyer/his agent changed their minds. However, with so little time left until camp starts, most of the signings can be assumed to happening now. Some already have.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Addendum to the Xavier Henry thing

In the recent Creative Financing In The NBA post, I wrote at great length about the Xavier Henry situation. In the span of about 27,000 words, I tried to explain all the nuances of this largely unprecedented and highly unattractive situation, using as many real-life examples and corollaries as I could find.

After that time, far more significant media personalities ran with the story. Starting with NBA.com's David Aldridge - who ran a very similar piece that even used the same Glenn Robinson-based introduction, but who had the ability to get the quotes that a 20-something English student doesn't have - and culminating in an explosive interview with Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley on the Chris Vernon Show, the story became one of the most protracted subplots of the offseason, its explosive crescendo at the Vernon interview making for late-summer viewing joy.

In between those bookends came this piece from the Commercial Appeal's Ron Tillery, that details the required incentives in ways we previously could only guess at.

The Griz have offered Henry 100 percent of that salary with the extra 20 percent tied to performance-based bonuses.

The Grizzlies' proposed incentive package includes:

Participation in summer league.

A two-week workout program with the team's training staff.

Satisfying one of the following: play in NBA rookie/sophomore game during All-Star weekend, or earn an all-rookie selection, or average 15 minutes in at least 70 games.

Perhaps more pertinent still are these quotes from Henry's agent, Arn Tellem, in which he describes the move from his point of view.

The agent, Arn Tellem, says the Grizzlies are trying to make Henry meet performance bonuses, such as making the rookie challenge at All-Star weekend or being named to one of the all-rookie teams. He says only one player out of more than 450 since the rookie salary scale was instituted in 1995 has agreed to a performance bonus.

"Basic fairness and equality are fundamental aspects of every positive organization-player relationship, and those concepts are totally absent from the Grizzlies' current proposal to Xavier," Tellem said.

Tellem said Henry would agree to bonuses that are frequently offered to reach the full 120 percent, such as taking part in conditioning programs or playing in the summer league, but said no other team in this draft had asked a player to accept a performance incentive.

Later, it was revealed that Tellem had offered to pay Henry's salary himself, for as long as the holdout continued. [No word on whether Greivis Vasquez's agent promised the same.]

In the end, he's not going to need to do that; Heisley has changed his mind, backed down from the pressure, and rescinded the minutes played incentives. Vasquez and Henry will now sign in short order and begin their post-soap opera lives. And it only took slightly longer than a guinea pig's gestation period.

Tellem's overview of the situation seems to lie in direct contradiction to my own breakdown of the situation, as described in the initial post. In that piece, I described at great length the fact that not just some, but most rookie contracts contain performance incentives, including those of the top three players in this year's draft. In direct countenance to that is Tellem's subsequent claim that it's only previously happened once. Because of the direct confrontation between those two points of view, both of my regular readers have posed the same question; Who is right? Me, or Arn Tellem?

The answer: Both of us, kind of.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010 Summer League

The transfer markets are pretty much closed. In many places, pre-season has already begun. Euroleague qualifiers begin next week, as does the mighty British Basketball League regular season, and while signings continue to go down, most are done by now. By this time, if you're still a free agent without a training camp invite, you're struggling. Unless you're going to the D-League, of course.

There follows a list of the whereabouts of all the players featured on NBA summer league rosters this year. Summer league is a terrific catalyst for the worldwide basketball market; it's not just NBA teams who find their next players here. GM's, scouts and agents the world over find players here, and thus these moves often form the basis of the international import market. With that in mind, here's who has gone where. In the instances of players quite obviously under NBA contracts, I've tried to write something really interesting instead.

No attribution is given for these transactions for the simple reason that there's too damn many of them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The best of what's left after what was the best of what's left has gone and is no longer left

It's weird that Ben Wallace is the only one of these four with a contract.

This snappily titled post is, in essence, an update to the earlier similarly titled one that detailed the best remaining free agents in the world of basketball. The list was designed to be comprehensive - which is why Greg Buckner was in it - yet it wasn't perfect.

Some players should have been listed on it before, and are listed now. Some others who should have been listed before, but weren't, have now signed elsewhere and are once again not listed (as is the case with Ishmael Smith, who has signed a two year deal with the Rockets, and Artsiom Parakhouski, who signed with Latvian team VEF Riga.) And these players need removing from the list, as they have now signed contracts:

Jason Williams re-signed with Orlando.
Acie Law signed with Memphis.
Eddie House signed with Miami.
Travis Diener signed in Italy with Dinamo Sassari.
Marcus Williams signed with BC Enisey Krasnoyarsk in Russia.
Sherron Collins signed with Charlotte.
Lester Hudson agreed to go to training camp with Washington.
Jerome Randle signed with Aliaga Petkim in Turkey.
Shannon Brown re-signed with the L.A. Lakers.
Roger Mason signed with New York.
Jaycee Carroll will stay with Gran Canaria in Spain.
Blake Ahearn signed with Bancas Teramo in Italy.
Louis Bullock signed with Cajasol Sevilla in Spain.
Donell Taylor signed with Fastweb Casale Monferrato in Italy.
Ryan Thompson agreed to go to training camp with Utah.
Tracy McGrady signed with Detroit.
Linton Johnson signed with Air Avellino in Italy.
Keith Bogans signed with Chicago.
Taylor Griffin was waived by the Suns and then immediately signed in Belgium with Belgacom Liege.
Raymar Morgan signed in Israel with Maccabi Rishon.
Lee Nailon also signed in Israel with Bnei Hasharon.
Alando Tucker signed in Russia with Lokomotiv Kuban.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu signed in Spain with Caja Laboral.
Sean May signed with New Jersey.
Rob Kurz signed in Spain with CB Granada.
Anthony Tolliver signed with Minnesota.
Tim Thomas re-signed with Dallas.
Mac Koshwal signed in Spain's second division with Socas Canarias. (So did Mike Gansey.)
Shaquille O'Neal signed with Boston.
Rasho Nesterovic signed in Greece with Olympiakos. (Let's Euroleague!)
Jason Collins re-signed with Atlanta.
Robert Swift signed in Japan with Tokyo Apache, alongside Byron Eaton and Jeremy Tyler.
Adonal Foyle retired.
Stewie Pecherov signed in Italy with A.J. Milano.
Nathan Jawai signed in Serbia with Partizan Belgrade.
Mario Kasun signed in Croatia with KK Zagreb.


In place of those guys are some new ones. In place of the blurbs of the repeated players are updates on their progress since the last check-in, if any. To see the old blurbs for players on the previous list, click the asterisks next to their name.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Creative Financing in the NBA, 2010

Last year, I wrote a couple of posts under the heading of "Creative Financing in the NBA." Inspired by seeing a series of quirky salary techniques that I had not previously seen in my three long and sexless years of compiling NBA salary information, I was inspired to steal Magic GM Otis Smith's favoured phrase without permission, and use it to describe some of the financial anomalies that the offseason transactions had puked over our spreadsheets. The posts were reasonably successful, drawing in both the 25th and 26th regular viewers to the site; more than anything, however, they were a pleasure to write.

Therefore, there follows another post for salary anomalies and trivia from the 2010 NBA offseason, a breakdown of all quirky payroll-related idiosyncrasies and manipulation that took place in front of our very eyes, even if we didn't really notice it at the time. Note: this will not interest you, unless you are really big on pedantry.

(Mind you, that could be said about this entire site.)

Friday, July 30, 2010

The best of what's left

Shaq and LeBron in a twat-off

The international basketball market is incredibly dry right now, and there's a lot more produce than buyers. The whole nation of Greece is broke, and Spanish clubs are running into financial barriers they're not normally known for. Even Italian teams, including four time defending champion Montepaschi Siena, are facing budget cuts.

In the NBA, most of the big stuff has been done. Of the 280 or so rotation spots in the league, most have been filled, and rosters in general are starting to fill up. That said, there's still a lot of players out there looking for work, ranging from the meh to the intriguing. This excessively long list attempts to chronicle them all.

The following is written with an eye on NBA signings; however, these players are of course open to the world at large. Hardened readers will note that a lot of these blurbs are jacked from other places where I have written them before.....but, you know, whatever.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A History Of Failed Physicals

The following post will features as many Head puns as I can think of, with varying degrees of subtlety.

Earlier this month, free agent Indiana Pacers guard Luther Head came to terms with the New Orleans Hornets on a two year contract. A mere couple of days after this news was reported came the news that Head's job offer was gone; he had failed his physical examination with the team, and that the signing had been called off. Head is now available for everyone.

Controversy surrounded the decision. Head's agent, Mark Bartelstein, slammed the Hornets's decision. Bartelstein claimed there was ulterior motives behind the veto, and that the Hornets had claimed Head had failed the physical just to get out of the signing, when in actuality they'd just had a re-think. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports took that angle further, calling the decision a "slimy trick", and loudly calling out Hornets executive Hugh Weber.

That said, there's always controversy when a player fails a physical. In all the time I have been following the NBA, the team trading away the player - or, in Head's case, the free agent's agent - have cited some kind of failure of the due diligence on the part of the recipient team as being the only reason for the vetoing of the transaction. On a case-by-case basis, that may be entirely correct; for all I know, the Hornets DID do what Barts and Woj suggest, and veto the deal on flimsy grounds because they'd simply changed their minds. Or maybe the Hornets were genuine about their claims on Head's health. I don't know. It's not my place to know. And I don't really want to know.

But what it did stir within me was a desire to investigate failed physicals over the years, and what they actually represent. If someone fails a physical because a team sees a possible long-term health problem down the road, how accurate have those assessments been? Armed with the benefit of hindsight, I was intrigued to find out.

There follows a list of all failed physicals in the NBA since the advent of the 1993-94 season; as the very least, it's as accurate of a list as I could compile. If any failed physicals in that time span have been overlooked, let me know.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

2010 KBL Draft Results


The South Korean basketball league (KBL) is an interesting one. Much like the Chinese Basketball Association, it is interesting for three main reasons;

1) It's full of import players that you've heard of,

2) The domestic players' talent level is pretty bad,

3) The import players' talent level is pretty good.

This leads to huge statistics from players that you've heard of. And that can never be bad.

The KBL employs a draft process for its import players that is better described here. Also at that link is the list of 165 players who registered for the KBL's draft pool; it is from that list that the drafted players were chosen. That listed was whittled down from 224 to 165, and it is reproduced below for no real reason.

Ex-NBA player Charles Shackleford arrested for selling prescription medication

Per a million places, but arbitrarily taken from ENCToday.com, former NBA big man Charles Shackleford has been arrested in an undercover drug operation that saw him trying to sell 150 pills to the rozzers.

Charles Shackleford is in trouble with the law for the second time in six months.

Shackleford, a former Kinston High School, NCSU and NBA basketball player, was arrested by the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday after he allegedly sold 150 prescription pills to an undercover officer.

The incident took place in the vicinity of Fairgrounds Road and N.C. 11/55 in Kinston. The 6-foot, 11-inch Shackleford was transported, processed and taken before a Lenoir County magistrate, who ordered the 44-year-old to be held in the Lenoir County Jail under a $30,000 secured bond.

Shackleford’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday morning.

The article goes on to describe an arrest of Shackleford's from earlier thus year, in a bizarre care involving identity theft and ex-NBA player Jayson Williams. Before that, Shackle was arrested in 2006 for drug and weapon possession, pleading guilty to the weapons charge in exchange for the drugs charges being dropped. His retirement from basketball has not gone well.

Nonetheless, Shackleford is perhaps most known for a quote that is a mainstay in the ShamSports.com quote archive:

"Left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter. I'm amphibious."

Lorenzen Wright has gone missing

Per this story from George Brown of WREG.com, former NBA big man Lorenzen Wright has gone missing.

The family of Lorenzen Wright says he's been missing since Sunday.

Wright's sister, Savia Archie, says her family is very concerned.

Archie said, Wright was last seen on sunday when he was expected to fly out of Memphis, but no one has heard from him since.

The family has filed a missing persons with the Collierville police department.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Detroit Pistons

Patrick Christopher

Christopher is a streak shooter out of Cal who doesn't do a whole lot else. If he's hot, he can score 30; if he's not, he can go 3-15. Regardless of whether he's making them, he takes them, which could be interpreted as a good or a bad thing. He's athletic and strong, but he doesn't do much with them other than take jumpshots. Had he done so, he might have gotten drafted.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Cleveland Cavaliers

Jerome Dyson

There was a time when averaging 20/5/5 at UConn meant a guarantee to be drafted. Not so for Dyson. For all the scoring numbers, Dyson is far from a complete scorer; for all the assist numbers, Dyson is far from a point guard. And at 6'3, he'll struggle to be a shooting guard as well.

Much of his production comes from the fast break, where he is unbelievably good. He can snake his way to the basket with blistering speed, and finish with athleticism despite his small size. In the half court, however, he can't get to the basket as readily. This is due in no small part to his jumpshot, which doesn't really exist. And while Dyson has the athletic tools for perimeter defense, he lapses.

If he goes to the D-League - and he should, because he's going to be on the cusp of a call-up - then he could put up similar numbers to that. But without a jumpshot, his ridiculously tremendous upside potential is limited.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: New York Knicks

Eric Boateng

Boateng is an English centre who played one year at Duke, before transferring to Arizona State, where he just completed his senior season. He barely played at all in his first four seasons, but finally got a chance to play last year, and responded with averages of 8.8ppg and 7.2rpg on 66% shooting. However, even though he turns 25 in November, Boateng is still an incredibly raw player. He turned it over 2.1 times per game in only 27 minutes, despite not taking any dribbles at any point, and shot only 50% from the foul line. He's also not much of a shotblocker; essentially, he's a 6'10 slightly above average rebounder.

Boateng will play for the Great Britain national team this summer, but mainly others won't. Joel Freeland and Ben Gordon just dropped out this week due to injury, and earlier, Robert Archibald had also pulled out. Nick George and Andy Betts have also pulled out, leaving the team with almost no quality left on it, and its chances of qualifying for Eurobasket 2011 in tatters.

This is why Luol Deng is so unbelievably freaking important to us. He is now our everything. Anyway, I've tangented.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Washington Wizards

Trevor Booker

My early proclamations that Booker might be the next Paul Millsap were a bit premature, and overlooked the fact that Booker is about half the rebounder that Millsap is. Jumped the gun a bit there, I did. However, I remain confident in Booker's abilities to contribute at the NBA level, despite his lack of size for the position. Boozer is athletic enough and has improved his face-up game, both the drive and the shot. He'll have to be a small power forward, but he's strong and athletic enough to do that.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Houston Rockets

Blake Ahearn

Ahearn is the shooter from Missouri State who has played a few games for the Miami Heat. He's a rather unique little sausage; an extremely brilliant shooter from the foul line and from three point range, and who can masquerade as a point guard reasonably well, but who is unathletic and doesn't contribute much elsewhere. The most notable part of all that is the efficiency; Ahearn always shoots over 40% from three and over 90% from the line, and I do mean always.

Last year was no different. Finally leaving the D-League to go and get some proper money, Ahearn signed with ACB team Estudiantes Madrid, for whom he averaged 14.2 ppg in 24 mpg with absolutely no other statistical contributions other than fouls. He shot only 30% from two point range, but he hit his customary 41% from three, and also shot 98% from the line (57-58). When his contract expired, Ahearn returned to the D-League, where he averaged 44.5 mpg, 26.2 ppg, 6.0 apg and 4.7 rpg for the Erie BayHawks, shooting 45% from the field, 43% from three and 96% from the line.

In these posts, when I say about someone that "he's a good shooter, but not good enough of one to make the NBA" - and I've had to say it a lot - Blake Ahearn is my yardstick for that. He's about as good of a shooter as there can be, and even he can't get in. Strange times.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Minnesota Timberwolves

Mo Charlo

Charlo is a small forward formerly from Nevada who turns 27 next week. He is an athlete and defensive specialist, who has spent much of his professional career in the D-League. Last year, playing for the Reno Bighorns on account of his local ties, Charlo averaged 9.7ppg, 5.2rpg and 2.7apg. There were also a couple of near triple doubles in there, with statlines of 12/15/9 and 19/12/8, before a slow finish to the season dragged down his numbers. But for all his athleticism, Charlo struggles to score outside of the dunk. Sometimes he can slash to the basket, but there's no jumpshot there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Atlanta Hawks

Alade Aminu

Aminu was covered in the Bobcats summer league round-up thing of last week. In 4 games for Charlotte, Aminu averaged 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds. Additionally, Aminu has signed a contract to play for Chalon in France next season. So whatever chances he had of making the Hawks roster now look shot.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Milwaukee Bucks

Antoine Agudio

Of all the undersized jumpshooters in the D-League, Agudio might be the best. The cheerful looking one is the all-time scoring leader in the history of Hofstra, beating out former Bulls guard Norman Richardson when he averaged 22.7ppg in his senior season. Agudio is a 6'3 pure shooter, who last year for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds averaged 15.1ppg, 2.5rpg and 2.8apg with 44% three point shooting. He's strong, able to also create off the dribble, and tries hard defensively to overcome his height disadvantage. Yet the height disadvantage is pretty large. Jaycee Carroll has much the same profile and is a very awesome player, but it's also significant that Jaycee Carroll is not in the NBA. It would benefit Agudio to leave the D-League and go do something similar to what Jaycee is doing in Europe. He is capable.

2010 Summer League Rosters: San Antonio Spurs

DeJuan Blair

I really don't think DeJuan Blair needs to be here. Summer league is designed for players who need to prove something; those barely on a roster, those looking to make it onto one, draft picks trying to prove their worth, and also-rans looking to use the opportunity for good European gigs. But the only thing DeJuan Blair has to prove is the long term health of his knees. And unnecessary playing time is not the answer for that.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Denver Nuggets

Antonio Anderson

Anderson was previously covered in the Bobcats summer league roster round-up of last week. As it happens, however, Anderson played only 89 seconds for the Lolcats, recording nothing but a trillion. Per 48 minutes, that's still a trillion.

Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Chicago Bulls

Rather than repeating myself unnecessarily, I shall instead just link to to my breakdown of the Chicago Bulls' 2010 Summer League Roster, written at ChicagoNow.com, where I front the premier Bulls blog, Bulls Confidental.

Breakdown of the Chicago Bulls' 2010 Summer League Roster

The typo of Morris Almond's name is a particular highlight.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Portland Trail Blazers

These things tend to tangent. Stick with it.

Luke Babbitt

I'm still not sure of why Portland has been trying to acquire small forwards so proactively. The Luol Deng rumour won't die, even if you want it to, and the team just signed Wesley Matthews to a full MLE contract. They also traded for Babbitt's draft rights and signed him straight away, despite already having Nicolas Batum on the roster. Batum is really good and already has a capable backup in Dante Cunningham in place; now with Babbittt as well, I don't see the need for this constant desire to get another one.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Phoenix Suns

Earl Clark

Clark's rookie year was not great, due in no small part to a lack of opportunities. He averaged only 2.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, shooting 37% with an 8.5 PER, and not always playing the quality defense for which he (should) be known. The departure of Amare Stoudemire should in theory have gotten him more playing time; however, the acquisitions of Hakim Warrick, Josh Childress and Hedo Turkoglu, plus the retention of Grant Hill and Jared Dudley, and the possible re-signing of Louis Amundson, seem to have snuffed that out again. Where Clark's minutes will come from next year is once again unclear.

I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really do not like the Turkoglu acquisition.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Los Angeles Lakers

Derrick Caracter

Caracter stayed out of trouble in his time at UTEP, and began developing into the player that he could always have been. He's lost weight, shaved his stupid hair cut, and doesn't have to worry about academic problems any more. Now, barring any petulance relapse, Caracter gets to just be a player. He's becoming a decent one, too.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Toronto Raptors

Solomon Alabi

If you read my draft recap, you'll know how I feel about the Alabi pick. I'm pretty much all for it, and believe he has a chance to be a good contributor in the NBA. At #50, I think he was a steal. Even with hepatitis.

If you haven't read my draft recap, go do so. But you might want to book a day off work in advance. It's a bit long.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Golden State Warriors

Will Blalock

Blalock's recovery from a life-threatening stroke continues, as he gets back to nearer his NBA-calibre best. He started last year with the Maine Red Claws, and was traded after 25 games to the Reno Bighorns, for whom he averaged 11.8 points and 7.4 assists per game. Blalock has battled weight problems since his stroke, but he lost weight during the D-League season and improved as the campaign went along. Blalock turns 27 in February and will probably never get back to the NBA, but his good D-League season, aided by a decent summer league performance, should see some good European gigs in the near future.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Dallas Mavericks

Roddy Buckets

The final year of Jason Terry's contract is only partially guaranteed. Only $5 million of $10,658,000 is guaranteed; the rest becomes guaranteed dependent on how many minutes Terry plays. Terry's contract will become guaranteed if he plays in more than 60 games and more than 1,500 minutes next year; if he doesn't, and he's waived before next July 15th, then whoever owns him could get a break of a few million dollars.

I'm telling you this because Boobwar is making Terry available.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Orlando Magic

This post is a bit late, considering the Magic have played their games. However, the site's outages just before free agency started set us back a bit, and then obviously free agency itself kind of blew the cock off the whole thing. Sorry about that.

Since I'd already started it, we'll do it anyway.

Jeff Adrien

It's hard for a 6'7 power forward to make it in the NBA. You have to be pretty exceptional at something to do it. Adrien, though, is exceptional at nothing. He's solid at most things except foul shooting; decently athletic, willing and able to rebound, capable of defending the post, prepared to run, and able to shoot right handed hook shots. But despite his height, he's in absolutely no way a small forward. He's a very undersized power forward who is neither really athletic nor Chuck Hayes.

Adrien played in the LEB Gold last year, averaging 12.3ppg and 7.7rpg for Breocgan Lugo. It's a league ideally suited for him.

Changes In 2010/11 Salaries Due To Performance Incentives

The worst part about maintaining the internet's premier NBA salary information resource is that the information is never static. It is ever-changing. Due to things such as conditional guarantees, trade kickers and the like, rarely do contracts ever stay the same. This is particularly true because of the science of performance incentives.

Performance incentives can be included in contracts for almost any reason, including (but not limited to) All-Star selections, championship, or team wins. The only rules are that any numerical definitions are specific, and that they are for positive achievements only (although God knows why you'd want it otherwise). For example, Kirk Hinrich has performance incentives based on any First Team All-Defensive placements that he gets, and Matt Bonner's just-expired contract was based around his three point and free throw percentages.

These incentives are deemed by the league to be either "likely" or "unlikely". If they are deemed "likely", then they appear on a team's cap number for the upcoming season; if they are deemed "unlikely", then they are not. This is why this information is important to cap space calculations and the like. The likehood of incentives is decided by the league using one simple criterion; whether the player achieved the incentive last year or not. In the case of team-based incentives such as team win totals, this can be changed when a player is traded to a new team; this is perhaps most famously demonstrated by the case of Devean George, whose team win-based incentive went from "likely" to "unlikely" when he was traded from Dallas to Golden State, thereby costing him $200,000. Such is the risk.

Cap hits based on performance incentives are modified during the moratorium, due to a re-evaluation of their incentives. (That's what the moratorium is for - bookkeeping.) Some previously deemed "unlikely" were met, and are now deemed "likely" - some unlucky players have had the opposite happen. There follows a list of all player's salaries that have been modified for the 2010/11 season due to performance incentive changes, and by how much. Details of why these incentives have changed (i.e. what they are based on) are not listed, in part because I don't know them all.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Charlotte Bobcats

Alexis Ajinca

After giving up a pick with very lax protection to get him - in the end, it became the one used on Luke Babbitt - Charlotte have spent two years not playing Ajinca. Jinx played 182 minutes only on his rookie season, and topped that in his sophomore season with only 30 minutes played all year. He spent a lot of the year on assignment in the D-League, averaging 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 3.0 turnovers and 3.9 fouls in 26 minutes per game, showing some signs of scoring and shotblocking ability while committing far too many mistakes and not defensive rebounding much. However, entering his third year, the D-League is now no longer an option. If Ajinca is going to do anything Theo Ratliff-ish, he's going to have to do some of it in his third year. If he doesn't, there might not be a fourth.

The amount of cap room teams will actually have, updated, again

This is an update of the update of the earlier post that detailed the amount of cap room teams will have. It is updated to reflect everything that happened at the draft, including, in the case of the Kirk Hinrich trade, things that haven't happened that soon will.

More importantly, it is updated to reflect the fact that we now know where the salary cap is going to be; with the calculations all down, the NBA has announced that the salary cap for the 2010/11 season will be higher that expected, coming in at $58,044,000.

After all that, it went up from last year.

Other than those things, this is a carbon copy of the initial post. In this edition, there are no entries for teams irrelevant to cap space, because I can't be bothered. If those teams make moves to become relevant, they will get mentioned later.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Philadelphia 76ers

Ryan Brooks

Ryan Brooks is a shooting guard whose nose is a different colour to the rest of his body. He just graduated from Temple, where he led the team in scoring in his senior season with 14.6 points per game. He also chipped in 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while turning it over only 1.2 times, an incredibly solid number. He's a solid all-around player and a quality college guard; unfortunately, there's nothing that stands out about his game. Brooks is slightly undersized, a mediocre athlete, a crafty scorer but not a standout shooter, an interested and pretty effective defender without the physical tools to be so at the next level, a man who doesn't make many mistakes but who doesn't create much either. That's a summer league calibre player, but not an NBA calibre player. Not at 6'4, at least. But he'll make some money in Europe.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Boston Celtics

Jaycee Carroll

If Jaycee Carroll was 6'6, he'd be in the NBA and Matt Carroll wouldn't. But he's not. He's 6'2, not a great athlete, and nearer to 30 than 20. So now it doesn't matter how much Carroll scores and in what league; it just won't be good enough.

Carroll is a seriously big time scorer, mainly on jumpshots and floaters. He is extremely good at both of those things, and it is not by chance that he led the Spanish ACB (the world's second best league behind only the NBA) in scoring this year at 18.8ppg. Carroll knows how to get open off the ball and can create his own shot with it, an incredibly efficient scorer even when up against world class defenses.

However, 27 year old undrafted 6'2 unathletic scoring guards do not get into the NBA. If anyone can, Carroll can. But Carroll can't.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Indiana Pacers

Paul George

The Pacers have done nothing to advance their team since the awesome 61 win team of 2003-04. In that time, their win totals have tapered off slowly; 44, 41, 35, 36, 36, 32. They make moves more befitting of a championship contender (Dahntay Jones for 4 years? Earl Watson for one? Drafting Tyler Hansbrough? Trading for Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy?) when they haven't the core around which to build. Apart from catching lightning in a bottle with the drafting of Danny Granger, the Pacers have done nothing to build a young foundation, nor have they done anything to build an old foundation.

George represented the Pacers highest draft pick since 1996, when they picked Erick Dampier 10th overall. Indiana normally drafts low because they're good - in the last few years, however, they've been drafting in the late lottery. They are not good enough to make the playoffs, yet their needless short term moves also ensure they are not bad enough to draft higher than that. Not since George McCloud in 1989 have the Pacers drafted in the top 10; not until next summer will they have any cap space. Without those things, the Pacers have been unable to land a star or any significant young talent, and while the #10 pick in a strong draft represented a chance to do, all Indiana have done is use it on a player who plays the same position as their best current player.

This is a re-think on my draft night stance, admittedly. Nevertheless, we're going to have to sign away one more season of moribund stalemate for the Pacers. When 2011 free agency comes around, maybe they can finally build something significant.

Monday, July 05, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: Oklahoma City Thunder

Cliff Hammonds

Former Clemson guard Hammonds is an unusual find on the Thunder roster, because he's already signed for next year. He spent last year in Greece with Peristeri, averaging 12.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.7apg, 1.5spg and 2tpps (timely paychecks per season), shooting 48% from the field and 42% from three. He even up his usually dreadful free throw percentage to a vaguely tolerable 71% (still sub-par for a point guard, but no longer sub-50%). Hammonds has signed in France to join ASVEL Villerbanne, a normally elite French team (with 18 championships in 61 season) coming off an unusually dreadful sub-.500 season. It seems strange that ASVEL would let him play here as well. Nevertheless, it's all good for Hammonds, who gets a decent chance at free exposure before beginning his decent new French gig.

Friday, July 02, 2010

2010 Summer League Rosters: New Jersey Nets

Something I had forgotten about in the Hornets summer league round-up, pointed out to me by ticktock6 of Hornets Hype.com, was that Craig Brackins and Quincy Pondexter will be joining the Hornets roster once their as-yet-uncompleted trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder goes down. This goes some way to explaining why their roster is, frankly, a bit weak.

However, a look at the upcoming Nets roster also highlights the flaws in the Hornets's lineup. New Jersey have on their team many undrafted players from this year's draft class, several of whom could easily have been second round picks. There are a couple of also-rans, of course, but with roster spots to be won, the Nets have drawn a crowd of players who can certainly win them. This is in contrast to the Hornets roster, which, apart from the NBA players on it, has few possible NBA players on it.

(If that makes sense.)

Julian Wright was intended to play on the Hornets team as well, but he opted out. Doesn't seem like a smart move for a man who needs to both win favour and improve greatly.

2010 Summer League Rosters: New Orleans Hornets

Darren Collison

Last year at this time about Darren Collison, I wrote this:

Big fan of Collison. He's like Chris Duhon except with a mid range game and the ability to recognise when to shoot. And Chris Duhon with those things added to his game would be a fine player.

Turns out he was even better than that. Duhon's career has been peppered by games in which he plays outrageously well, mired amongst weeks of mediocrity. Those are called, by me at least, "Duhon Games." Collison's rookie season was made up solely of Duhon games. It was a beautiful thing.

But don't be mistaken. Collison's awesome rookie season does not make Chris Paul available for trade. The only way Chris Paul gets traded is if Chris Paul demands it. And if the Hornets succumb to that pressure before they do everything possible to better the team - which includes, but is not limited to, getting value for that Peja Stojakovic expiring - then they should be ashamed. Darren Collison is good, but Chris Paul is an all-time calibre point guard. You don't trade all-time calibre point guards just to move Emeka Okafor.

2010 Summer League Rosters: Utah Jazz

Free agency is going on, and big names are moving all over the world. However, so are the little names. And since half of this website is devoted to the little names, there follows looks at the summer league roster for all NBA teams. These posts will be in no particular order.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

2010 Free Agency, Preliminary Round

Thank you for your patience as we resolve the issues that have plagued this website in recent days. We're on top of it now. Sort of.

The free agency season is upon us, and a lot of housekeeping had to be done before we could get going. Players with player or early termination options had to decide if they were coming back; the few players with team options awaited an uncertain future; players eligible for QO's had to see if they got them. All the results are in now, however, and there follows a list of who did what before July 1st.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The amount of cap room teams will actually have, updated

This is an update of the earlier post that detailed the amount of cap room teams will have. It is updated to reflect the Kings/Sixers traded that was just completed (Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes for Sam Dalembert), to reflect some exercised options, and to edit the fact that I typoed a bit in the Timberwolves entry.

It's a carbon copy of the initial post, save for those tweaks.


    Atlanta Hawks


Committed salary for 2010/11: $47,630,214 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None


If Atlanta renounce (or lose) Joe Johnson, renounce Josh Childress, renounce their four remaining free agents (Joe Smith, Mario West, Jason Collins and Randolph Morris), and sell or renounce their first round draft pick (#24, cap hold of $963,600), they will have a cap number of $49,524,640 (the committed salary plus four minimum salary roster charges of $473,604 for having less than 12 things on the cap). Barring trades, that's as low as they can get. And yet it's not enough for cap room; if you add on the value of the Bi-Annual Exception ($2.08 million) and the Mid-Level Exception (not yet known exactly, but will be about $5.7 million), the Hawks are over the cap.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Europe for Americans


More than one person has asked me in the past for a definition of how basketball works in Europe. Those persons are always American. They see words like "domestic competition," "Euroleague" and "Cup," and they panic. All of those are concepts alien to the NBA, an incestuous league that only plays with itself, and they are not understood by the majority of American NBA fans. (Or, if not the majority, at least some.)

So I'll try to explain.

All countries in Europe have their own domestic leagues. There's the strong ones (Turkey, Spain, and a much weakened Italy), the top-heavy ones (Greece, Russia, etc), the ones slightly below that (Germany, France, etc), all the way down to the insignificantly terrible leagues (such as those in Moldova, Azerbaijan and Britain). Those leagues are by and large just like the NBA; over the course of several months, everybody plays everybody, with regular seasons and playoff structures. And at the end of it all, the best team wins. All these leagues are different in their own way; the French league is notorious for bad defense, and the Greek league is more physical than many of the others. (It's also infamous for the salary payments being hideously inconsistent, something not helped by the current general Greek economic turmoil. For example, Maroussi - Greece's third best team - have recently agreed to a two year repayment structure for their players who did not get paid last year, and may have to merge with a team from Crete just to stay solvent. It happens all across Europe at various times, but it happens a lot more in Greece.) However, they play fundamentally the same format. I have never seen a basketball league that does not have playoffs.

For the most part, European teams are not built in the same way as their American counterparts. Whereas American teams are part of a "franchise" culture - where local ties are comparatively tenuous, and the team exists as fundamentally a business that can and will be moved if necessary - the European model sees teams developed from the ground up over long periods of time, born out of a community and as successful as the local market/current ownership allows. If a team is not financially able to compete at the level that they once were, they don't move; they shrink. European leagues (mostly) have multiple divisions, and clubs are promoted and relegated between them. If a tiny team has a brilliant year and gets promoted to join the big boys, good for them. It's a feel-good story. Similarly, if a big market team gets mismanaged and falls off the map, they can get relegated, and they have to earn their way back. In this format, no years are wasted by tanking.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The amount of cap room teams will actually have

Lots of people and lots of places are claiming knowledge of the cap space of various NBA team in anticipation of this summer's free agency bonanza. Most, if not all, have done so misleadingly inaccurately.

Without wanting to sound too douchebaggy (sorry), let's try to get this right. 100% accuracy is not guaranteed, but 99.7% accuracy is. All salary information is taken from this website's own salary pages.

NOTE: All cap space amounts are calculated to an estimated salary cap of $56.1 million. This inexact figure is the most recent (and thus accurate) projection released yet, and will have to suffice for now. When the actual amount is calculated/announced, the sums below will be altered accordingly.


    Atlanta Hawks


Committed salary for 2010/11: $47,630,214 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None


If Atlanta renounce (or lose) Joe Johnson, renounce Josh Childress, renounce their four remaining free agents (Joe Smith, Mario West, Jason Collins and Randolph Morris), and sell or renounce their first round draft pick (#24, cap hold of $963,600), they will have a cap number of $49,524,640 (the committed salary plus four minimum salary roster charges of $473,604 for having less than 12 things on the cap). Barring trades, that's as low as they can get. And yet it's not enough for cap room; if you add on the value of the Bi-Annual Exception ($2.08 million) and the Mid-Level Exception (not yet known exactly, but will be about $5.7 million), the Hawks are over the cap.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Current Trade Kickers

Trade kickers are a salary mechanism that increase a player's salary when they are traded. They are both important and difficult to accommodate when formulating trade scenarios, and thus it's useful for them to be known. Kickers - technically known as trade bonuses, but colloquially as kickers, which we'll stick with here - can only be bothersome to teams and emphatically benefit a player. As such, they're far from commonplace. But there's enough of them out there, and it helps to know about them.

Contrary to some belief, trade kickers can not be waived. Not recreationally, at least. A player cannot waive a trade kicker just to make their crappy contract look more desirable. Only in one specific circumstance can a trade kicker (or part of one) be waived; when a player has to waive some money to make a particular trade connotation meet the rules of trade finances. This very very rarely happens, partly because it obviously requires the player's permission, although it did happen just this year after Devin Brown vetoed a trade to Minnesota when he refused to waive his. Doesn't happen much, though.

There follows a list of all current NBA contracts that feature trade kickers, along with the value of them. Note that trade kickers have no expiry date other than the expiration of the contract itself, and that having a percentage listed means that's the percentage of their remaining salary that they will additionally get with the bonus.

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