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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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