Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Anthony Tolliver earned $273,697 and counting for one day of work, and it's all thanks to Sasha Pavlovic

After going undrafted out of Creighton in 2007, Anthony Tolliver played in summer league for the Miami Heat, and was granted the honour of being the 16th overall pick in the 2007 Continental Basketball Association draft. These things eventually parlayed themselves into a training camp contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tolliver's contract with Cleveland was a typical 'summer' (read as 'training camp') contract. It was a fully unguaranteed rookie minimum salary contract, which, in the 2007/08 season, was worth $427,163. Tolliver was one of several camp signings for the Cavaliers that season - alongside Noel Felix, Chet Mason, Hassan Adams, Darius Rice, and a re-signed Dwayne Jones - and was an outside shot to make the roster based purely on the numbers game alone.

Concurrent with these moves, Cleveland was embroiled in the long-since-forgotten-about holdouts of Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic. Both restricted free agents out of contract that summer, both unhappy with Cleveland's best offer, and yet both seemingly unable to get more on the market, the two held out of training camp, waiting for enormous deals that never came. From memory, Pavlovic wanted roughly six years and $40 million, while Varejao wanted $10 million per annum.

The two held out all through the free agency period, all through training camp, all through preseason, and into the regular season. It is precisely because of this that Tolliver, as well as Demetris Nichols, made the Cavaliers roster that season. Pavlovic was the first to crack - he agreed to re-sign to a partially guaranteed three year $13,696,250 contract that he was waived after only two years of. He signed this contract on October 31st 2007, the second day of the regular season. And when he did so, Tolliver was waived to open up a roster spot.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The amount of cap room teams will actually have

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.

NOTE: All cap space amounts are calculated to an estimated salary cap of $58.5 million. This inexact figure is the most recent (and thus accurate) projection released yet, and will suffice for now. When the actual amount is calculated/announced, the sums below will be altered accordingly.

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

    Atlanta Hawks

Committed salary for 2013/14: $22,497,415 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: At most, $35,504,580, but not really.

If Atlanta renounce (or lose) Josh Smith, and renounce their remaining free agents (Kyle Korver, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro, Ivan Johnson, Jeff Teague, Dahntay Jones, Hilton Armstrong, Erick Dampier, Etan Thomas, Randolph Morris and Anthony Tolliver), waive DeShawn Stevenson ($2,240,450, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date), Shelvin Mack ($884,293, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date) and Mike Scott ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until August 15th, thereafter $100,000 guaranteed) and sell or renounce their first round draft picks (#17 and #18, cap holds of $1,348,200 and $1,280,800), they will have a cap number of $22,995,420 (the committed salary plus nine minimum salary roster charges of $490,180 for having less than twelve things on the cap).

(If you want to get really absurd, they could even amnesty Al Horford. Hypotheticals are fun.)

This is, however, a maximum amount. And it's not a realistic one. Smith's cap hold will be equal to the maximum amount for a nine year veteran, and, while this amount will not be known until the new salary cap figure is determined, a slight increase in the cap will mean a slight increase in the $16,402,500 nine year veteran maximum amount that this year's cap produced. So unless he is renounced, or until he is signed elsewhere, that's a $16.5 million cap hold cutting into that $35.5 million figure. The same is true of Teague's $6,082,692 cap hold, and the negligible amounts saved by trading the picks, not giving Johnson his $1,250,854 qualifying offer, and waiving Scott, are also not likely to happen. In a scenario where they are all retained, then, Atlanta's cap situation then looks like this:

Josh Smith: $16,500,000 (circa, cap hold)
Al Horford: $12,000,000
Jeff Teague: $6,082,692 (cap hold)
Lou Williams: $5,225,000
#17 pick): $1,348,200
#18 pick: $1,280,800
Ivan Johnson: $1,250,854 (cap hold & qualifying offer)
John Jenkins: $1,258,800
Mike Scott: $788,872
Jeremy Tyler: $100,000 (waived)
Roster charge (rookie minimum cap hold for not having 12 things on the cap, one for each number under - Tyler doesn't count): $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total: $47,305,758 = $11,194,242 in cap room

Even this scenario assumes the renouncements of Korver and Pachulia, quality role players who won't be easily replaced. Yet such is the reality of the gamble of cap space. Atlanta can and likely will have eight figures worth of cap space, and they could have an awful lot more than that should Smith move on. But it's a choice.

(Note: "things on the cap" constitute players under contract, free agents not under contract who have cap holds, and the cap holds of unsigned first round picks. Unsigned second round picks do not have cap holds and thus do not count for anything, and nor do waived players.)

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