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Thursday, July 25, 2013

The amount of cap room teams actually have, updated

The previous post attempted to explain how much cap room all NBA teams would (or wouldn't) actually have in this upcoming free agency period. It was a bit presumptuous. It had to be.

Now, we can be reflective. Here's what's left.

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's official - Keith Bogans will earn $5,058,198 next year. All guaranteed. Keith Bogans.


Happy? You should be.

Keith Bogans has an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. He has become throughout his NBA career the archetypal three-and-D wing role player, the kind of piece you want around star point guards or big men (or both), who'll defend opposing stars for a few pesky minutes a night and not risk anything more offensively than taking some open threes. Yet despite not being significantly above average at either, and in no way any more of a stand-out talent in relation to the dozens of other suitable candidates for the role, Bogans's medicority is nonetheless a sure thing, a known commodity, a risk-free contributor who'll neither say nor do nothing confrontational. Teams like that, and, because of this, he has time and again landed starting roles, often on competitive teams. In a talent vacuum, he's not worth this opportunity or luxury, yet by continuing to land these gigs, Bogans is doing something right.

Normally, of course, this role doesn't earn very much. Keith has mostly been a minimum salary player throughout his career, only rarely exceeding it, and this reflect his minimal contributions. None of this is meant pejoratively - Bogans plays a role, plays it fairly well, and yet the role is small and replacable, so so is its salary.

This, however, is all change in light of Keith's new contract.

Did Milwaukee pick up Gustavo Ayon's option? Yes. Will they have to do so again in a week? Also yes.


Gustavo Ayon, thinking of victims

A month ago, it was widely reported via all media outlets (though seemingly originating from Mexico) that the Bucks had picked up Gustavo Ayon's team option for next season.

This week, the story's doing the rounds that the Bucks need to pick up his option. This, on the surface, rather counters the former.

In reality, both are right. The confusion stems from the terminology used. Only one is actually an option - the other just functions much like one. An explanation follows.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 Summer League rosters, Vegas - D-League Select

Zach Andrews

Since graduating from Bradley in 2007, Andrews spent four years touring the world's lower leagues, then joined the reformed L.A. D-Fenders in 2011. He spent a full season with the team, averaging 8.4 points and 6.8 rebounds, then left last summer to go to Italy with Montegranaro. However, Andrews disappointed there, and was released after posting 6 points and 6 fouls in 28 minutes. He then returned to the D-Fenders and posted a further 7.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in the final 32 games of the season, Andrews has a good frame (6'9, 230lbs), hustles, and is athletic. But he's not offensively skilled and defends via the foul. At 28, the D-League is the highest standard he has ever played to, save for the time in Italy, in which he looked highly overmatched. He's a D-League role player, not an NBA one.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Complete History of Luxury Tax Payments, Updated for 2012/13

This website and its sole proprietor keep a spreadsheet containing to-the-dollar information on all luxury tax paid to date. In the 12 seasons since the luxury tax was created, it has been applicable in ten seasons; in those ten seasons, 24 NBA franchises have paid over $920 million in payroll excess. The exact details can be found here.


(Sorted alphabetically - click to enhance.)

(Sorted by expenditure - click to enhance.)


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 for that. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Orlando

Jared Berggren

True to the Wisconsin way, Berggren makes few mistakes on the court. Or at least, he does now. Throughout his career, Berggren significantly reduced his foul and turnover rates to the point that they're now very strong suits of his. He also got bigger and tougher, turning himself into a sufficiently mediocre rebounder and much improved rim protector. Tougher, however, is not the same as tough. Berggren is frail, still too frail to play with NBA muscle on both ends. Recognising this and taking more jumpshots to diversify his decent internal finishing would have been a successful move had he hit a good number of said shots. This didn't happen, and thus Berggren projects best as a defender and finisher who can't do such things as well against bigger opponents. Not an NBA combination. But he will make money in European leagues, such as the German and Belgian ones.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Miami

Jackie Carmichael

Carmichael would likely have been drafted were he from a bigger school. He scores around the paint with good touch, rebounds the ball, and protects the rim without fouling. He's big enough, athletic enough, skilled enough, to make the NBA. But he just wasn't seen enough.

Monday, July 08, 2013

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Philadelphia

Michael Carter-Williams

Criticisms of Carter-Williams include that he can't shoot, and he can't make contested shots at the basket either, as he's too slender. He's raw, he's too turnover prone, he doesn't use his left hand enough, and he makes poor decisions. All true enough, and all sound bad. But all can be worked at. What Carter-Williams does undeniably possess is size, a handle, the ability to score in isolation and in transition, a knack for getting to the rim more with guile than speed, passing skills and vision, and an innate skill for the penetrate-and-dish. If he needs to get bigger, tougher and smarter while developing a jumpshot, that's fine. So do most 21 year old guards.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Utah

Jeff Brooks

Brooks has improved year on year and now finds himself playing a decent role for one of the best teams in a strong league. Playing for Cantu in Italy's SerieA, Brooks averaged 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game as one of the few non-shooters on a perimeter oriented team. His tremendous athleticism is a mismatch, particularly against the slower European forwards. When plugged in, Brooks can defend interior and perimeter forwards, take the slower ones off the dribble with a decent handle, fly out in transition and hit open mid range jumpshots.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Detroit

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Cuttino Mobley. Just putting it out there. And if he can't shoot like Cuttino Mobley yet, that's OK, because nor could Cuttino Mobley at that age.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Brooklyn

Keith Benson

Benson has spent the past two summer leagues and training camps with the Hawks, but seemingly that well has dried up. He briefly played in the NBA, managing nine minutes with the Warriors late in 2011-12, but didn't make it back last year. Benson spent most of last season in the D-League, averaging 10.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in only 23 minutes per game in two stints with the Erie BayHawks, bookending a stay in the Philippines, where he averaged 23.6 points, 15.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game for Talk'N'Text in the Commissioners Cup. However, import big men ALWAYS put up big numbers in the Philippines, as there are very few domestic big men to compete with them. And so despite the ostensibly gaudy numbers, Benson was released for being "ineffective", and replaced by Donnell Harvey, who was acquired to bring the "toughness, interior defense and communication" that Benson just didn't. Therein lies the story with Benson - he's tall, athletic, fluid, and fairly skill, but he's just not tough enough, and shot blocking is not the same as defense.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Boston

Tim Abromaitis

Abromaitis began his professional career this season in France, playing for perennial powerhouse ASVEL Villerbanne and averaging 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 20 minutes per game. He shot his usual 41% from three point range, and didn't make many mistakes, yet nor did he (or does he) do much other than shoot. He doesn't have Kyle Korver's ability to get open or shoot off screens, he's not as tall as Steve Novak, not as athletic as James Jones, and not as lucky as Luke Zeller. Abromaitis could in theory have Pat Garrity's role in the NBA, but Pat Garrity was considerably better than Abromaitis before becoming the specialist that he did.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Indiana

Rasual Butler

Butler returned to the D-League last season in an attempt to springboard himself back into the NBA. He played well, averaging 17.8 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Tulsa 66ers. However, aged 34, the once good athleticism has largely gone, save for flashes. Butler would like to cash in on a reputation as a three-and-D guy, but the reality of his situation is that he's average at both, and only ever was. He has been a sub-par NBA player for years - this isn't meant pejoratively, although it's appreciated that it's hard to take it any other way - and he's not going to reverse that now.

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League - Houston

James Anderson

Anderson landed an extended run with Houston last season, and, although the unguaranteed nature of his contract makes his position rather tenuous, he's done enough to merit the minimum. He could have a Danny Green-like role for someone if he can hone that jumper further.

Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin's contract situations



In light of one or both of these two being about to be traded, there exists a new realm of questions about this two unusual, nearly-novel deals.

The questions surround what they're being paid, and what they're being charged to the salary cap. People don't know which set of figures to believe, and the confusions stems from the fact that those two questions actually have two different answers.

"Salary" and "cap number" are usually assumed to be synonymous with each other on account of the fact that they normally are, with rare exceptions. Occasionally, exceptions can be found in buyout agreements (I believe, though cannot say decisively, that the Blazers were still playing Shawn Kemp up to and including last season), but not with valid contracts. These deals, then, are an exception. And that's why they need clarifying.

Using the Arenas provision, Lin and Asik signed for the most Houston could give them over three years - $25,123,938. The contracts called for them to be paid an even $5 million in 2012/13, $5.225 million in 2013/14, and $14,898,938 in 2014/15. For the purposes of where we're going, it doesn't matter how these figure was arrived at, only what they are and where we're going.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

There IS a difference between "team option" and "unguaranteed", and it DOES matter


Several years ago, I wrote a piece called Creative Financing in the NBA, that sought to address and highlight a few quirky salaries and salaries mechanisms handed about that season.

In that piece, I also spent a long time addressing the difference between team options and unguaranteed salaries. Often times, unguaranteed salaries are reported in the mainstream press as being team options, even though the two mechanisms are different. And often times, this is fine, because the differences don't really matter. Not to the casual fan, at least. Nevertheless, differences do exist. Some of the initial post is quoted below that explains these differences:

Unguaranteed or partially guaranteed final seasons are becoming quite the trend in the NBA, and they are quickly replacing team options. In fact, there are only 11 team options in the entire league [...]

There are very few instances in which contracts must be guaranteed. In fact, there are only two; the first year of a signed-and-traded contract, and the first two years of a rookie scale contract (which must be guaranteed for a minimum of 80% of the scale amount). Nothing else has to be guaranteed, but it is self-evident that almost all are. Would you accept an unguaranteed contract as a player? Not without incentive to do so, no. It is self evident why so many contracts are fully guaranteed. Yet the unguaranteed contract fad has its basis in logic.

In a lot of cases, unguaranteed contracts function much like team options do. However, there are some significant advantages to doing it in this way, which is why it happens. The differences:

1) Team options have to be decided upon by the final day of the previous season. Seasons change over on July 1st, and thus team options must be decided upon by June 30th. This is not the case with unguaranteed contracts, which either have guarantee dates that can be negotiated to different dates, or which have no guarantee date at all. A lot of unguaranteed contracts have some guaranteed money, becoming fully guaranteed upon a certain date, or no guaranteed money at all becoming slowly guaranteed upon several dates; for players earning the minimum salary is often the latter, which bigger contracts are usually the former. Common dates include July 15th (two weeks after free agency starts, giving teams times to analyse the situation), August 1st (same sort of thing) and August 15th (for the very tardy); however, in practice, anything goes. In this way, these contracts serve as delayed team options.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Salary Bookkeeping, 2013

July 1st is (the date on which one season ends and the next one begins, and thus June 30th (and the week preceding it) is an important cut-off date for certain transactions.

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, and there follows a list of who did what before July 1st. NB: free agent statuses taken as of April 22nd 2013.

Mavericks to sign Gal Mekel to three year guaranteed deal

It was actually three, but close enough.

Looking to reinvent their point guard rotation, the Dallas Mavericks have looked to the overseas market, and will sign Israeli national team point guard Gal Mekel.

Mekel has been named in NBA circles in recent times, as he has participated in a series of workouts and free agent camps for teams around the league, hoping to catch on. Recently, this culminated into accepting an offer to join the Milwaukee Bucks' summer league team. Yet in signing a three year, fully guaranteed deal, Mekel has done much more than merely catch on.

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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."