Thursday, February 27, 2014

The same thing again if you take the Knicks out of it altogether

The ten highest individual non-Knick team luxury tax payments of all time:

1) 2013/14 Brooklyn Nets: $89,582,458 (assuming that Jason Collins signs for the remainder of the season on 4th March, his first allowable opportunity)
2) 2002/03 Portland Trail Blazers: $51,971,000 (rounded only to the nearest $1,000)
3) 2012/13 L.A. Lakers: $29,259,739
4) 2003/04 Portland Trail Blazers: $28,846,436
5) 2003/04 Dallas Mavericks: $25,031,932
6) 2008/09 Dallas Mavericks: $23,611,661
7) 2009/10 L.A. Lakers: $21,430,778
8) 2010/11 Orlando Magic: $20,147,413
9) 2010/11 L.A. Lakers: $19,923,772
10) 2007/08 Dallas Mavericks: $19,613,295

The records of those respective teams:

1) 2013/14 Brooklyn Nets: 26-29
2) 2002/03 Portland Trail Blazers: 50-32
3) 2012/13 L.A. Lakers: 45-37
4) 2003/04 Portland Trail Blazers: 41-41
5) 2003/04 Dallas Mavericks: 52-30
6) 2008/09 Dallas Mavericks: 50-32
7) 2009/10 L.A. Lakers: 57-25
8) 2010/11 Orlando Magic: 37-29
9) 2010/11 L.A. Lakers: 57-25
10) 2007/08 Dallas Mavericks: 51-31

Total expenditure: $329,418,484

Total record: 466-311

Well so it does.

A short sharp examination of how paying luxury tax does not necessarily correlate with winning

An important and unique feature of this website is the annual monitoring of every luxury tax dollar paid in NBA history. Using that data, here's a short sharp hot sports take.

The ten highest individual team luxury tax payments of all time:

1) 2013/14 Brooklyn Nets: $89,582,458 (assuming that Jason Collins signs for the remainder of the season on 4th March, his first allowable opportunity)
2) 2002/03 Portland Trail Blazers: $51,971,000 (rounded only to the nearest $1,000)
3) 2006/07 New York Knicks: $45,142,002
4) 2003/04 New York Knicks: $39,867,214
5) 2005/06 New York Knicks: $37,248,752
6) 2012/13 L.A. Lakers: $29,259,739
7) 2003/04 Portland Trail Blazers: $28,846,436
8) 2003/04 Dallas Mavericks: $25,031,932
9) 2002/03 New York Knicks: $24,371,000 (rounded only to the nearest $1,000)
10) 2008/09 New York Knicks: $23,736,207

The records of those respective teams:

1) 2013/14 Brooklyn Nets: 26-29
2) 2002/03 Portland Trail Blazers: 50-32
3) 2006/07 New York Knicks: 33-49
4) 2003/04 New York Knicks: 39-43
5) 2005/06 New York Knicks: 23-59
6) 2012/13 L.A. Lakers: 45-37
7) 2003/04 Portland Trail Blazers: 41-41
8) 2003/04 Dallas Mavericks: 52-30
9) 2002/03 New York Knicks: 37-45
10) 2008/09 New York Knicks: 32-50

Total expenditure: $395,056,740

Total record: 378-415

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This post is no longer relevant.

There follows a post that was in the process of being edited ready for posting on which talked about the Spencer Hawes to Cleveland deal and how it did - or rather, didn't - affect the Sixers's proximity to the salary cap floor. However, Adrian Wojnarowski's latest tweet, which states that Danny Granger is to be traded to the Sixers, makes it irrelevant now. It is hereby posted here anyway on account of the fact that, one day, it might serve as a good point of reference for the minutiae described within.

Much has been made of the Philadelphia 76ers' payroll this year, or rather, the lack of it. It is so unique of a situation that it merits and attracts constant comment, something to which we have all been susceptible. I covered the situation a few months ago, trying above all to convey one important point: it doesn't really matter.

Five months on and it still doesn't, mostly. However, in keeping with every CBA provision you have ever heard about, the idea of a minimum team salary is more complicated than it first appears.

As of Wednesday morning, the Sixers had a 2013/14 team salary of $47,678,819, $11 million short of the salary cap, and slightly over $5 million short of $52,811,100, the amount equal to 90 percent of the salary cap that represents a team's minimum payroll requirement. Media and fans alike have been wondering how Philadelphia intended to fill that void midseason, and with the reported trade of Spencer Hawes's $6.6 million contract for Earl Clark's $4.25 million one and two second round picks, it seems that all the Sixers have actually done is get further away from it.  

However, the issue is clouded as ever by the unintentional confusion of language that so often accompanies CBA discussions in the public realm. While we never really specify them as being different because we never really need to, there is in fact a difference between "team salary" and "team payroll."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bookkeeping the retired guys, 2014 edition

In keeping with what is becoming an annual tradition, there follows a very, very lengthy look at all the retired players this site has, for whatever reason, kept tabs on before. (Some of them are a bit niche. But when you're in, you're in for life.) This list is mostly of recent NBA players and an update of the 2013 edition of the same list. The cut-offs are somewhat arbitrary, but they have to be somewhere.

Most sites, when they charge themselves with the task of writing a "where are they now?" post about someone, don't actually fulfill that mandate. Instead, they talk about "where have they been?" and give career retrospectives hitherto. And they'll do so one person at a time. That is not the intent of this post. The intent of this post is, what do these people do with their lives now, and/or what is the last piece of news we have on them. It's better this way.

There's quite a lot of there, so settle in.

Tariq Abdul-Wahad - Varsity coach at Lincoln High School in San Jose.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim - General manager of the Reno Bighorns.

A.J. Abrams - Retired after last season and returned to Texas to complete his degree.

Maurice Ager - Now a producer and rapper. Is "Grammy considered."

Cory Alexander - Colour analyst for Raycom Sports, the ACC Network and ESPNU. Also runs a basketball school in Richmond, Virginia.

Courtney Alexander - Runs a not-for-profit foundation that recently resulted in a nasty looking lawsuit.

Malik Allen - Has launched a sports-centric social networking site,

Others on this list have tried analogous things, as will be seen. Evan Eschmeyer was one, but there are multiple others. None, I would say, have really worked out. So good luck to Malik.

Morris Almond - Almond retired this summer to run his non-profit foundation, Almond Athletics.

Derek Anderson - Anderson released a book last year, Stamina, and seems to have spent the year hence promoting it and giving inspirational speeches.

Kenny Anderson - At the last update, Anderson was coaching at a Jewish school in Florida, but was fired after a DUI arrest. Since then, he has made the news in diverse ways. Anderson was an apologetic member of Dennis Rodman's North Korea tour, spoke about sexual abuse he suffered as a child, and performed in the Penis Monologues with Chris Gatling.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

How do you solve a problem like Taj Gibson? A follow-up.

Despite it running in the initial instance with a rather significant error in it - I spent a lot of time breaking down how the Bulls had arrived at, and would extricate themselves from, a luxury tax position that they weren't actually at - the previous post entitled How Do You Solve A Problem Like Taj Gibson? received a remarkably hearty welcome. So, thank you for that.

However, as is always the way with pieces that deal with salary minutiae and machinations, and appraisals of team's proximities to the salary cap and luxury tax thresholds, there has been some misunderstanding of what was said and meant. This considerably briefer follow-up will hopefully clarify these issues.

Friday, February 07, 2014

How do you solve a problem like Taj Gibson?

Found this on the internet but couldn't find anyone to credit, so...good work, random anonymous person.

Taj Gibson is bloody excellent. Long noted for his technically precise interior defense, he has managed the rare feat of developing his offensive game to the point that he is a versatile and viable offensive weapon (he now hits the mid-range jumpers he has always taken, and damn near dream-shook Greg Stiemsma the other day) without losing any of his defensive intensity or effectiveness in the process. On a team more capable of creating high percentage looks for each other, he might even crack a 53% true shooting percentage. There is a reason Carlos Boozer just did something very out of character for his usually highly professional sense and complained publicly about regularly being benched in the fourth quarters - it is because he is regularly benched in the fourth quarters. Because by this time, Taj Gibson is comfortably better. "Power forward of the future" claims are a bit ambitious considering Gibson turns 29 in June and Nikola Mirotic is waiting in the wings, but he's certainly the power forward of the now.

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