If your team didn’t agree to an extension with its starlet young player this past offseason – such as is the case with the Atlanta duo of Josh Childress and Josh Smith, the Chicago duo of Luol Deng and Ben Gordon, amongst others – then you’ve probably experienced a modicum of conversation as to whether that player will take the one-year qualifying offer this offseason rather than the security of a long-term deal, leaving the distinct possibility that your team will lose a key player and important asset, for nothing in return. Talk of this possibility happening is particularly widespread in the case of Gordon, who hasn’t done much to deny it. Let me try and set your mind at rest – it’s really not that likely. Or rather, it should be really unlikely. It might happen, but history suggests that it shouldn’t. This is a list of all the rookie scale players to have accepted the fifth-year qualifying offer in recent times, and how that went for them. Melvin Ely Season before free agency: 9.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 51% shooting Season spent on Qualifying Offer: 3.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 36% shooting Season after that: 3.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 47% shooting Melvin Ely has had one year of average NBA production in seven attempts. That one season was, conveniently, the final one of his rookie contract. Never justifying his draft position, that one year gave Ely the chance to make a bit of money, especially given that it was probably his only other chance at a multi-year contract. (Ely was 28 at the time, after joining the league at age 24. Ely took Charlotte’s one year QO of $3,308,615 (which may or may not have been the only contract that they offered) in preference to taking Phoenix’s multi-year offer, […]
Andrei Fetisov is the ultimate “who the hell”. A draft choice by the Bucks back in the dark ages of 1994, Andrei never made it to the NBA. Given that he’s now 36 years old and retired, the dream is probably dead. Still, the Bucks do still own his rights, for he hasn’t been retired for long enough yet for them to lose them. This is worth elaborating on, actually. You’re probably wondering, why are Milwaukee keeping onto his rights, when they have no intention of signing him at any point? Well, the answer is that they’re using him for his trade value. That probably seems like a stupid statement, given that the draft rights who will never join the league have about as much use as a chocolate teapot. But it’s not about the value of the rights per se: it’s more of a technical issue. In trades, both teams have to give up something. What that something is, is up to them. A player, pick, or cash are options. But sometimes, they don’t want to (or can’t) give those things up. So they have to give up at least something, even if only as a token gesture. That’s where these draft rights become useful. They can act as the “something” given up in a trade. A team can give up the draft rights to a player as their outgoing half of a trade, and add in nothing more if they so wish (or are so able). That may sound like it’s farfetched, and would never happen. Yet it does. It’s rare, but it does occasionally happen. For example, when Peja Stojakovic left Indiana to sign with New Orleans, Indiana asked New Orleans – with a cash incentive to convince New Orleans to help them – to make the […]
Do you ever stop and think about that time that Mark Madsen shot seven three-pointers in an overtime game, when Minnesota and Memphis had the most blatant tank-off that history has ever seen? No, nor did I. That is, not until this morning, when I woke up thinking about it. It’s not an entirely normal thing to wake up thinking about, even for the most hardcore Madsen fans amongst us. (For we are all Mark Madsen fans, obviously.) But some part of this must have ruffled my feathers, stoned my crows and enraged my loins, because this was all that i could think about for about three minutes after waking up. It is now a permanent blot on the NBA landscape. The situation Minnesota found themselves in – not good enough to make the playoffs, not bad enough to bottom out without trying to – left them deliberately trying to lose games. It needn’t have done, but General Manager Kevin McHale had already trded away Minnesota’s first rounder that season, as it was owed to the L.A. Clippers along with Sam Cassell in exchange for Lionel Chalmers and Marko Jaric. The pick, however, had top ten protection, and so in order to be able to keep it, Minnesota had to lose with a bit more regularity and finesse than they were doing up until that point. They did this with aplomb, telling Kevin Garnett to stop playing (or so we thought), playing their better players for merely token minutes, and letting their lesser players do whatever the hell they wanted, in what then-head coach Dwane Casey called “letting them have some fun” (to be read as “playing really badly so that we lose”.) The fact that they met an equally-tanking Memphis team, who were tanking for a different reason, was an […]
A lot of people (four) have either e-mailed me about this or asked me about it on t’internet in recent days, about when players have to sign with a new team by in order to be eligible for the playoffs. Apparently there’s some confusion on the issue, particularly surrounding the March the 1st date. So let’s clarify. There is NO SIGN-BY DATE for playoff eligibility. You can sign whenever you want – even on the last of the regular season if you like – and still be eligible for the playoff roster. The only stipulation is that you cannot have been on another team’s roster – or on waivers from another team – at close of business on March 1st. This makes the March 1st date a waive-by date, not a sign-by date. And that’s why players frequently get waived in the run-up to it, (such as Jamaal Magloire, Brent Barry and Flip Murray have so far) then sign with a new team after it, and still appear in the playoffs. An example of this is Anthony Carter last season with the Denver Nuggets. He and Von Wafer both signed with Denver just before the end of the last regular season, because the Nuggets needed some insurance guards for the playoff push and didn’t want to sign them earlier because they were so deep into luxury tax territory. Vaekeaton didn’t then play in a playoff game for them, but Carter did, and the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Willis did the same thing. So there we go. Fun stuff.
It’s nearly the new year, so that makes it time to do something that’s nearly interesting. The “Where Are They Now?” series of posts – which last year landed me at least two job offers – are hereby making a spectacular return right here, in exactly the place that I said they wouldn’t be. Good times. As ever, these posts will feature players on this website’s horizon, but not in the NBA. Bring the noise. – In an anti-climactic opening entry, former Mavericks et cetera swingman Tariq Abdul-Wahad is doing exactly the same thing that he was last time we checked in on him – nothing that can be traced. Wikipedia suggests that he isn’t dead, though, so that’s got to be a positive. No news is good news, after all. – Shareef Abdur-Rahim is now a Sacramento Kings assistant coach. His wife has also done something about the flu, while simultaneously rocking the greatest name this side of Cornelius McFadgon. – San Diego State legend Mohammed Abukar’s career has taken a turn for the better, as he was unsigned until about 24 hours ago, when he was picked up by the Austin Toros of the D-League. Quietly, the San Antonio Spurs have managed to stash basically every one of their training camp signings on their D-League affiliate (which they own), as well as their former draft pick Marcus E. Williams. Owning your own affiliate seems to have some merit when the allocation players are handed out. – Kenny Adeleke was playing with Bulgarian powerhouse Lukoil Akademik up until last week, when Lukoil decided to release he, Nenad Canak and Kevin Kruger, their three best players. This is because they got knocked out of the EuroCup (which is what the ULEB Cup is called now; it’s […]
In my season preview of the Orlando Magic, written back in October and located here, I wrote something that looks a bit stupid in hindsight. At this point, I’d quite like to try and weasel my way out most of it. The following are some quotes that I stand by: It would be very difficult if not impossible to provide a commentary on the Rashard Lewis sign-and-trade while also managing to take an interesting or unique viewpoint, or to say anything that hasn’t already been said. So I won’t. But I will recommend that you look at the figure that he signed for (listed above), and think long and hard about whether he is worth it. And if you come up with any answer other than “no”, keep looking at it until you do. In 2013, a 33 year old Rashard Lewis is going to be being paid nearly $22.7 million. So now, ask yourselves whether the trio of Hill, Milicic and Diener (who should, without a doubt, have played over Carlos Arroyo all of last season, and who is now nicely lined up for a breakout season) is going to help any more than Rashard Lewis on his own. It’s a tough answer, but either way, the Magic’s player personnel did not improve much. If at all. Last season’s mediocre performance suggests that the good run to end the 2005/06 season was nothing more than an aberration. With better coaching and better performance this season, the Magic have the opportunity to show that it was last season that was the anomaly instead. If Orlando gets breakout performances from one or perhaps a couple of young players (specifically looking in the directions of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick), they could contend for the open Southeast Division title. If you only read […]