Josh Huestis’s D-League adventure, a misplaced exercise in loyalty
July 23rd, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) A few days ago, Darnell Mayberry broke the story that Oklahoma City Thunder draft pick Josh Huestis might spend next year in the D-League, collecting a mere $25,000 or so salary, rather than sign in the NBA. This would be groundbreaking, not as the first first rounder to not sign immediately in the NBA (this happens quite often), but as the first to do so who instead signs in the D-League. It also makes absolutely no sense on the face of it. As useful as the D-League can be, its salaries are extremely uncompetitive. Players are paid by the league in one of three salary brackets, determined by their ability, and even though Huestis would no doubt be worthy of the highest D-League salary possible, that figure is still paltry. It will be comparable before tax with what an NBA 10 day contract pays, and when I say ‘comparable with’, I mean ‘slightly lower than’. Huestis would be doing so because the Thunder asked him to, in a pre-arranged deal running unnervingly close to the line. Tom Ziller speculated it, and Zach Lowe confirmed it. The projected second round or undrafted player going in the first round was indeed a eye opener, and it follows that, given that they may have been alone in wanting to take him that high, the Thunder felt they had the leverage to lean on him in this way. Apparently, to agent Mitchell Butler, the fact that it is the Thunder makes it all worthwhile. An analogous situation here is that of George Hill with the San Antonio Spurs in 2008. The Spurs took the IUPUI guard in the first round when no one expected them to, and used this as a means of leveraging him into accepting less than the customary […]

Posted by at 1:24 AM

The amount of cap room teams have remaining
July 17th, 2014

The bulk of free agency is behind us, maybe, but we’re far from done. There follows a look at how much cap space NBA teams still have outstanding, which, with the exception of the occasions I blatantly do the opposite, will be presented without analysis as to how the situation came about. All the teams that have cap space, or have had cap space this offseason, are included in the list. That is a total of fifteen teams and half the league. The other fifteen – Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Golden State, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto and Washington – are not mentioned at all. 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. It is vital – VITAL – that you understand what a “cap hold” is before you read this. An explanation can be found here. Players with asterisks by their names are not under contract with the team, and cap holds are separated from active contracts by the use of a simple link break.     Atlanta Hawks Committed salary for 2014/15: $48,416,058 (view full forecast) Remaining cap space: $10,839,436 Atlanta has made only one signing in free agency, facilitated by one trade, and the money jointly spent on Thabo Sefolosha and John Salmons is actually less than the money they were due to spend on Louis Williams. They started with cap space, added more possibly unnecessarily, and still haven’t used up the extra bit, let alone dip into the reserves. I say “possibly unnecessarily” because it does not appear as though they have looked to do much with it, got shot down when they did, and the list of candidates is […]

Posted by at 2:08 PM