August 12, 2010
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, belonging to Chase Budinger, Jermaine Taylor, Andrew Bynum, Sam Young, Andres Nocioni, Hakim Warrick, Goran Dragic, Pooh Jeter, Francisco Garcia, Solomon Alabi and C.J. Miles. In contrast, there are so many partially or fully unguaranteed contracts in future years that I can't be bothered to go through and list them all. And considering the length of this post, and all the things I could be bothered to do, that should signify something.
June 14, 2010
Sacramento have cut so much salary in recent times that they don't "need" to cut more. With the trades of Kevin Martin and John Salmons at the last two deadlines, Sacramento have opened up enough short term money to not only stay solvent, but also to open up maximum cap room. To that end, the reasonable salary of Francisco Garcia (4 years and $23.8 million remaining) is not an urgent problem from Sacramento.
However, it might one day become so. Sacramento's salary forecast is very good at the moment, but there are soon players that are going to need big pay days. Tyreke Evans's Penny Hardaway impression will not come cheaply. Carl Landry, as mentioned in footnote number 20, is a high calibre power forward about to enter unrestricted free agency. And at the same moment that happens, the polarising figure of Spencer Hawes will enter restricted free agency. The team won't get anywhere if they let those guys walk for free; cheap young role players Donte Greene, Jason Thompson and Omri Casspi won't be cheap forever either.
In Garcia, Nocioni and Beno Udrih, the Kings have $65 million ($52 million guaranteed) committed to three role players, only two of whom are any good. These are the kinds of contracts that can clog up a team's salary structure and cripple their roster flexibility, and carrying three is probably not healthy. Therefore, if they have the opportunity to cash in on one, they should. It might help offset the burden of the Nocioni situation.
Garcia is coming off a career worst season, but it wasn't his fault. A freak accident with an exploding medicine ball took him out in preseason, and Garcia returned only for the final few games, with some inevitable rust to burn off. This deal assumes that Garcia is back at full health with no long term repercussions - if this is not the case, I don't want him. At full health, however, he is a good player on both ends, a good second or third ballhandler and playmaker with a much improved jumpshot, good size and decent athleticism, who is able to play good and versatile defense when he puts his mind to it (which isn't always). Does that sound like good sixth man material to you? It should.
[...] The Kings are picking fifth in the draft, and they should really pick whichever one of DeMarcus Cousins or Sexual Favors falls to them. If they don't get that lucky, however, the best player available might be either Syracuse's Wesley Johnson or Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu. Johnson cannot dribble whatsoever, which could be problematic for playing the guard spot; however, between him and his fellow Syracusian Greene, the backup shooting guard minutes should be filled. The same is true of Aminu, who isn't a guard and never will be, but whose arrival still negates the need for Garcia at small forward, where Garcia is best.