June 9, 2011
[T]he amnesty clause (that we're having to pretend will exist here, but which almost certainly will exist in some form) will further expand the range of available talents. A lot of decent players are going to become available, not because they can't play the game, but because they can't justify their contract. A lot of the candidates are obvious and inevitable, some perhaps less so. Here's a potential list:
- New York: Renaldo Balkman - Despite a few good years, Balkman has been absolutely nailed to both the Nuggets and the Knicks benches in the last two seasons, in part due to injury, but also due to being unwanted. The forgotten man has played only 153 minutes in the last two seasons combined; whether he's just lost all his skill, or all his coaching love, is unclear. But what is clear is that the unwanted player has two years of guaranteed salary remaining.
August 12, 2010
The teams projected to be over the $70,307,000 luxury tax threshold in 2010 include Boston ($77.8 million, assuming Sheed got nothing), Dallas ($84.5 million), Denver $83.8 million), Houston ($73.6 million after the Trevor Ariza/Courtney Lee trade), the L.A. Lakers ($91.9 million before Shannon Brown), Orlando ($92.6 million), Portland ($72.8 million) and Utah ($75.3 million). Some of those teams will never get under the tax threshold, and some of them won't try. But some will, and even those that don't make it will probably pawn off excess salary onto the teams with cap space they're otherwise struggling to use. Here are some such dumps that I'm officially predicting, apart from the ones that I'm not.
6) Renaldo Balkman
- Denver's paying tax unless they can salary dump Kenyon Martin. Since they can't, they're paying tax. They did so last year as well, and yet they didn't let this prevent them from giving Al Harrington the full MLE this summer, so it obviously didn't bother them too much. However, Harrington's contract, as well as the position he plays, should be the death knell for Renaldo Balkman. Balkman is under contract for three more years at an entirely reasonable $1,675,000 per annum, but he played only 13 games and 91 minutes for Denver all last year. And while a back injury was partly responsible for that, the majority of it was done via DNP-CD's and trips to the inactive list. With Harrington now ahead of him, forward minutes just became even harder to find, and Balkman became even more surplus to requirements. Nonetheless, Balkman fits a need on many teams and should be relatively easy to trade at that price. He makes sense in Washington, for example.