I was going to write a separate post to describe ways that the Hornets can avoid the luxury tax without trading away David West or anyone important, but I’ve decided that I won’t. Here’s a shorthand version: 1) On trade deadline day, trade Hilton Armstrong and $1.1 million in cash ($922,748 to cover his remaining salary, the rest as an incentive) to the Clippers in exchange for changing the protection on their 2016 second-rounder – already owed to the Hornets from the Rasual Butler deal – from top 55 to top 50. The Clippers gain a free player who may or may not see the court, whilst more importantly earning some cash for their troubles and giving up quite literally the least significant thing imaginable. Meanwhile, the Hornets dump the $2.8 million salary of a player that managed to lose an unloseable backup centre spot to Darius Songaila. That can’t ever be a bad loss. 2) Also on trade deadline day, trade Ike Diogu and $400,000 to the Hawks for the rights to Alain Digbeu. $271,928 of that covers Diogu’s remaining salary; the rest is the Hawks incentive to use an inactive list spot on a player that’s out for the season. And all they lose is a 34-year-old Frenchman. If not the Hawks, Diogu could also be sent to the Grizzlies, Kings, Pistons or Sixers. Whichever. Trading two surplus players and $1.5 million will save them about $9 million, once tax payments are substituted and rebates added. And you can do so without moving one of your only good players or taking on future salary. If those two deals happen, or ones very similar to them, then expect misplaced bravado. Failing that, someone competitive will think too much of James Posey, just like the Hornets once did themselves. Ask […]
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.