Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 7
January 7th, 2010

Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely today, where “indefinitely” is implied to mean “for the rest of the season at least.” I don’t really have an opinion on that, apart from to state the obvious. Which I won’t do. But here’s one thing to note; the financial repercussions of the suspension. Disregarding the possible voiding of the contract for a moment – I’m not a lawyer and won’t profess to understand all the technicalities behind this – the suspension impacts the Wizards’ current salary situation too. As things stand, the Wizards are about $8 million over the luxury tax threshold, and with no obvious means of getting under it. The players they want to dump (Mike James, DeShawn Stevenson) are undumpable, and they have nine players earning $3 million or more, tied with Portland for second in the league (the Knicks have ten). But this suspension gives them a means with which they can get nearer to getting under it. 50% of money not received by players suspended by the league is deducted from the team’s number for tax calculations. If a player loses an even $1 million in salary through suspension, then a team can deduct $500,000 from their luxury tax calculations. So by being suspended, Arenas has inadvertently aided the Wizards in their previously futile quest to dodge the luxury tax. One thing I don’t actually know is whether salary lost due to suspension is calculated based on games or days missed. It doesn’t make a huge amount of difference to the general point though. So far in the season, 71 days have passed (not including today), and the Wizards have played 32 games. Therefore, regardless of whether you use 32/82nds of Gilbert’s $16,192,079 salary ($6,318,860) or 71/170ths ($6,762,574), the fact remains that the suspension will cost Gilbert over […]

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