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

“Consideration In Trades And Trade Structure” – a league instruction manual
July 11th, 2014

At the end of the July Moratorium each year, the league sends out a memo containing all of the findings from the audit it conducted during it. That audit is what the moratorium period is for – the moratorium is one long end-of-season book-keep in which it crunches all the numbers related to revenue, BRI, escrow, tax and the like, and makes determinations on both the past and the future. That memo generally filters through to the mainstream media – it has to, because it contains all the things that will make the league work next year, such as the salary cap numbers and exact size of the luxury tax threshold. It also contains things such as the latest projection of the season after next ($66.3 million salary cap, $80.7 million luxury tax threshold) and the sizes of next year’s exceptions. This year, however, the league sent out a second memo. Entitled “Consideration in Trades and Trade Structure”, it is a reminder and/or clarifier to teams about some of the specifics of what they can and cannot do in trades. Seemingly, they felt this was necessary Considering the presence of this memo suggests that some teams do not entirely understand the rules (or, perhaps, have been intent on pushing them back a bit), it is self-evidently the case that those of us outside of the league will not fully know them either. So, here goes. The memo is divided into two parts. The first part of the memo deals with what constitutes ‘consideration’ in trades, and is itself split into two parts. Part two of this first section concerns consideration in trades for non-playing personnel. Seemingly, in light of recent de facto coaching trades (whereby a team receives compensation for letting a non-playing member of staff out of their contract […]

Posted by at 7:54 AM