The Value of Minimum Contracts In The NBA
May 8th, 2014

[Originally posted on Hoopsworld, 7th October 2013.] The most fun part of preseason is being able to get wildly carried away with the results and performances in the mostly meaningless games. This is particularly true of the performances of individual players who simply were not expected to shine, but did. Two such players have already shown their faces, in Houston’s Omri Casspi and the L.A. Lakers’s Xavier Henry. Casspi shot 9-10 for 20 points on his debut, whilst Henry topped that with 29 in his, an impressive amount for a player whose career high to this point is only 19. Whilst this level of production is obviously not sustainable, Casspi and Henry are set to earn only the minimum salary next season. Casspi’s is fully guaranteed, but Henry’s isn’t even guaranteed for one single dollar. These two players, then, have shown they could potentially be valuable contributors for as good of as value as is possible. Casspi has struggled since his rookie season when he showed true promise as a free roaming off-the-ball offensive player, but who started to succumb to similarly free roaming tendencies defensively. Henry, meanwhile, was nothing short of poor in his first three seasons, struggling badly to make a shot from any portion of the court, not being able to create any, and not being consistent with his potentially good defense. There’s a reason these players were available for so cheap – they weren’t working out, and multiple teams had given up on them ever doing so. However, this doesn’t mean the players are, or suddenly became, talentless. Casspi and Henry were first round picks as recently as four and three years ago, respectively, and are 25 and 22 years old. There is still some talent in the fire. Someone just needs to throw a log […]

Posted by at 7:35 PM

2010 Summer League Rosters: San Antonio Spurs
July 13th, 2010

DeJuan Blair I really don’t think DeJuan Blair needs to be here. Summer league is designed for players who need to prove something; those barely on a roster, those looking to make it onto one, draft picks trying to prove their worth, and also-rans looking to use the opportunity for good European gigs. But the only thing DeJuan Blair has to prove is the long term health of his knees. And unnecessary playing time is not the answer for that. Michael Cuffee Cuffee turned 27 yesterday (happy birthday!), and joins the Spurs for his second summer league stint. He was also with the team in 2008, easily the two highlights of his career. The rest of Cuffee’s CV reads Middle Tennessee State, WBA, Denmark, Finland, USBL, D-League, Lega Due (Italy) Turkey, and then the Lega Due again; last year for UCC Casalpusterlengo, Cuffee averaged 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. Those are rather average numbers from the below average Italian second division, and it’s hard to see what the Spurs see in Cuffee other than his tremendous athleticism (which isn’t worth a lot unless you turn it into production). Bryan Davis I have written before about the Spurs’s constant attempts to keep young players that they are interested in around their roster, if not strictly on it. By doing things such as owning their own D-League affiliate (thereby ensuring generous assignments) giving Curtis Jerrells $75,000 to attend training camp even when he has absolutely no chance of making the team (and subsequently having him assigned to the Toros for that reason), signing Marcus E. Williams at every possible opportunity, and using part of their MLE on signing Alonzo Gee and Garrett Temple when there’s a matter of days left in the season, the Spurs bypass the maximum roster size while keeping […]

Posted by at 10:10 AM