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

Did Milwaukee pick up Gustavo Ayon’s option? Yes. Will they have to do so again in a week? Also yes.
July 15th, 2013

Gustavo Ayon, thinking of victims A month ago, it was widely reported via all media outlets (though seemingly originating from Mexico) that the Bucks had picked up Gustavo Ayon’s team option for next season. This week, the story’s doing the rounds that the Bucks need to pick up his option. This, on the surface, rather counters the former. In reality, both are right. The confusion stems from the terminology used. Only one is actually an option – the other just functions much like one. An explanation follows. As explain in a couple of blog posts, but firstly this one of 2010, no one really gives out team options any more. All rookie scale contracts have two of them, but very very few other contracts do – indeed, headed into this offseason, there were only six in total in the entire league (Francisco Garcia, Dante Cunningham, Jodie Meeks, Mario Chalmers, John Lucas III and Ayon). With all of those having been decided upon this summer, we see then that, unless only fresh ones were given out in this summer’s contracts – and none have as of yet – there will be no non-rookie scale team options in the league at all. That’s how rare they are. Ayon, though, was one of the rare few to have one. Yet his case is itself a further exception. You’d think that team options gave you a year. They do, pretty much – a team option is a decision at the team’s discretion as to whether they wish to extend the contract for one season at prearranged terms. And they can only ever be for one year – not two, nor three, or part of one, but for one whole year. In saying yes and exercising the team option, the team validates the year’s contract, […]

Posted by at 11:46 AM