The False Allure Of Multi-Year Contracts
May 8th, 2014

[Originally posted on Hoopsworld, 15th October 2013.] Unguaranteed or partially guaranteed final seasons are quite the trend nowadays in the NBA, and they have these days almost completely superceded team options. In fact, excluding rookie scale contracts, there are only eight team options in the entire league, belonging to Chauncey Billups, Darius Morris, Timofey Mozgov, Marreese Speights, Carrick Felix, Chandler Parsons, Jae Crowder and Rodney Williams. All other contracts referred to in the press as ‘team options’ are, in fact, unguaranteed salaries. There are very few instances in which contracts must be guaranteed. In fact, there are only two; the first year of a signed-and-traded contract, and the first two years of a rookie scale contract (which must be guaranteed for a minimum of 80 percent of the scale amount). Nothing else has to be guaranteed. It is self evident why so many contracts are nonetheless fully guaranteed – players want that, and teams want players to want them. Yet the unguaranteed contract fad has its basis in logic. Essentially, unguaranteed contracts function much like team options do. However, there are some significant advantages to doing it in this way, which is why it happens. The differences: 1) Non-rookie scale team options have to be decided upon by the final day of the previous season. Seasons change over on July 1st, and thus team options must be decided on or before June 30th. This is not the case with unguaranteed contracts, which either have guarantee dates that can be negotiated to different dates, or which have no guarantee date at all. A lot of unguaranteed contracts have some guaranteed money, becoming fully guaranteed upon a certain date, or no guaranteed money at all becoming slowly guaranteed upon several dates; for players earning the minimum salary it is often the latter, […]

Posted by at 7:40 PM

2013 Summer League rosters, Orlando Summer Pro League – Houston
July 8th, 2013

James Anderson Anderson landed an extended run with Houston last season, and, although the unguaranteed nature of his contract makes his position rather tenuous, he’s done enough to merit the minimum. He could have a Danny Green-like role for someone if he can hone that jumper further. Patrick Beverley Houston was better when Beverley was at point guard last year than anyone else. He is a steal of a contract, and despite concerns about consistency being entirely valid, he would be a perfectly capable starter alongside James Harden. And that day might be upon us some day soon. Vander Blue Blue unexpectedly declared for the draft, after what was a good year for his program but not necessarily a good one for him. As of right now, it’s not obvious what role he could fit. He has a shooting guard’s height, great athleticism, and a strong transition game, yet his jumpshot is mediocre, and much as some may want him to play point guard on account of his decent passing vision and pick-and-roll game, he cannot handle the ball sufficiently to be a full time one. Blue needs to develop more, and while he can do so while still being paid to play, he needs consistent work somewhere and minimal upheaval to do so. The D-League, then, may be the place. Isaiah Canaan The leader and best player of an extremely fun Murray State team, Canaan is mostly a shooter. And he’s an explosive one. The 37% three point percentage belies him somewhat, as Canaan can take over games purely from deep, and often has done. He can create these looks off the dribble, hit them off the catch-and-shoot, has a high quality pull-up jumper, and shoots so quickly that he still gets them off despite his lack of size. […]

Posted by at 3:21 PM