Sorry guys, Carmelo Anthony did not get $62 million in advance
August 16th, 2014

(originally posted elsewhere) For the most part, NBA players are paid on the first and fifteenth of every month, with a standard of 24 paydays per calendar year. Players earning more than the minimum can agree to 12 payments over six months or 36 payments over eighteen months, yet the norm is the norm. There is room for some further deviation from these standards. Players can receive both advances on their salary, and receive loans from their teams. There is not, however, room for the amount of deviation that is currently being reported in the case of Carmelo Anthony. It is being reported in several places around the web, most notably (and I believe initially) the Wall Street Journal, that Melo received 50% of his new $124,064,681 contract in one up front payment. Admittedly, it is not so much expressly stated as it is implied that this is the case, but whichever it is, the idea it spawned that he will or might have already gotten $62 million is wrong. The confusion comes from a misunderstanding about how, when and to what degree NBA contracts can be advanced, a confusion I hope to clarify here. The first and most important point to make is that salary for a future season can never ever be advanced. NBA seasons begin on July 1st and end on June 30th, so if it is October 6th 2014 and you want an advance on your 2015/16 salary, you are begrudgingly going to have to wait until July 1st 2015 to get so much as a piece of it. This rule alone is enough to show that the idea that Melo received a full 50% of the full life of the contract up front is false. There is, however, a reason the story exists, for the […]

Posted by at 1:22 AM

How Chicago Can Get Carmelo
July 7th, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) Pretend for a minute that Carmelo Anthony chooses the Bulls. It’s possible until it isn’t. Pretend for a minute that he wants more than they can pay him in free agency. Considering that their best free agency offers would top out at a starting salary of $15 million barring a significant weakening of the roster elsewhere, and that other teams are offering an unconditional max, and this seems a reasonable belief. To join Chicago for an amount of money comparable to what he would get elsewhere, Melo would have to be signed and traded. Pretend for a minute that the Knicks are willing to do this deal to help out a conference rival. This, too, is realistic. If they want to be proud and/or stubborn and refuse to help a one time rival, instead preferring to let their player walk for free, then….OK. But there’s assets in it for them if they do, so they shouldn’t be stubborn in this way. They need assets to get good again more than they need to worry about who is good whilst they rebuild. It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business. With all the previous assumptions in place, Chicago would want badly to acquire Melo via sign and trade while keeping together as good of a team as possible. This means no trading of Taj Gibson, and ideally no trading of Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic. Can Chicago keep all three, acquire Melo, build a brilliant team and do it all within the confines of the Collective Bargaining Agreement? Just about. Here’s how.   STEP ONE: Amnesty Carlos Boozer. Thereby expunging his $16.8 million salary from the cap number, if not the payroll. Note that amnestying Boozer does not immediately put the Bulls under the salary cap, due to their […]

Posted by at 1:27 AM

Tampering, What It Is, And How Not To Not Quite Do It
June 22nd, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) A report from the Chicago Sun Times’s Joe Cowley is currently doing the rounds, providing as it does an intriguing look into the conduct of Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, and a fresh perspective on the comprehensively documented possibility of Carmelo Anthony joining the Chicago Bulls. The report focuses on Thibodeau, and his garnering of background knowledge on Anthony from those connected with him in the past. This is a perfectly acceptable and normal thing to do. What stokes the fire in this instance, however, is that the report uses rather incendiary language that suggests things are not as perfectly acceptable as they ought be. It starts thusly: According to one of Anthony‚Äôs former coaches, Thibodeau has reached out to him and to several other coaches who have worked with Anthony with numerous calls. This sentence reads in more than one way, but if the ‘him’ is assumed to be the former coach that Cowley spoke to, things are all right so far. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone outside of the NBA in an attempt to garner information about someone inside it. Later on, however, things get more contentious: That the Bulls are in full-court-press mode on Anthony comes as no surprise, considering center Joakim Noah courted him during All-Star Weekend in February and continued the recruitment throughout the second half of the season. That is probably not good. Players talk to each other and certainly are permitted to do – a situation by which they could not do so at all would be patently ridiculous. But they cannot talk about certain things. Tampering is not an especially well understood concept amongst fans and media alike, yet it is clearly defined. Section (e) of Exhibit A of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement defines […]

Posted by at 1:32 AM

2010 Summer League Rosters: New York Knicks
July 15th, 2010

Eric Boateng Boateng is an English centre who played one year at Duke, before transferring to Arizona State, where he just completed his senior season. He barely played at all in his first four seasons, but finally got a chance to play last year, and responded with averages of 8.8ppg and 7.2rpg on 66% shooting. However, even though he turns 25 in November, Boateng is still an incredibly raw player. He turned it over 2.1 times per game in only 27 minutes, despite not taking any dribbles at any point, and shot only 50% from the foul line. He’s also not much of a shot-blocker; essentially, he’s a 6’10 slightly above average rebounder. Boateng will play for the Great Britain national team this summer, but mainly others won’t. Joel Freeland and Ben Gordon just dropped out this week due to injury, and earlier, Robert Archibald had also pulled out. Nick George and Andy Betts have also pulled out, leaving the team with almost no quality left on it, and its chances of qualifying for Eurobasket 2011 in tatters. This is why Luol Deng is so unbelievably freaking important to us. He is now our everything. Anyway, I’ve tangented. Jaycee Carroll Carroll was covered in the Celtics summer league roster round-up of last week. He starred for Boston, averaging 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, showing the all-around offensive game for which he is known. Warren Carter Carter signed with the Knicks for training camp last season, but lost out on a roster spot. The Knicks kept Marcus Landry at small forward, and left the 15th post open – unbeknownst to us all, they were saving it for Jonathan Bender. Carter therefore went to Greece to play for Ilysiakos, averaging 12.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 fouls per […]

Posted by at 10:12 AM

The amount of cap room teams will actually have, updated, again
July 8th, 2010

This is an update of the update of the earlier post that detailed the amount of cap room teams will have. It is updated to reflect everything that happened at the draft, including, in the case of the Kirk Hinrich trade, things that haven’t happened that soon will. More importantly, it is updated to reflect the fact that we now know where the salary cap is going to be; with the calculations all down, the NBA has announced that the salary cap for the 2010/11 season will be higher that expected, coming in at $58,044,000. After all that, it went up from last year. Other than those things, this is a carbon copy of the initial post. In this edition, there are no entries for teams irrelevant to cap space, because I can’t be bothered. If those teams make moves to become relevant, they will get mentioned later.     Chicago Bulls Committed salary for 2010/11: $31,850,976 (view full forecast) Projected cap space: $19,420,366 The projected figure is based around the as-yet-uncompleted trade that will send Kirk Hinrich and the #17 pick to Washington, in exchange for pretty much nothing. That trade will leave the Bulls with only five players under contract – Luol Deng, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, James Johnson, Taj Gibson – with no cap holds from draft picks. If we assume that that move goes down unchanged and that all free agents are renounced, the Bulls salary situation then looks like this; Luol Deng = $11,345,000Derrick Rose = $5,546,160Joakim Noah = $3,128,536James Johnson = $1,713,600Taj Gibson = $1,117,680 Seven roster charges = $473,604 * 7 = $3,788,832. Total = $26,166,204 Cap space to $58.044 million cap = $31,877,796 The Bulls have already agreed to sign Carlos Boozer to a deal reportedly worth $75 million. How they will structure that […]

Posted by at 6:49 AM

The Finances Of The Trade Deadline Deals
February 21st, 2010

In the last week, more than 10% of the NBA was rehomed. 17 teams conspired to make 13 trades, and 43 players in the league were traded (along with one that isn’t in it). A possible 14 draft picks changed hands, too, along with enough cash to support Iceland for a week. Three players were waived to accommodate incoming players (Chris Richard, Ricky Davis, Kenny Thomas), and one just wasn’t asked back (Garrett Temple; re-signed since this intro was written). Trades ranged from the hugely significant (Kevin Martin) to the underwhelming (Theo Ratliff). To use a phrase I use way too much, there truly was something for everyone. Unless you’re a Heat fan. (Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes also managed to achieve the dubious honour of being traded at three consecutive trade deadlines, with Gooden compounding his misery by compiling four trades in that time. It also seems reasonably inevitable that Gooden will be bought out by his new team (the L.A. Clippers), making him possibly the first player ever to be salary dumped at the deadline, only to be bought out and sign with a contender, in consecutive seasons. Congratulations, I think.) While I was personally a bit gutted that my Adam Morrison and Memphis’ second rounder for Steven Hunter trade idea did not go down, I was nonetheless stoked about this fine series of events, as I’m sure you were too. Deadline day is second only to draft night in its badassity; there’s something soothingly pathetic/pathetically soothing about cancelling all engagements, sitting indoors and mashing refresh until your eyes catch fire. I know you understand this, or else you wouldn’t be reading this website. As is usual around this time of year, many (if not most) of the completed trades were made primarily with financial motivations. This isn’t […]

Posted by at 6:01 PM

Knicks sign Jonathan Bender…..wait, what?
December 14th, 2009

I like to think that I keep my ear pretty close to the ground. If you’re going to know about such perfectly useless things as Kevin Burleson signing in Romania, then you kind of have to. Yet I had absolutely no idea that the Knicks were considering signing Jonathan Bender, nor that they were even able to. Quite literally shocked to see that headline today. Bender retired in February 2006 after being assumed to have been retired for a long while prior. He had begun to break out in the 2001-02 season when he averaged 7.4 points in 78 games for the Pacers, but not only was that the best he’d ever play, it was also the most he’d ever play. Bender’s games played total plummeted from there on out; from 78 in 2001/02, to 46 in 2002/03, to 21 in 2003/04, to 7 in 2004/05, to only 2 in 2005/06. He suffered from a degenerative knee condition that caused chronic pain due to the destruction of the knee’s cartilage, and there was no way back from that, forcing his retirement. There still isn’t, really, which is why I wrote this when we last covered Bender back in January: Jonathan Bender is still retired, and probably always will be. Apparently that was not true, though. Bender is now back, joining up with the general manager that traded for him and gave him the $28 million with which he built his business empire. The league once again has a seven-foot shooting guard, and not the Primoz Brezec type of seven-foot shooting guard. In his time away from the game, Bender has become a successful entrepreneur. He owns a charitable organisation – the Jonathan Bender foundation – as well as Jonathan Bender Enterprises, a real estate development and property management company. Both […]

Posted by at 6:26 AM

Where Are They Now: 2009 NBA Summer League Teams Part 3
September 3rd, 2009

It’s been roughly two months since summer league started, and most of the players involved have been rehomed now. The following is a list of where everybody currently is, or where they might be going. This list gets a bit long, so if you want to just skip to your favoured team, you can do so. I’ll allow that.   New York Knicks – Wink Adams: Adams is signed with Oyak Renault Bursa in Turkey. – Alex Acker: Almost as soon as he was back in it, Acker is out of the NBA again. He is signed with Armani Jeans Milano in Italy. – Blake Ahearn: See Nets/Sixers entry. – Morris Almond: Almond is unsigned. I haven’t heard anything about him agreeing to a training camp invite anywhere, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was with the Knicks. – Warren Carter: Unsigned. – Joe Crawford: Crawford is, and always was, under contract through 2010. So he’s going to camp. – Toney Douglas: Douglas shot badly in summer league, but passed for an impressive seven assists per game. If he’s going to try and reinvent himself as a playmaking guard in the up-tempo system, then that’s a pretty good start. However, the entire team shot less than 39% for the tournament, which is less complimentary of Douglas’s offence-running skills. – Patrick Ewing Jr: Ewing missed summer league with injuries. He is unsigned, and sounds like a training camp candidate. – Jordan Hill: Jordan Hill may well prove to be the second-best big man in this draft. This says more about the draft than Jordan Hill. – Ron Howard: Unsigned. – Yaroslav Korolev: For the Knicks to have thought they could have gotten anything out of Yaroslav Korolev was ambitious. Although not nearly […]

Posted by at 6:09 AM

2009 NBA Summer League round-up: New York Knicks
July 15th, 2009

– Wink Adams: Adams just graduated from UNLV, where his senior season numbers were down across the board. He averaged 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists, shooting only 37% from the field. As a general rule, 6’0 guards that shoot 37% don’t make it in the NBA, but Wink clearly has something to show.   – Alex Acker: Acker started last year with the Pistons, who salary-dumped him onto the Clippers. He scored 63 points on 65 shots in the NBA last year, which isn’t good efficiency. He also spent four games on assignment to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, averaging 18.0 points and 5.3 rebounds, but the Clippers declined his team option and didn’t make him a restricted free agent. That’s not a glowing endorsement.   – Blake Ahearn: Ahearn was covered here. If he can show some rudimentary point guard skills suited to the Knicks’ high octane offence, then he has a chance. But the Knicks are damn short of roster spots. They have 16 under contract already, and that’s before a single free agency move. This presents a problem for Ahearn.   – Morris Almond: Utah are so tax concerned right now that they had to decline Almond’s third year option, even though it was very cheap and he didn’t really do anything wrong. Almond doesn’t have a complete all-around game – he’s pretty much only a scorer. But even though he barely played in the NBA, and didn’t do much in his time in it, he was drafted to be a scorer, and score he did. He averaged 25.6 points per game in the D-League in 2007/08, and last year averaged 22.4 points in 29.8 minutes. Of course, Almond didn’t pass at all to score that many, averaging 1.1 assists per game. But he scored […]

Posted by at 1:45 AM

Liquorice Allsorts
December 25th, 2008

1) As you may know, Houston traded Steve Francis, a 2009 second-round draft pick and cash to Memphis for a conditional 2011 second-round pick. Memphis’s end of this is simple – they got their pick back for free. Houston gave them Francis, enough money to pay him for the rest of the year (or most of it, at least), and Memphis’s own second-rounder next year, which they’d previously given to Houston while moving up in the draft this summer. In return, Memphis only gave them a conditional second in 2011, which will be like top 55 protected or something, so they won’t even lose it anyway. They can now either waive Francis without fear of reprisal, get a free look at him as a player (unlikely), or keep him as an expiring. But more importantly, they’re getting their high second-rounder back. for no cost. It’s a good move. As for Houston, they give up a second that they don’t need in order to get under the luxury tax. It’s a good move for them, too. But here’s the real important thing: I TOTALLY called it. In a previous post, I wrote this: (After Antonio McDyess’s buyout, Denver is now no more than a small dollop over their eternal enemy, the luxury tax threshold. If they waft a pick Memphis’s way, they should be able to dump Chucky Atkins, whose salary for next year is only $760,000 guaranteed, thus not affecting Memphis’s 2009 cap space plan much. This move gets Denver under the tax, finally, and it need only cost them the pick that they got from Charlotte for Alexis Ajinca to do it. Also note that I’m just an ideas man, not a soothsayer. Houston would be sensible to do much the same with Steve Francis, who is entirely surplus […]

Posted by at 12:35 AM

30 teams in 36 or so days: New York Knicks
September 29th, 2007

Players acquired via free agency or trade: Zach Randolph (acquired from Portland) Dan Dickau (acquired from Portland) Fred Jones (acquired from Portland)   Players acquired via draft: First round: Wilson Chandler (23rd overall) Second round: Demetris Nichols (53rd overall, rights acquired from Portland, not yet signed)   Players retained: Malik Rose (opted in)   Players departed: Kelvin Cato (unsigned) Channing Frye (traded to Portland) Steve Francis (traded to Portland)   Bobbins: If he has not done so already, Isiah Thomas needs to write an autobiography. Actually, he needs to write about three. One about his time as a player, one as a General Manager, and one for amusing miscellany. I can safely say without a shadow of a doubt that I would buy all three. Not even a moment’s hesitation needed. And I think the same applies to about half of you. Maybe give him his own TV channel, and just run endless documentaries on him. I’d watch them. There’s just too much stuff going on at all times where Isiah Thomas is concerned. Win or lose (but normally lose), these Isiah-led Knicks have been an absolute fixture at the top of the NBA’s “did you hear this?” listings. From the moment he took over, ‘forfeiting’ the ‘future’ of the franchise by trading for Stephon Marbury (the notion that Milos Vujanic constituted most of the Knicks future is still funny), Isiah has continued to dumbfound, amaze and amuse in equal measures. Whether it be by making the type of trade for which they had to invent their own category (“A Trade Only Isiah Could Make”), or for one of many stories that come out about him (such as his role in instigating the brawl against Denver, or wanting to kill Bill Simmons, which is the Tarantino film they never made […]

Posted by at 11:54 PM

Why aren’t NBA players loyal?
September 6th, 2007

Why aren’t NBA players loyal to their teams, such as how the fans are, and such as how the fans think that they should be? Ask Fred Jones. Jonesy signed with Toronto for three years and $9.9 million in July 2006, as a part of the Raptors’ cap room spending that season. The third year of the contract was a player option year, for $3.5 million. Upon being traded in February of this year to Portland in exchange for Juan Dixon, Jones agreed to forego his player option year as a part of the trade, a decision that, once made, cannot be recanted. Jones explained his acceptance to do this as such: “From seeing the team, knowing some of the players and knowing the direction they’re headed, I was more than happy to be a part of it”. Bless him. How sweet. Such gallantry and chivalry will serve him well in future life. Apparently, though, they aren’t good traits in this here NBA game. For it was barely four months later that Portland traded him once again, this time to New York as a part of the multi-player Zach Randolph deal. Still currently in New York, Jones is faced with the very real possibility of being waived by the Knicks, due to their present roster spots crunch and their desire to keep both Jared Jordan and Demetris Nichols. Jones was only included in the deal for his expiring contract, as was Dan Dickau – Dickau has already been waived, which doesn’t bode well for Jones. And if Jones does wind up getting waived, training camps have begun and most teams have full rosters. Barring a stroke of luck, the earliest return Fred would be looking at would be in early 2008. The irony is that Jones’ contract would not have […]

Posted by at 7:13 AM