The Louis Williams/Lucas Nogueira Trade
June 28th, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) In a trade agreed to last night, and perhaps already to have been made official by the time this sentence is finished, the Toronto Raptors agreed to trade John Salmons and his partially guaranteed contract to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Louis Williams and the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira. Toronto were previously on the cusp of trading Salmons to Memphis on draft night, along with the #37 pick, in exchange for Tayshaun Prince and the #22, the theory being that they intended to draft Canadian guard Tyler Ennis with their #20 pick and then taking young project Bruno Caboclo at #22. But when Ennis was taken 18th by Phoenix, the plan was scuppered, and the deal pulled. The Raptors would instead choose to wait for a better spot in which to use Salmons’s valuable unguaranteed contract. And they have now found it. Nogueira, the #16 pick in the 2013 draft, had been shopped by Atlanta in recent times. Despite averaging a very solid 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in only 16 minutes per game of Spanish ACB league option last season, the Hawks seemed to have other priorities, and have used those once-valued rights merely to dump some salary. Perhaps prompted to by Nogueira’s ongoing tendinitis problems – which are worryingly recurrent and severe for a 21 year old center whose game is largely based on his athleticism – Atlanta soured on this potential piece for the future in order to prioritise their present. They are not trading for John Salmons the player under any circumstance. Salmons has declined significantly, and despite a big minutes yield for the Raptors last season, he was mostly ineffective, shooting 36% on his way to a 7.6 PER. Nevertheless, his contract, which calls for a $7 million […]

Posted by at 1:31 AM

There IS a difference between “team option” and “unguaranteed”, and it DOES matter
July 3rd, 2013

Several years ago, I wrote a piece called Creative Financing in the NBA, that sought to address and highlight a few quirky salaries and salaries mechanisms handed about that season. In that piece, I also spent a long time addressing the difference between team options and unguaranteed salaries. Often times, unguaranteed salaries are reported in the mainstream press as being team options, even though the two mechanisms are different. And often times, this is fine, because the differences don’t really matter. Not to the casual fan, at least. Nevertheless, differences do exist. Some of the initial post is quoted below that explains these differences: Unguaranteed or partially guaranteed final seasons are becoming quite the trend in the NBA, and they are quickly replacing team options. In fact, there are only 11 team options in the entire league […] 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% of the scale amount). Nothing else has to be guaranteed, but it is self-evident that almost all are. Would you accept an unguaranteed contract as a player? Not without incentive to do so, no. It is self evident why so many contracts are fully guaranteed. Yet the unguaranteed contract fad has its basis in logic. In a lot of cases, 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) 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 upon by June […]

Posted by at 6:56 AM