NBA Chat With Larry Coon 2/21/14

Larry_Coon_ChatLarry Coon the noted author of the CBAFAQ, will answer your Salary Cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement questions. Larry will answers your questions about the Salary Cap, NBA trades and the CBA at 3:00pm et

  1. josh

    Can a team release a player and then re-sign the player with cap space after getting player to agree to a buyout of a future year? For instance Big Baby’s contract. Orlando has about $5 million under the cap. Could they have released him, gotten him to agree to buyout next year’s salary, then re-signed him and paid him next year’s salary this year to have him entirely off the cap next year?

    • Larry Coon

      No, because a buyout doesn’t affect the seasons to which the salary is charged, only the amount. They have the option to stretch his salary (since he signed under the current CBA), but that LENGTHENS the cap hit; it doesn’t shorten it.

  2. Tim

    Does the Clippers go down to luxury line after all the trades? why doesnt they accept NYK’s offer? Thanks

    • Larry Coon

      The Clippers are still $262,232 over the tax line. Missed it by *that* much.

      Not that I think it matters — they’re going to be watching the waiver wire, and will sign a player or two. Right now their roster is 12 — they HAVE to bump it up to at least 13.

      Hard to tell what would have happened had Shumpert not been injured right before the trade deadline. It could be that with Redick out, they were only willing to make a deal if the player could step in right away. Or it could be that the injury just scared them off — especially since it was to the same knee that he hurt before.

      If healthy, he would have been an interesting acquisition for them, that’s for sure.

  3. Mike

    Can Nets sign big baby davis once he clears waivers using the DPE?

    • Larry Coon

      Yes. Their Disabled Player Exception expires on March 10. As long as they do so before then, they can sign anyone they want (to a rest-of-season contract).

  4. Alfredo

    The Clippers had a chance to go under the tax by dumping Willie Green, but instead opted to dump Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens. Now they’re tax payers. What does this say about Donald Sterling’s “trust” in Doc Rivers? Has he turned into Dr. Jerry Buss 2.0? (Tongue-in-cheek)

    CBA-speaking, what types of contracts will the Clippers be able to offer next season? I know the Bi-Annual contract returns, but what about the Mid-Level? And there is a rumor that Danny Granger may come to the Clips after the buy out business is cleared up. Will he ask for “star money” or something less? Could the acquisition of Granger hamper the Clipper’s chances at signing Carmelo Anthony as a free agent, even if a sign-and-trade is required?

    • Larry Coon

      You win today’s award for most questions in one post.

      Yes, it’s true that the Clippers are now taxpayers. Hell has frozen over, dogs & cats living together, sign of the apocalypse, yada yada.

      They didn’t go FAR over the tax line — they are just $262,232 over, and their tax bill will be $393,348 (barring any other signings). But they do forfeit their tax distribution, which goes only to non-taxpaying teams.

      The Clippers told me directly at the start of training camp — this year they’re going for it. That means paying the tax if they have to. Yes, they could have gone under by doing different deals, but I think they’re planning to add more players by watching the waiver wire (as you suggested), so they would have gone back over the tax line anyway. Frankly, the hard cap was more of a problem for them than the tax line — they needed room to operate. As I wrote in my ESPN Insider article this week, the Clippers were the most impacted of the 10 teams that were hard-capped. Now they’re $3.7 million under it.

      Is it a new leaf for Donald Sterling? This is a trend that’s been happening for several years. He’s been willing to pay for good players, he’s shown he’s willing to pay for the right coach (in previous years they were notoriously cheap when it came to paying coaches — one of the reasons they had Vinny Del Negro), and now he’s shown that he’s willing to pay luxury tax in order to field a winner.

      For next season they’re already committed to $73.7 million, so they’ll just have their mid-level and bi-annual exceptions. Darren Collison has an option, so they may have to deal with his free agency (either re-signing him or replacing him). Other than that, only Ryan Hollins & Hedo Turkoglu are unsigned. They’ll also have their own first round pick (somewhere around #25). So it looks like they may be able to spend their full mid-level exception (if the team ends up more than $4 million over the tax line, they can only spend the smaller, taxpayer mid-level).

      If Granger comes to the Clips, it’d have to be for the minimum salary, and the team wouldn’t have Bird rights to him this summer. He wouldn’t impact the team’s summer plans at all.

      Acquiring Carmelo Anthony would require a sign-and-trade, and the Clips would have to send out a LOT of salary to get him — they can’t do it if they finish the deal more than $4 million over the tax line. They’re not moving Blake or CP3 for him — we’re talking something like Jordan + Redick + Dudley if they want to get it done. I don’t see that happening.

  5. Zed

    Do you expect Nikola Mirotic to be signed in time to play in the Summer League, if so, would he likely play?

    • Larry Coon

      Depends on what the Bulls can afford to pay him. Word is that he’s not coming over cheaply. If the Bulls want to clear enough salary for someone like Carmelo Anthony, it’s going to be tough to give Mirotic the money he’s going to demand.

  6. AC

    Would Granger make a good fit in Miami. It appears he’s lost a step, and may not provide what the HEAT need to make a run for the ‘Chip.

    • Larry Coon

      The two main roadblocks standing in the way of another Heat title are the Pacers and Dwyane Wade’s skills & health. I don’t think Granger helps them with either one of those, except for the extra intel he can give them for playing against the Pacers.

  7. Chris

    With the Magic buying our Glen Davis, will his salary be cleared from the books at the end of this season or will it still count against the cap through the end of 2014-15, when his contract would have expired?

    • Larry Coon

      I don’t have any information on Davis’ buyout amount yet — it’s possible (but unlikely) they negotiated zero salary protection, in which case he’d come off the books right away.

      But it’s more likely they either negotiated a discount or waived him without renegotiating his guarantee. In that event his salary continues to count against the team’s cap this season & next — the same two seasons to which he was signed.

      Since he signed under the current CBA, his salary payments are stretched. The team can also elect to stretch his cap hit. Since we’re in the middle of the season, the current season would continue to count against the cap as-is, and next season would be stretched out over three seasons.

  8. Joe

    Why are first round picks seemingly a lot more valuable in this CBA than the last one?

    • Larry Coon

      Greater restraint on team payrolls means “value” contracts are increasingly more valuable. First round picks have scale salaries for four years, which provides a lot of value (provided the player pans out).

  9. Mike S

    What are the rules for etos can they be written into contacts at any year or just after the 3rd or 4th like lbjs and bosh’s

    • Larry Coon

      No, an ETO can’t appear sooner than the end of the fourth season of a contract. This means that under the current CBA, an ETO can only occur in a five-year contract, and only players who re-sign with their previous teams are eligible for five year contracts).

  10. LakerTom

    Larry, do the Lakers lose their full MLE next year because they will be a tax payer this year? I thought the totals all reset on July 1st and if the Lakers are under the cap at that point, it doesn’t matter whether they were a taxpayer last year. Is that correct? Thanks.

    • Larry Coon

      A team can use it’s full mid-level so long as their team salary doesn’t exceed the tax line by more than $4 million after the signing. The team will probably be far below the cap by this summer, so this won’t be a problem for them.

      But they might have the opposite problem, where they DO lose their full mid-level. If a team gets so far below the cap that they actually have cap room to spend, then they lose their exceptions. What they’d get in its place is called the “room” mid-level, which starts around $2.5 million.

      But you’re right — whether a team has its mid-level has nothing to do with its tax status the previous year.

  11. Adrian

    Pls remind me how luxury tax works for players that don’t play a whole season for a team. If it’s a trade, then it’s a whole season, right? (ie. Nets pay tax based on Thornton, not on Terry/Evans). What about a non-guaranteed contract that gets cut before guarantee (say, Shawne Williams)? Or somehow joining a team end of season (say, Bynum on Pacers)

    • Larry Coon

      Luxury tax is based on the team’s roster on the last day of the regular season, and they count the full-season salaries for all of their players on that date. So, as you said, the Nets’ tax would reflect Thornton’s full salary, but not Terry or Evans.

      If a player was waived, then any amount paid (because of a contract guarantee, or salary paid up to the waiver date) counts toward the tax.

      There are small variations, where players’ taxable salaries aren’t the same as their actual salaries, but none of these variances apply to the Nets this year.

  12. Mike

    Hi Larry, How do contracts like Lin/Asik’s work? How are the Rockets able to give such a large jump in the third year of a player’s salary.

  13. Joe

    How many NBA franchises do you think will be profitable at the end of this year and is it enough that the owners will not ask for big changes at the next CBA?

    • Larry Coon

      Due to revenue sharing I think most teams will be in the black — 29 of 30 teams were originally projected to be profitable by this season.

      The other big affect the CBA had was on franchise values, which have skyrocketed.

      It’s entirely possible that the owners won’t want to upset a good thing, and won’t out-out of the CBA — especially if the new TV deal brings-in a lot of new cash, as expected. But it’s pretty likely that if the league is in a great financial situation and there’s a new influx of cash, then the players will want to share in the profits, and THEY will opt out.

      The story behind the 2011 lockout was that the league was in financial trouble, so the players had to make concessions. If that’s no longer the case, then the players won’t want to continue with an agreement that’s reflective of the 2011 situation.

  14. Mark

    What buyout-deadline moves can the HEAT make to counter the recent acquisition of Turner in Indy, and OKC that will have a rejuvenated Westbrook come playoff time?

    • Larry Coon

      Dial back the clock about two years? These guys (Wade, Battier, Allen) are getting old. They almost didn’t make it last year, and I don’t see them as being better off this year. I think the rest of the league has caught up to them. Nothing they can pick up off the waiver wire is going to make that kind of difference.

  15. Ali

    Do u think that davis will end up playing for heat this he a free agent now?

    • Larry Coon

      Davis has to clear waivers first, which takes 48 hours.

      I think it’s more likely he has a reunion with Doc Rivers in LA.