NBA Chat With Larry Coon 4/11/14

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. Juan

    Are the Nets really “built for the postseason?” without Lopez. They strike me as a team who have some players, Livingston especially who can be schemed against in a series more easily than in one game. Plus they’ve become a team which shoots tons of jumpers, and who can’t rebound. Before, they were big, half-court, inside out. Now they are a jumpshooting team reliant on mismatches who can’t rebound.

    • Larry Coon

      Right — I think any appearance as being a playoff-ready team is somewhat of a façade. But then again, this is the east — they could make it to the ECF.

  2. Tim

    The SF position in this year’s FA class is definitely the deepest. If you were a gm with a little cap space (say Dallas) about how much would you offer the 3s below?

    Carmelo
    Deng
    Gay
    Ariza
    Hayward

    • Larry Coon

      There are plenty of people who think Carmelo will offer some team a discount in order to play there, but I don’t think that will be true — I think the team that signs him will have to pay his full max, which in his case will be about $23 million.

      For the rest of them, it depends on what the team’s plans are and what needs they have to fill. I think the days are winding down where a team can think about paying whatever salary a player might demand on the open market. I think we’re going to see more teams walking away rather than matching or beating other teams’ offers.

      That said, ballparks for these guys might be: Deng: $11 million; Gay: $10 million (and won’t opt out because he’s already signed for $19 million); Ariza $8-9 million; Hayward $13-15 million (driven up because he’s restricted).

  3. Ephus

    Can a player who has a player option negotiate for the contract that would replace the option year?

    For example, can Rudy Gay agree ahead of free agency to opt out of his $17.9 million year with an understanding that he would get a 4 year/48 million deal from the Kings as an unrestricted free agent, or is that considered circumvention?

    • Larry Coon

      Teams aren’t supposed to negotiate with free agents before they’re free agents, and that includes the team’s own free agents. That said, I’m sure there’d be at least a tacit understanding in place before the player opted-out.

  4. Charlie

    What is the likelihood of D’Antoni returning next season? Kobe has all but said he doesn’t want to play forum next season, but Mitch recently came out and said Kobe won’t be consulted on it. Why wouldn’t Mitch trust Kobe’s input after giving him $48 mil the next two years?

    But more importantly, do you think he will be here, and who are the top candidates to replace him? Who do you want to see replace him?

    • Larry Coon

      I’ve been hearing it both ways — they will keep him; they will fire him. Usually when that happens it means that different people are making up different versions of “inside” information. I personally don’t have any intel on what they’re going to do.

      That said, I think they keep him unless circumstances come up over the summer dictating that they fire him. If LeBron James falls into their laps and says he’s going to sign but he doesn’t want to play for MDA, then that will dictate their course of events. That said, I think that since next year will be another transition year for the team, it’s more likely that D’Antoni plays out his contract.

      As for who should replace him if they do fire him, my friend Eric Pincus made a strong case that Kevin Ollie should be their next coach.

  5. Fans

    Not like Rockets would do that, just curious, if Rockets want to buyout Asik/Lin, how that money would be counted on the book? What if they agreed on a lower than 15M buyout?

    • Larry Coon

      A buyout is a mutually agreed upon decision — we’ll grant you your freedom, in exchange for which you’ll give us a discount on your salary guarantee. So in general, the amount that counts against the cap is whatever amount the two sides agree to.

      That said, the “Gilbert Arenas Provision” signings (Lin, Asik and Landry Fields) add an interesting complication. They are paid approximately $5M, $5M, $15M for their three seasons, but the cap hit is averaged: $8.3M, $8.3M, $8.3M. This means that Lin & Asik will be paid $15M but will be on the books for just $8.3M next season.

      So let’s say that one of them wants out, and they agree to take $1 million less — i.e., $14 million instead of $15 million. I -think- but I’m not sure that the rule for waived players would override the rule for the Gilbert Arenas provision in this case, and the cap hit for the team would jump to $14 million. This is just one of those weird cases that may not even be defined — I certainly haven’t thought about it until now.

  6. Charlie

    Who do the Lakers draft this year, in your opinion? Both most likely and ideally

    • Larry Coon

      Obviously it depends on what pick they end up with. Right now they have the sixth worst record, with an important game coming up with Utah (currently fifth worst). It’s a “must lose” game for both teams.

      With the sixth-worst record they’d have a 21.5% chance of ending up with one of the top three picks. They couldn’t get the fourth or fifth picks, would have about a 44% chance of picking sixth, and about a 24% chance of picking seventh. They could even pick eighth or ninth, but the odds are low.

      If they move into the fifth spot they have a 29.2% chance of being in the top three; can’t pick fourth; and have a 91.3% chance of being in the top six. That’s a big difference.

      As to whom they’d draft, if they got lucky enough to get the first pick I say they take Wiggins. Beyond that, you’re going to have to consult the draft experts to see how the chips may fall — there are just too many variables right now.

  7. Dan

    As a fan I’d be happy with the Lakers stinking again next year and try to keep their protected pick. Do you think that’s a realistic possibility?

    • Larry Coon

      This season has been the worst season (record wise) in LA Lakers history, and they’re still only the sixth-worst team (record wise). To keep their pick, the Lakers would have to have another at least equally disastrous season AND get helped-out in the Lottery.

      I think the Lakers have bottomed-out this year, and next year will be a lot better. I think the odds are pretty miniscule of them keeping their pick.

  8. Dan

    Follow up to question I asked about the Lakers 2015 pick. It’s top 5 protected. Lets say they finish with the 5th worst record. Would they keep the pick or could they get jumped in the lottery and lose it?

    • Larry Coon

      Fifth worst record just means you get X number of chances in the lottery drawing (I think it’s around 88 out of 1,000). They’ll hold the lottery, and if the Lakers end up with one of the top five picks they’ll keep it; otherwise it’ll be conveyed to Phoenix.

  9. Chris Mosca

    When the next CBA is drafted, what do you think the NBA and NBPA will fight about this time?
    Revenue sharing was a hot topic.
    Also, do you like how teams have to opt into a rookie contract at the beginning of next season to retain the player in 2015-2016?

    • Larry Coon

      The last negotiation was about sustainability. The teams were losing money, and the league fought to replace the current system with a new one that helped the teams become and stay profitable. Part of it was revenue sharing, but a lot of it was salary control — which came in the form of the players taking a smaller cut, the luxury tax penalties being substantially increased (which also helped spread money around), and system changes further restricting teams’ spending power. The owners got what they wanted out of the negotiations.

      The next negotiation will be about the players trying to reclaim a bigger share, because: 1) The teams are now much more profitable; and 2) The new TV deals should increase the amount of cash coming in.

      I think the next one will be shorter than the last one. In the last one, the owners were faced with an unsustainable system, so they were willing to live with the consequences of drawing a line in the sand. In the next one it’ll be a matter of deciding how to best share a windfall. I think the owners will give back a little on the percentage, and they’ll be back in business. In this case — unlike last time — the consequences to the owners for NOT coming to an agreement will be much greater.

  10. Charlie

    How do the Lakers get back on track? If you were Mitch, what would be your plan of attack to regain relevancy and title aspirations?

    • Larry Coon

      I think Kobe’s extension sets their clock back one year (which they don’t really mind, since unless LeBron James drops into their laps there aren’t any free agents that really make them contenders right away). So here’s what I think their plan is:

      This summer:

      * Draft best talent available

      * Sign solid supporting player as a FA. Candidates include Deng, Stephenson, Lowry. Probably not restricted free agents like Bledsoe & Hayward, because they will be overpriced. Idea is not to hurt their spending power next summer.

      * Re-sign some of the younger players from this season, like Bazemore, Henry, Kelly, Marshall.

      * Maybe keep some of the veterans, if the price is right: Meeks (especially), Gasol (if he takes a discount), Farmar. Nick Young probably opts out & leaves. I don’t think Hill comes back either.

      * Don’t waive & stretch Steve Nash.

      2014-15 then becomes another transition year. The idea is not to hurt their 2015 spending power.

      Next summer:

      * Sign a premier free agent, with Kevin Love being the obvious target.

      Summer 2016:

      * Kobe’s contract expires, he comes off the books, and the team then has room to chase another premier free agent.

      The rebuild should then be complete (or near to it) for the 2016-17 season.

  11. Sam

    Many analysts have been saying Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and Los Angeles are all possible options for either Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love. Why is no one talking about Boston?

    With a large list of assets and a front office willing to make a splash, do you think Celtics have the chance to make any big deals this summer regarding Anthony or Love?

    • Larry Coon

      Acquiring Love would require a trade (he’s signed through next year). Rondo is the Celts’ best trade asset, but the team already has Rubio, so they’d have to figure out what to do with him. Plus they’d likely want some assurance that Rondo would want to stick around — Sacramento already passed on him because he wouldn’t give them that kind of assurance. It just doesn’t seem like a good fit.

      As I said elsewhere in this chat, I don’t think Anthony is giving anyone any discounts. To trade for a $23 million player they’d need to send out about $18 million. That’s Rondo and Bogans (who’s VERY tradeable as salary ballast) at least. Would Rondo, Bogans and a couple of the Celtics’ bankroll of picks be enough to get a deal done? It’d be tempting for New York, but does Melo or the Celtics go along with it? The same attribute that makes them contemplate moving Rondo (he’s 29, and the team is rebuilding) is shared by Melo (30). And are the Celtics sans Rondo with Anthony going to win?

  12. Larry Coon

    I’m a “draft for value” rather than a “draft for need” guy. You take the best player available, because you can always work it out later by moving someone. Needs change, but talent is talent.

    And just a postscript — I’m not a draft expert, but I’m getting a lot of draft-related questions. I’m going to pass on the rest of them, because 1) You really should be asking the draft experts these questions — they’re the ones who have been watching every college game these guys have played; and 2) It will let me focus on the kinds of questions that I’m really the only one who can answer.