NBA AM: 76ers Are Open For Business

The Philadelphia 76ers have a ton of cap room, a roster full of pieces and a desire to deal. … Why the push-back on George Karl? … Some new tools for salaries.

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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The 76ers Open For Business:  While this isn’t necessarily news, the Philadelphia 76ers are open for business.

What does that really mean? The 76ers have cap space, they have young guys and they have a willingness to deal – if the price is right.

There has been a lot of talk all year about the status of guard Michael Carter-Williams and a sense that the 76ers may move him, especially if it returns the right kind of assets.

That’s the key phrase with the 76ers: the right kind of assets.

The 76ers know full well they are nowhere close to being a playoff team and they will keep swinging at the draft until they start producing impact players. Carter-Williams has been the most productive player on the roster, but he is far from the franchise cornerstone the 76ers are looking for, even before the toe injury that’s parked him on the sideline.

That’s where the rumors involving his name come from. It’s not so much a desire to move him as a realization that he probably isn’t a good enough shooter to lead a playoff team and his personality has grated on some of his teammates. 76ers head Brett Brown likes Carter-Williams’ passion, but as the 76ers continue to organize their pieces Carter-Williams may be the odd man out in the long-term.

In the short-term, there are no issues that are prompting the 76ers to sell him off, but they’d listen to calls and offers.

The Sixers have for some time been willing to rent their cap space in exchange for draft picks or rookie-scale players and that doesn’t look like it will change at the deadline.

The 76ers have a ton of low dollar, somewhat disposable guys so making a deal that offloads an ugly contract to the 76ers in exchange for a cheaper guy to play or waive isn’t out the realm of possibility.

Philadelphia won’t be looking at things that downgrade their talent pool; in fact, they are looking to upgrade it either with proven rookie scale players or the chance to add more to the roster through the draft.

The 76ers are currently at $43.618 million in cap commits, which puts them $13.141 million under the so-called minimum salary cap “floor” meaning they will need to add salary at the trade deadline to meet the defined minimum team salary.

The way the minimum salary rule works is that the 76ers must meet the floor by the end of the season, or they must pay the balance to their existing roster. The NBA Players Association would determine how those funds are dispersed, likely in equal shares to all of the players on the roster.

The interesting part of the math on this is that as of today 61.7 percent of all NBA contracts have been paid, so while the 76ers need to obtain $13.141 million in contract value, the actual cash outlay would be closer to $5.033 million.

So as the deadline approaches, the 76ers are actually quite motivated to take on extra contract value, as failing to do so is pretty hefty swing. Taking on $13.14 million in contract value actually saves the franchise about $8.1 million in cash.

So you can expect the 76ers to be active.

The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline is February 19 at 3 p.m. EST.

Why The Debate On George Karl:  The Sacramento Kings appear to have a framework of a contract together for George Karl with both sides settling in on what’s believed to be a four-year deal worth $16-$20 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The holdup remains the large swell of people involved in the Kings organization that are not sold that Karl is the best long-term hire for the team and those voices have gotten increasingly louder.

Sam Amick of USA Today Sports reported yesterday that Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive has given full authority to Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro to make the call on a coaching change.

There are a few things still at play, namely that Karl plans to attend the funeral of former UNC coach Dean Smith – his longtime friend and mentor – and the upcoming All-Star break.

Several outlets have reported that current Kings coach Ty Corbin was told he would coach the remaining games up to the All-Star break, with the belief that Karl would be named head coach shortly thereafter and would take over the team once the break concludes.

There have also been reports that some of the Kings players have voiced concern about Karl as a head coach, mainly due to his history of calling players out in the media and clashing with star-level players such as Ray Allen when they were together in Milwaukee and Carmelo Anthony when the two were in Denver.

While Karl has many detractors among the players he’s coached, there are equally as many that still seek his advice and counsel.

Sources close to the situation say many of the Nuggets players Karl coached in Denver still text Karl after games and ask his advice on matchups and style of play.

There was a narrative that Kings star DeMarcus Cousins and his agents Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana had objections to Karl as a hire. Sources close to that process said they had never voiced objection, just concern over the radical changes the team has made over the last 12 months and how that was affecting their client.

It seems inevitable that Karl is going to land the Kings job, but the way this played out in the media certainly puts Karl at a disadvantage because the first questions he is going to have to deal with is whether his locker room really wants him there. That’s a tough place to start when taking over a team.

Karl has coached 25 seasons in the NBA for five different teams. Karl has a career record of 1131-756 (.599). The knock on Karl is he historically has won a ton of regular season games but hasn’t put together nearly the same kind postseason record, coaching in 185 playoff games with a record of 80-105 (.432). When you back out Karl’s tenure in Seattle, his most successful stint as a coach, his playoff record drops to 35-56 (.384).

Since 2006, the Kings have had seven head coaches, so when Karl is hired that will make eight coaches in eight seasons.

Fun With Numbers:  We here at Basketball Insiders are rather proud of our NBA Salaries data. We like to think we offer the most accurate and complete accounting of each NBA team and where they are in the grand scheme. Eric Pincus powers the bulk of that and you can find all of the team data here.

We recently added some new tools to our system and will be working to integrate them into the site in the coming days.

But for now, here are some things you might find interesting:

Here is how salaries for the current season break down so far:

Position Total
PF 140 $538,531,261 $3,846,652 $538,531,261 $3,846,652
SG 121 $413,758,731 $3,419,494 $413,758,731 $3,419,494
PG 117 $411,947,514 $3,520,919 $411,947,514 $3,520,919
C 90 $378,046,742 $4,200,519 $378,046,742 $4,200,519
SF 107 $344,980,336 $3,224,115 $344,980,336 $3,224,115
ALL 575 $2,087,264,584 $3,630,025 $2,087,264,584 $3,630,025

*** Keep in mind we track contracts issued, so if a player signs a 10-day deal for two different teams, we count those as two deals, even though they are the same person.

Here is how salaries committed for next season breakout:

Position Total
PG 81 $343,399,709 $4,239,503 $390,523,137 $4,821,273
PF 105 $304,779,505 $2,902,662 $384,873,636 $3,665,463
SG 91 $286,790,975 $3,151,549 $382,797,396 $4,206,565
C 75 $216,845,172 $2,891,269 $323,483,200 $4,313,109
SF 86 $197,558,935 $2,297,197 $313,048,017 $3,640,093
ALL 438 $1,349,374,296 $3,080,763 $1,794,725,386 $4,097,547

If you have ideas on salary tools that you’d like to see, drop a comment in the comment section below and we’ll consider it.

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Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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