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Posts Tagged ‘Salary Cap’

Dwyane Wade the Victim of Salary Cap Maximization Issues By His Agent and Team

July 15th, 2010 No comments
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Miami Heat general manager Pat Riley and salary cap expert Andy Elisburg have been widely praised not only for their ability to recruit LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller to join Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem in South Florida but also for their ability to structure their contracts to fit within the confines of a $58.044 million salary cap.

Wade, however, has reason to be less than thrilled.

Wade, James and Bosh were all eligible to receive maximum contracts with a starting salary of $16,568,908. However, in order to accommodate the contracts of Miller and Haslem, each took less. The first year salaries in the contracts of James and Bosh have been finalized at $14,500,000, while the first year salary for Wade has been finalized at $14,200,000.

Wade’s $300,000 shortfall will wind up costing him $2,272,500 over the life of his deal.

Wade took less than his Big Three cohorts in order to accommodate Haslem. But part or even all of that sacrifice was unnecessary. The Heat had the ability to create the necessary room to allow Wade’s contract to match that of James and Bosh, with room to spare, through the utilization of some creative maneuvering.

Understanding how this would have been possible necessitates an understanding of certain league rules.  Read more…

NBA Sets Salary Cap at $58.044 for 2010-11

July 7th, 2010 3 comments
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As we were all calmly processing the news that Chris Bosh will be joining Dwyane Wade here in Miami, and as we were all eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the LeBron James saga, Commissioner David Stern shocked us all by announcing Wednesday night that the salary cap for next season will be $58,044,000, nearly $2 million more than was projected just two months prior.

The new number, although a considerable increase from initial doomsday projections of $50.4 million issued one year ago, hasn’t created much fanfare around the league. That’s probably because it has absolutely no effect on 2/3 of its teams. But it could very well have a major impact for the Heat in its off-season planning. Read more…

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Salary cap expected to be released tonight

July 7th, 2010 17 comments
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UPDATE: The salary cap will be higher than the $56.1M projection, according to a league executive. The moratorium ends on Thursday morning at 12:01 AM and it will be when the NBA releases its official cap figure for the 10-11 season.

Well, it’s unofficially official. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each has publicly declared his intention to sign with the Miami Heat.

That leaves LeBron James as the only member of the triumvirate yet to make a decision.

There has been much discussion as to whether the Heat can actually afford to pay him the max within the confines of the salary cap. Of course, that depends on what the salary cap is.

The latest estimates provided by Commissioner David Stern, on April 16, called for a cap of $56.1 million. The final figure is expected to be released by tonight.

Keep these two figures in mind:

$55,986,936: If the cap meets or exceeds this figure, the Heat will be able to offer three max contracts IF it moves Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers

$56,367,721: If the cap meets or exceeds this figure, the Heat will be able to offer three max contracts IF it moves Michael Beasley

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Taking Stock of the Events of the Past 24 Hours

June 24th, 2010 No comments
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Draft night appears to be nothing more than a precursor to July 1 for Pat Riley and the Miami Heat this year.

Already poised to be a major player in the free agent sweepstakes that begin next week, Miami has just freed up an additional $3.4 million in extra spending money.

On Wednesday, the Heat traded guard Daequan Cook and the No. 18 pick in the upcoming draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for the No. 32 pick. The trade clears not only Cook’s $2.2 million salary for next season, but it also removes the $1.2 million the Heat had to budget for its first round pick.

More activity is likely, with the Heat still looking to clear additional space. The team’s first priority will be to move the burdensome contract of James Jones, but that appears nearly impossible to do. Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers could also be dealt. In the case of Chalmers, Miami need not worry about structuring a trade. A receiving team could utilize the minimum salary exception to acquire the second year guard.

Unless Miami makes a trade to move back up into the first round, it seems clear that the Heat prefers to rebuild in free agency, without the troubles of another potentially misguided first round selection.

The team still has four second round picks with which to work – Nos. 32, 41, 42 and 48. Look for Miami to construct a trade – possibly up, but more likely out – with some of them. For the rest, upon each player’s selection, he would become the property of the Heat for up to a year. The Heat is not required to offer a guaranteed contract to any of them in return. Unlike first round picks, second rounders do not reduce a team’s cap space immediately upon selection.

The draft is scheduled to start tomorrow at 7:00 pm, and should run through midnight. By the time it is over, the Heat will have gained additional clarity on its roster for next season. Center Joel Anthony is required to inform the team, by no later than tomorrow night, if he has chosen to exercise his player option in the amount of $885,120. If he does not do so, his contract will – by default – be terminated. It seems likely that Joel will opt out.

The team will decide whether or not to keep James Jones by June 30.

The Heat figures to enter the off-season with two players under contract, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, and a total guaranteed payroll of $7,672,629. With the cap projected at $56.1 million, Miami figures to have some $48,427,371 of available room. Read more…

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Calculating the Salary Cap

June 5th, 2010 No comments
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We’ve all been operating under the assumption of a $56.1 million projected salary cap, which was provided by Commissioner Stern prior to the playoffs. How did he come by that figure?

During July Moratorium, the league will project both basketball-related revenues (“Projected BRI”) and player benefits for the upcoming season. They will then look at the previous season’s Projected BRI to see if it was below the actual results (“BRI”). They will use these two data points to calculate the salary cap.

The league will take 51% of Projected BRI, subtract projected benefits, and make adjustments if the previous season’s BRI was below projections. They will then divide the result by the number of NBA teams to arrive at the cap.

( Projected BRI * 51% – Projected Benefits – (Projected BRI – BRI from last season, only if positive) ) / 30

This season’s BRI is almost certain to fall below original projections. I estimate that last July the league projected BRI growth of 1.6%. At the same time, they issued a warning that BRI could fall as much as 5%-10%, leading to original salary cap forecasts of $50.4 million to $53.6 million. The revised BRI decline of 0.5% then led to a bump in forecasts to $56.1 million.

Why would the league forecast BRI growth of 1.6% and issue a warning it could fall by as much as 10% at the same time?

The answer lies in how Projected BRI is determined. Read more…

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Exceeding the Salary Cap

June 1st, 2010 2 comments
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Given the constraints imposed by the number $56.1 million, we’re all searching for ways in which the collective bargaining agreement would allow the Heat to exceed the salary cap.

There are four primary mechanisms which the Heat will be able to utilize to exceed the cap: Read more…

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Lack of Playoff Competitiveness is Concerning

May 12th, 2010 No comments
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Commissioner David Stern shocked us all last month when he revealed that the league’s projection for the 2010/11 salary cap had changed to $56.1 million – a substantial increase from its earlier projections of as low as $50.4 million.

In the past few days, the good news has continued to pour in for the Heat.

Early indications that Riley’s strategy to rebuild in the 2010 offseason are promising. Chris Bosh is clearly up for grabs, after being shut out of the playoffs. Joe Johnson has expressed a desire to play in South Florida, and his sub-par playoff performance would have you believe he can no longer command a maximum contract. Raja Bell has been even more direct in his praise, suggesting that Riley need only to call him and make an offer. Carlos Boozers’ ousting from the playoffs was so abrupt one would have to think he will be considering his alternatives, as he rests comfortably in his Miami-area summer home. Several teams reportedly have varying forms of interest in the underachieving Michael Beasley, which could be useful when the time comes. And, best of all, LeBron James is about to bow out early from the playoffs, which could prompt free agency’s biggest-ever prize to take a closer look at The Big Apple (Here’s a funny pitch from New York Magazine) or The Big Party (as Shaq would have you believe).

Hidden beneath the surface, however, is a bit of bad news.

The playoffs have been shockingly uncompetitive.

The NBA now appears to be the league where sweeps happen. The Magic, Lakers and Suns all swiftly dispatched their second-round opponents, leaving only the Cavaliers and Celtics as entertainment value.

Regardless of whether LeBron is able to pull his team out from the doldrums and force a decisive Game 7 in Cleveland, the first two rounds of the playoffs will have the fewest number of games played since the NBA expanded to a best-of-seven first round format. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be either 62 or 63 games long, down from the seven-season average of 67.7 from 2003 to 2009. The previous low was 64 during the 2007 playoffs.

Even if the Cavs/Celtics series goes to seven games, along with each Conference Finals series and the NBA Finals, the 2010 NBA playoffs will fall short of average for total games in all rounds of the playoffs (84.7). In fact, the all-time low of 79 games — also set during the 2007 playoffs — is in serious jeopardy.

That’s bad news for Heat fans. Revenues generated by NBA playoff games, in all their various forms, directly affect the NBA’s Basketball-Related Income (or “BRI”) for the 2009/10 NBA season. This BRI, in turn, directly affects next season’s salary cap.

Depending on how Riley deals with his upcoming roster decisions, the Miami Heat could require a salary cap as low as $55,825,160 (and certainly no higher than $57,932,930) in order to be able to offer three maximum contracts.

The announcement of a $56.1 million projection was very encouraging. However, given that the projection was made prior to the start of the playoffs, it is safe to assume the record-setting pace of the playoffs was not incorporated.

In a postseason where every dollar generated counts, the dollars just aren’t flowing.

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The Heat’s Playoff Wishes

May 2nd, 2010 No comments
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Now that the Heat has been eliminated from contention, it is a bittersweet feeling to continue watching the playoffs. But there is still plenty to root for.

Next season’s salary cap is based on revenues generated by the league this season. That includes playoff ticket sales, concessions and parking. The longer each playoff series goes, the higher the upcoming cap will be. While the Heat didn’t do anything to help itself – bowing out in just five games – playoff attendance is actually up year-over-year. That could be a good sign.

Last month, Commissioner David Stern said the league is projecting the salary cap to come in around $56.1 million, good news for a Heat team looking to sign top stars during this summer’s expected free agency bonanza. While that figure would still be lower than this season’s $57.7 million cap and only the third time it’s ever fallen, it’s far better than estimates from last summer, when the league sent a memo to teams warning them of a potential sharp drop to between $50.4 million to $53.6 million.

But if the playoffs prove to be more profitable than projected in April, it would certainly be possible for the cap to rise even further. That’s quite meaningful for the Heat. Every dollar rise in the cap is another dollar that can be given to that potential third elite player, after offering max contracts to both Wade and a sidekick.

There are also subplots that should be considered. Each of the Heat’s potential primary targets, with the exception of Chris Bosh, has led his team into the second round of the playoffs. Any such successes can only provide more impetus for teams to offer up more money to retain their stars, and provide more incentive for these players to consider the status quo.

The message is this. Root for the Celtics, Magic, Lakers and Spurs to win their second round match-ups… in seven games.

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Let the games begin…

April 27th, 2010 No comments
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Now that the Miami Heat is eliminated from the playoffs, the 2010/11 rebuilding plan is officially underway.

The Heat is now allowed to pursue trades with other teams not currently in the playoffs. Off limits are any players who will become free agents or who have team or player options. That means no Bosh discussions just yet. But it does mean the Heat can start to desperately pursue suitors to take over the contracts of James Jones and Daequan Cook, and perhaps Michael Beasley.

The only team which can create cap space for trades is Oklahoma City. The Thunder could create as much as $2.4 million of cap space before the current season officially ends on June 30. Therefore, if the Heat aims to send out contracts without taking on contracts in return, it will need to pursue a trade with the Thunder, pursue a trade with a team with a large enough trade exception to take on the salary the Heat would be shedding, or agree to a trade that will technically be completed during the next salary cap year in July.

The next big dates to keep in mind:

June 24: 2010 N.B.A. draft
June 25: Last day for Joel Anthony to exercise his player option
June 30: Last day for the Heat to exercise its team option on Mario Chalmers
June 30: Last day for the Heat to waive James Jones, or his contract becomes guaranteed
June 30: Official end of the 2009-10 regular season
July 1: Free agency begins for all teams
July 8: Free agent contracts can be signed

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UPDATED: Heat’s True Cap Position

April 18th, 2010 No comments
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Will the Heat have enough dollars to build a contender?

Commissioner David Stern changed the landscape of the free agent market on Friday. During the N.B.A. board of governors session in New York, he revealed that the league’s projection for the 2010/11 salary cap is now $56.1 million — a substantial increase from its earlier projections of as low as $50.4 million.

This is a wonderful development for a Heat team looking to retool. Let’s take a look at exactly what it means.

Salary Commitments. The Heat have the following players under contract next season:

Michael Beasley: $4,962,640

Daequan Cook: $2,169,857

James Jones (Partial Guarantee): $1,856,000

Joel Anthony: $885,120

Mario Chalmers ($854,389 Team Option): $0

Total Salary Commitments: $9,873,217 

N.B.A. Draft. The Heat hold the 18th pick in the first round of the 2010 N.B.A. Draft, to be held on June 24th.

First round draft picks, unlike all other N.B.A. players, have a defined salary scale for which they must be paid. It’s a sliding scale based on the position within the draft the player is selected. Such players count against the cap at their scale amount immediately upon being drafted. They can ultimately be signed for between 80% and 120% of their scale amount. In reality, however, they nearly always make 120%.

At No. 18, the player who the Heat selects in the draft will count $1,237,500 against the cap. If they prefer, the Heat can choose to trade the pick, possibly for a future pick, in order to clear the cap space. If they keep it, once the player is ultimately signed, he will likely earn a 20% increase to his scale amount, or $1,485,000. The Heat can keep him at the smaller number, utilize all of its cap space, and then exceed the cap to give him the larger number. Should they keep the pick, that’s precisely what they’ll do.  Read more…

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