Posted by: Jazzaholic on May 12th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Each summer, fans clamor for their team to sign a free agent.
2 years ago the Jazz gave UFA Raja a 3 year deal, which ended up 2 years too long and is still coming back to bite the Jazz in the rear.
Last year the Jazz picked up DeMarre Carroll for $500k, Jamaal Tinsley for $1.2m, Earl Watson for $2m, and Josh Howard for $2.1m. That’s 4 players who contributed a lot to the Jazz for about what 1 full Mid Level Exemption player would have cost. Nice job Kevin.
Frequently, what happens is the team overpays a highly hyped, high scoring player, who is very inefficient. GMs and fans are frequently sucked into the offensive side of the stats and forget about the other half of the game, the defensive possessions. They also forget about the efficiency of the players offensive game. A player who takes 40 possessions to make 30 points, is not nearly as good as the player only needing 20 possessions to make that 30 points.
The other thing frequently forgotten is the energy they bring to the game. The hustle plays. Those little things which don’t show up on the stat line. DeMarre Carroll is an example of a high energy player.
So, Kevin ended up with 4 contributors, who all have their flaws, but being overpaid isn’t one of them.
Restricted free agents are another problem. Usually the “other” team just ends up boosting the salary the home team has to pay, ties up their cap money for 3 days (was a week), and misses out on another free agent during the wait. The Jet played on a “Jazz” contract, with Atlanta, before being shipped to Dallas, all because he was a RFA.
The Jazz over paid Boozer to prevent Cleveland from matching. The Blazers tried with RFAs Millsap and succeeded with Mathews.
Then, the Bull signed Boozer on a sign and trade for maximum years and salary. See how that’s working out for them (can you say millstone?)
Then you have the Max players. Usually older players, at, or past, their prime, but still putting up good offensive numbers. This is a group of elite offensive players, but they usually command a long 4-5 year contract. Depending on their starting age and history of injuries, this can be a make or break for a franchise. A boom or a bust. Warm weather destinations and large market teams could tie up a large amount of their team salary in a couple of franchise players and fill in with good veterans, willing to take a minimum, with the hope of winning a championship.
With the new CBA, which even the GMs and CBA gurus are still trying to understand, the landscape may have changed.
In 2012-13, the punitive luxury tax and restrictions kick in. Teams pay an incremental tax that increases with every $5 million above the tax threshold ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc.). Teams that are repeat offenders (paying tax at least four out of the past five seasons) have a tax that is higher still — $1 more at each increment ($2.50, $2.75, $3.50, $4.25, etc.). You can already see savvy owners, like El Cubano, refusing to sign players back from a championship team, in hopes of landing that one player, like Howard or DWil, to go with Dirty Dirk, and get under the penalty luxury tax. The result was an early exit for the World Champion Mavs. The Lakers’ tax bill in 2011 (when the tax was dollar-for-dollar) was about $19.9 million. Under the new system, being that far over the tax line would cost them $44.68 million. Since they were a repeat offender (paying tax at least four of the previous five years) they would owe $64.58 million!
If a team is in the luxury tax, the Mid Level Exemption, of roughly $5m, is gone, replace with a Mini Mid Level Exemption, roughly half of the MLE, or about $2.5m, making it tough to fill out the roster. This, of course, is good for the small market teams, who don’t want to go into the luxury tax.
Starting in 2013-14, teams more than $4 million above the tax level cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade transaction.
The hope is that free spending teams like the HATED Lakers and the Mavricks will be on a little more even playing field. It remains to be seen, but there is hope.
It’s a little nebulous, with all the hold backs etc, exactly how much cap space the Jazz have, but wouldn’t it be interesting to float a toxic offer back to the Blazers for Batum? They intend to match any offer on him, because he is a restricted free agent. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch the Blazers payroll balloon much more than they planned on?
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.