Dan Feldman

AP Money Found

NBA’s 2017-18 salary-cap projection falls from $107 million to $102 million

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NBA teams are doing a great job spending money this summer.

They’re spending so much, in fact, they’ll probably have less flexibility than expected next summer.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

The NBA’s salary cap projection for the 2017-18 season has dropped from $107 million to $102 million.

In a memo distributed to all 30 teams, which was obtained by Basketball Insiders, the NBA credits a “substantial increase in projected player spending for 2016-17” that will reduce the league’s projected shortfall to the players to $200 million.

The league also projects a tax threshold of $122 million for next year.

The projected maximum salaries for 2017-18, based on a $102 million cap, would near $24 million for players with less than seven years of experience, $28.8 million with seven to nine and $33.5 million for those with 10 years or more.

The salary cap projects to climb to $108 million in 2018-19, $109 million in 2019-20 and $114 million in 2020-21.  The tax threshold is expected to rise to $130 million, $132 million and $139 million, respectively.

Most importantly, take these projections for what they are: Estimates based on a system that could radically change. Either the owners or players could opt out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by December 15, and a new deal would govern 2017 and beyond.

Why the drop in 2017-18 projection, though? The salary cap is determined by revenue, but this isn’t Charles Barkley’s doomsday prediction that fans will tire of super teams and tune out. If teams don’t collectively pay players their negotiated share in a season, the next season’s cap is adjusted upward accordingly. The NBA didn’t expect teams to spend so much this summer.

But, as you’ve seen, teams have had little trouble doling out 2016-17 salary.

Report: Pistons signing Boban Marjanovic to $21 million offer sheet, Spurs signing Dewayne Dedmon for $6 million

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 17: Boban Marjanovic #40 of the San Antonio Spurs dunks in front of Jordan Farmar #4 of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 17, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
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Can Boban Marjanovic turn from novelty to contributor?

The Pistons want to find out.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

In the next three years, Marjanovic will earn:

  • $5,628,000
  • $5,881,260
  • $9,490,740

His cap number in Detroit will be $7 million each season if the Spurs don’t match, and they probably won’t, because they’ve found a replacement center: Dewyane Dedmon.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Dedmon is a scrappy big man who protects the rim, rebounds, fouls too much and possesses limited offensive skills. The Spurs could use someone like that with two more finesse bigs — LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol — starting. It sounds like Dedmon will get the room exception, and that’s good value.

But he’s not nearly as intriguing as Marjanovic, who absolutely dominated in limited playing time as a rookie. Marjanovic averaged 21.0 points on 60.3% shooting, 13.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes. The 7-foot-3 center with humungous hands even showed some touch as an outside shooter and passer.

Yet, Marjanovic played just 508 minutes. San Antonio shielded him from quality opponents and tough matchups, of which they’ll be plenty for someone so slow. The risk with Marjanovic is teams running him through pick-and-roll after pick-and-roll until he’s completely exposed.

Marjanovic, who turns 28 next month, is also a year older than Dedmon. Both have more upside than their ages would suggest — Marjanovic due to his late arrival in the NBA, Dedmon due to his late start playing basketball — but age still matters.

How the Pistons create cap room for Marjanovic is a little unclear, though exact salaries for Jon Leuer and Ish Smith are unknown. Joel Anthony will probably be waived. If Detroit feels Marjanovic is ready to contribute, Aron Baynes could be moved.

The Spurs might wish they gave Marjanovic longer than a one-year contract want he signed from Europe last summer, but at least Dedmon is a good fallback option.

The Pistons make the bigger move, likely adding one of the NBA’s fascinating players.

NBA using new transparent shot clock that improves timing coordination

Tissot_Shot_clock_Timekeeping
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Referees are calling perfection undesirable.

Meanwhile, the NBA is trying to get more calls right.

The league will use a new shot clock with better technology next season.

NBA release:

The clean, sleek shot clock is visibly free of cables and conductors and equipped with TISSOT’s LED glass, making the clock nearly transparent when in use and fully transparent while turned off.  It integrates the 24-second, timeout, and game clocks in one piece of hardware – a first for the league.  Transitions between numbers are instant and undetectable even by high-speed TV cameras, resulting in definitive footage that will further assist NBA referees and the NBA Replay Center in evaluating certain critical calls.

The new system simultaneously transmits exact timing data to all in-arena scoreboards and video equipment, letting fans follow the action within fractions of a second.  Clock and scoreboard operators in all arenas will control the system

I’m all for using technology to reduce human error. The less put on referees, the better. Allow them to focus on the calls that can’t be made through technology.

Plus, the new shot clock should reduce replay times and allow fans behind the shot clock a better view.

This change is probably overdue, but it’s a good step in improving the game.

Report: Pat Riley never called Dwyane Wade during free agency that took Wade to Bulls

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In his season-ending press conference, Pat Riley said of Dwyane Wade, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

He’s a lifer. What he’s done in this city over the last 13 years is irreplaceable. We want to do the right thing, there’s no doubt.

The right thing turned out to be a two-year, $40 million contract offer — less than the Bulls, who got him, and Nuggets offered.

The right thing also apparently didn’t include a phone call.

Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald:

This certainly won’t be the last mudslinging after the messy breakup between Wade and the Heat. Wade doesn’t want to become a pariah in Miami for his exit, and the Heat don’t want to lose their reputation as an organization that treats players well.

Even if it’s true that Riley never called, I wonder how spun this is. Did he talk to Wade in person? Text? Email?

At minimum, the absence of Riley — the famed recruiter — at the Heat’s final meeting with Wade was telling.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Wade sacrificed salary for years — and was rewarded with successful teams, including two championship squads after luring LeBron James and Chris Bosh. But it also seemed Wade expected to recoup his financial losses someday.

That day never came, and if Riley didn’t sell Wade on Miami’s other positives, what was going to keep the star guard there?

Charles Barkley defends criticism of Kevin Durant to Warriors by saying he didn’t force trade to Rockets, is full of crap

26 Jan 1999: Charles Barkley #4 of the Houston Rockets goes up for the rebound with Will Perdue of the Spurs during the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas. The Spurs defeated the Rockets 106-99.
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There are numerous reasons to dismiss Charles Barkley’s criticism of Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors.

The biggest, which Kurt covered here: Barkley forced a trade from the Suns to the Rockets in 1996.

Houston was one year removed from winning back-to-back championships, eliminating Barkley and Phoenix en route to both titles. With Barkley joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, the Rockets were deemed a super team before the season.

But Barkley is now trying to spin the deal to fit a narrative detached from reality.

Barkley on the Doug Gottlieb Show:

First of all, let’s get a couple misnomers. I got traded to Houston. I didn’t get asked to go to Houston. First of all, I never asked to go to Houston.

So, that notion — I’ve heard that several times, that I was chasing a ring. I never chased a ring.

I got out of Philly, because they were a bad organization. They traded the No. 1 pick in the draft, Brad Daugherty. So, I got traded to Phoenix. That was the only time I demanded a trade and wasn’t going to play anymore.

But the Suns traded me to Houston. I wasn’t chasing a ring. I’ve never felt like a ring was — this ain’t like the mafia or Jerry Maguire where this thing completes. I was a heck of a player. I didn’t win it. I’m cool with that. I never played on the best team.

But this notion that I chased a ring in Houston — they traded me to Houston. I never said let me go play with old Clyde, old Hakeem and old Charles Barkley. So, that’s actually 100 percent not true.

Barkley at the time of the trade:

“I’m very excited,” he told two Philly TV stations. “Obviously, it’s something I wanted to do. Houston was my first priority.”

“At this stage of my career, I’m not a great player. I’m a good player,” he said. “But with Hakeem and Clyde, I have a great shot at a championship.”

“I called the shots,” he said. “When push comes to shove, I think you have to stand up to the system.”

Barkley did not address how much snow he walked through on his uphill journey — both ways — from Phoenix to Houston.