Since about three minutes after David Stern and Billy Hunter sat bleary-eyed in a New York conference room to say they reached a deal, we have been talking trades.
Specifically Chris Paul and Dwight Howard trades. The two superstar, franchise cornerstone guys who can opt out as free agents next summer and may push their way out of their current teams this season.
But why are we talking trades now before teams can even talk directly to players, and why are some people around those players pushing for trades fast? Like before the season if possible.
Those two guys want to be traded early enough so that under the new rules their Bird rights transfer with them. They can’t do what Carmelo Anthony did last year — the new labor rules say if you do an extend-and-trade the new contract can only be for what the team could have signed you for as a free agent. No Bird rights deals.
So how you get those bigger deals is to get traded without an extension then become a free agent and re-sign there. How much money are we talking? The best breakdown I saw (and a great explanation of how everything works) is from Chris Sheridan over at Sheridanhoops.com.
Here are the options for the two big stars.
• Plays the entire season in Orlando, opts out and ends up elsewhere (either by signing as a free agent or through a sign-and-trade): $80.5 million for 4 years.
• Gets traded in February, opts out, then re-signs with the team that acquired him: $110.8 million for 5 years.
• Plays the entire season in New Orleans, opts out and ends up elsewhere (either by signing as a free agent or through a sign-and-trade): $75.8 million for 4 years.
• Gets traded in February, opts out, then re-signs with the team that acquired him: $100.2 million for 5 years.
We’re talking about a lot of money.
Because of that, you can bet that you are going to keep hearing about trades for these guys because the people around them (cough *agents* cough) will keep pushing it. Because it’s about the money. Always.
If we didn’t call this the amnesty provision the Gilbert Arenas rule, we would call it the Rashard Lewis rule. He is owed $21.1 million this season and $22 million next season, and while he still has some value at as a stretch four he doesn’t have second-highest-paid-player-in-the-league value.
But the Wizards are not going to use the amnesty clause on him, not yet anyway reports the Washington Post.
Two people with knowledge of the Wizards’ thinking have said that it is unlikely that the team uses the amnesty provision on Lewis or anyone else before this season. But the Wizards could wait and see what players other teams waive, which could add more free agents to the mix.
Actually, this makes a lot of sense.
You amnesty a guy for two reasons. One, to avoid paying the luxury tax, but the Wizards have $47 million locked up according to the Post (or just $40 million according to Sham Sports). They need to add salary on to make the new league minimum.
The other reason is to free up cap space to go after a free agent. Is it worth it to go offer a max or near max deal to Nene? To get in the running for David West? Those are your biggest unrestricted free agents out there. You could try to overpay for Thaddeus Young and steal him away from Philly, but is that a wise use of the money.
The Wizards are better off holding on to the amnesty card and playing it next summer, when there will be quality free agents on the market.
Just know this — fans love the amnesty clause but there will be five or fewer guys who get waived that way before the season starts. GMs are going to wait and use it later (and who they can use it on is not formally defined yet).
Carl Landry is the kind of solid role player every team can use. He’s got good offensive game and can knock down the midrange jumper as a power forward, can defend and rebound. He’s not going to blow you away in any one category, but he’s going to give you quality minutes every time he steps on the court.
Which is why a lot of teams want him. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated tweets the details.
Source says Portland, New Orleans, Indiana and Boston have all expressed very real interest in free agent forward Carl Landry.
He’d come off the bench on pretty much all of those teams, save maybe New Orleans where the roster is in flux.
Landry likely will pull in a salary around the mid-level exception of about $5 million. Which seems fair. Too often the mid-level goes to a guys showing promise a GM tries to lock down long term (everybody wants to be Joe Dumars with Chauncey Billups) and those guys usually regress. But with Landry you know what you will get, and a league average salary seems about right. He should be in the league’s middle class.