An Idea For GMs
Had this idea when Cleveland traded Andrew Bynum, who'd become a trade asset due to his non-guaranteed contract.
What if teams deliberately signed minimum-level players to large, fully non-guaranteed contracts as trade assets? Think about it. Cap room is a trade asset. Those players equal cap room, as their contracts can be waived at any time for zero penalty, freeing up potentially millions of dollars of flexibility. If you can't find a trade for this guy, it's fine - just waive his non-guaranteed contract.
Fully hypothetical example: Let's say the Knicks are pursuing Pau Gasol. It's the summer, and they have no assets they're willing to trade, but they do have the cap room to sign, say, Marquis Daniels to a one-year, 12 million dollar, non-guaranteed contract. The Lakers, meanwhile, are pursuing a max player that offseason, but they don't have the cap room. Trade Pau's contract for Daniels', then waive Daniels' contract, and have an extra 12 million bucks cap room. The Lakers get a huge amount of spending power, and the Knicks get Pau, who, in this scenario, they want a lot.
Is there some law against this? Because I feel like someone must have done it by now if there wasn't. It's the creation of a trade asset.
The knicks don't have capspace so they wouldn't be able to sign a player for that amount. And if the Lakers wanted to save cap room, they can just not sign Gasol since his contract is expiring.
But I understand your point, just bad examples. If a team wanted to do this, to save cap room, they would need enough cap space. Then there is no point of signing a player to consume their cap space, they would just leave their cap space open.
No the point is to use it as a trade asset that doesn't get jerked around by the trading rules. You can't trade cap space by itself, but you can trade contracts.
Nets did that with Humphries with his two year- 24 million dollar deal. His salary was to help with the potential trade for Howard. Lopez, who also was a part of the deal, was on his rookie contract.
If you wave a player, his salary still remains in the salary cap, doesn't it?
It's a non-guaranteed contract, salary gets waived as well.
Good luck getting agents to go for this. The only reason Bynum agreed to a fully non-guaranteed contract is because the Cavaliers had so much leverage. Bynum hadn't played in two years, the questions about his knee were abundant, and no other teams showed serious interest. His willingness to sign that contract was an anomaly. Turning that exception into the norm would require agents to collectively roll over just because the players they represent are minimum-level players, which is actually what they're paid to prevent.
There could be some sort of agreement that the waive wouldn't come until after the first paycheck, or the first month. One month of a 12 million dollar contract is worth much more than a full year of a minimum contract.
1 - I know the example was bad, again, fully hypothetical.
2 - Yep, but it was a guaranteed contract.
3 - Not sure what happens with that, but I'm pretty sure that waived non-guaranteeds don't.
Celtics did it with Keith Bogans in the deal to get KG and Pierce to the Nets.
The Cavs just did it with Scottie Hopson, giving him a prorated salary this year, only for a week or two then a non guaranteed one for next year.
The Pelicans also did it with Melvin Eli a few weeks ago right after the Cavs did it.
Remember when Cuban tried something slick with Van Horn, they made a rule a few years later like Morey and the Lin/Asik deals. The League will stop this by the end of the summer. Nobody has really abused this loophole yet in a way that has called for action like the Mavs and Rocket did, but when they do it will ruffle some feathers.
My conspiracy theory is this though, if the League doesn't stop it then it is because they know this will help all teams get under or at least closer to the cap, which as a collective the Leauge will spend less on player salaries. Imagine if every NBA team was under a 66 million dollar cap in two years, the value of a franchise would skyrocket. They could eventually expand and charge propective buyers from Seattle and some other city a billion dollars a piece.
Isn't this sort of what the Bulls did toward the end of the year with signing Amundson and Brewer?