NBA AM: Are The Bulls, Lakers and Knicks Stuck?
The Teeth Of The CBA: As the LA Lakers dropped another game last night in Oklahoma City, the Bulls ponder what next season will look like without Derrick Rose and the Knicks figure out how to add with so much committed to just three players – a cold hard truth is starting to surface. You can’t buy your way out of bad deals any more.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement has changed the landscape of the NBA, and going forward it’s going to get worse and worse for teams that are used to just throwing money at the problem. Teams that have leveraged large chunks of their salary cap into two and three players are starting to find out that the new world drawn up in December is going to require smaller contracts and greater flexibility, not just a huge checkbook.
The LA Lakers have gotten old. That happens. Father Time catches everyone at some point and the Lakers are the latest victim. The Lakers are far from dead, and they will likely make this a series when things shift back to LA and the Staples Center, even as they ponder how to improve and in some ways re-tool. Moving Pau Gasol in trade is going to be a monumental undertaking, and unless the Lakers are willing to just liquidate Pau to a team desperate for a star level name – Houston anyone? – getting any real value out of Gasol will be harder than you think.
The Chicago Bulls will be without Derrick Rose for the bulk of next season. Using the NBA’s one-time amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer makes a lot of sense to fans who think Boozer is over paid, but the truth of the matter is that even if the Bulls cut Boozer loose, they will still owe him $47 million dollars, and still be over the projected $58 million salary cap and they’d have to replace his roster spot.
Did we mention he’ll likely take the Bulls’ money and sign with a competitor like New York, Miami or Orlando?
No one is taking Boozer’s contract in trade unless it’s in exchange for lesser talent or a worse contract.
Knicks fans would love to see Amar’e Stoudemire traded however unless the Knicks just decide to dump Stoudemire for almost nothing in return. Getting better via an Amar’e exit is almost impossible to conceive.
Teams just won’t take on the money owed to these guys because in 2013 the teeth of the new CBA kick in. A heftier Luxury tax that penalizes teams based on various levels over the tax line they are. Reduced Salary cap exceptions; tighter trade rules related to what teams over the tax can take back and more importantly whether teams can do sign-and-trade deals.
The days of spending your way out of a problem are gone and even the deepest pocketed owners around the league are wondering if it’s worth the agony to overpay.
Pau Gasol’s $19 million 2012-2013 salary represents 32.7% of the projected $58 million salary cap. That same $19 million is 27% of the Luxury Tax line.
Amar’e Stoudemire’s $19.94 million 2012-2013 salary represents 34.3% of the salary cap and 28.4% of the Luxury Tax line.
Carlos Boozer’s $15 million in 2012-2013 salary represents 25.8% of the salary cap and 21.4% of the Luxury Tax line.
None of those players is producing at a level worth the percentage of room they would consume and all of them have enough years and dollars on their contracts to cripple a franchise if they continue to erode skill wise or worse yet get injured.
Dallas’ Mark Cuban was killed in the court of public opinion for not re-signing all of his championship team players, but the truth of the matter is none of those players would do two-year deals and with the way the Collective Bargaining Agreement is going to work in 2013, you really don’t want a lot of money tied into aging players because the days of spending your way out of problems is gone.
The Lakers, Bulls and Knicks are among the wealthiest teams in the league both in franchise value and in market related revenue and all three are somewhat stuck because it’s not just the money they owe their own roster — all three will be contributing to revenue sharing in 2013 as well – so eating bad contracts and buying your way out of bad decisions will get even harder.
It’s not going to be easy for teams to erase bad decisions and for the Bulls, Lakers and Knicks they may be stuck with their bad contracts because going forward almost no one is going to touch them unless they are off loading their own garbage deals in the transaction.
Meet Moe Harkless: The 2012 NBA Draft is in just 42 days and would-be Draft prospects are really starting to buckle down in gyms across the country.
HOOPSWORLD has been popping in on guys for the last couple of weeks and yesterday we spent some time with St. John’s swingman Moe Harkless who is training at IMG Basketball in Bradenton.
Harkless is a long small forward–type with solid athleticism and bounce. Harkless is a solid perimeter scorer, who has range out to NBA three. He has a nice handle on the ball and can really create space with his length either in step-back situations or on the drive to the rim.
Moe averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game at St. John’s last year. His percentages were not overwhelming – 44.5% from the field and 20.2% from three.
So he is going to have to prove to NBA teams that he can shoot something he knows is a knock on his game.
Lets meet Moe Harkless:
Our friends at DraftExpress have Moe ranked as the 22nd best NBA prospect in the 2012 NBA Draft. HOOPSWORLD’s Yannis Koutroupis has Moe going 22 to the Boston Celtics in his latest NBA Mock Draft.
Playoff MVP?: There have been some amazingly performances so far in the 2012 NBA post-season.
So the question to you…
Blazers GM Search Continues: The Portland Trail Blazers continue to evaluate possible GM candidates and while both former Hornets GM Jeff Bower and current Pacers GM David Morway have interviewed twice for the job, including a face-to-face meeting with owner Paul Allen, the team is still setting up meetings with other candidates.
“We’ve had a couple of candidates in front of Paul, and the goal is to get a couple of more in front of him in the near future — hopefully in the next couple of weeks,” Miller said to Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune. “At that point, there’s a pretty good chance we will be ready to have someone named.”
“It would be great if we could make it happen in the next two weeks,” he says, “but we want to make sure we get the right person. If it takes a little longer, that’s fine.”
The Blazers have started scheduling draft workouts and will attend several of the mini-camp workouts including this weekend’s New Jersey workout featuring some 40 NBA draft hopefuls.
Interim GM Chad Buchanan is said to still be an internal candidate for the GM job and he is leading the Blazers off-season program.
Assistant GM Steve Rosenberry and director of pro scouting Mike Born are said to be working the off-season as they normally would and that things are progressing on a number of fronts despite not having a GM or a permanent head coach.
The Blazers have the 6th and the 11th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, so they will be looking at a large number of possible players in that range.
The Blazers continue to say they would like have a new general manager in place before the June 6th NBA Draft Combine, so closure on this front may be coming soon.
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