NBA AM: Don’t Bank On The Magic Spending
Don’t Count On Orlando Spending Much: The Orlando Magic pulled off an amazing bit of cap manipulation when they traded center Dwight Howard as HOOPSWORLD’s Eric Pincus pointed out yesterday.
In using all of their Traded Players Exceptions from previous deals as trade slots, the Magic worked the process to generate a new massive $17.8 million Traded Player Exception which they can use to acquire players already under contract or as part of a sign and trade deal.
The deal on the Howard-end worked out like this:
- Christian Eyenga and Josh McRoberts were obtained via the $4.35 million Ryan Anderson TPE, leaving a negligible remainder of $40,920.
- Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington were obtained for Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark.
- Mo Harkless was obtained via the Brandon Bass TPE, leaving a remainder of $1,018,040 which expires on December 12.
- Nikola Vucevic was obtained for Dwight Howard, generating a TPE of $17,816,880 which won’t expire until next August 10, 2013.
So what will Orlando do with that hefty exception? Maybe nothing. At least not this year.
The Magic prior to the Howard trade were a luxury tax team. This deal got them a little breathing room under the tax line – roughly $6.2 million if you are keeping track at home, making adding a splashy player unlikely for a number of reasons.
First, the Magic are not going to be very good this year, that’s part of the rebuilding plan. The veteran players will likely get their shot at winning a few games early, but you can bet as soon as Orlando can move them for ending contracts or draft picks they will clean house.
Second, the Magic will try and fast track the young guys they have, meaning bringing in veterans who need touches and playing time likely doesn’t line up on the development side.
Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan has been preaching that the virtue of this deal is the flexibility it gives the team going forward. Unless some major asset falls their way, you can expect that this is the team Orlando brings to training camp and that the third point guard spot is not going to be a major player obtained with the TPE – rather someone they can get to come for very little guaranteed money.
The Magic may hold the largest traded player exception in the NBA, but don’t expect them to use it before camp opens as the plan here is a massive rebuild and that will start next summer after losing a ton of games this year.
Offers Never What They Appeared To Be: If you have read this space or followed HOOPSWORLD this summer what is coming next won’t surprise you.
The Houston Rockets never offered what they were reportedly willing to give up in trade to get Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum or even Andre Iguodala.
The Rockets, namely GM Daryl Morey, have been trying to explain to their fan base why they did not end up with one of the three marquee players that changed teams last week and the short answer is they were not willing to mortgage the farm to get a single cow, no matter how attractive.
SI.com’s Sam Amick is reporting that Houston’s best offer looked something like this:
Sources said Houston was offering only two first-round picks. From Houston’s perspective, however, the comparative value of the picks far outweighed anything available to the Magic elsewhere and it had been made clear that a third pick could be added “if it got the deal done.”
One of the picks, which would have come via Toronto as part of Houston’s recent trade of point guard Kyle Lowry, has protections that make it likely to land in the lottery. The other being offered, by way of Dallas, had an outside chance at becoming completely unprotected in 2018 if the Mavericks didn’t finish the regular season in the league’s top 10 in the five years prior.
Many assumed that the Rockets’ three first-round picks from this year’s draft — guard Jeremy Lamb and forwards Royce White and Terrence Jones — would be made available in a Howard deal. But sources close to the Magic said Lamb was the only such prospect offered, and that he was off the table by the time the talks involved the Lakers and Lamb had impressed at the Las Vegas summer league in July (he averaged 20 points in five games). Meanwhile, unwanted players like Gary Forbes, Jon Brockman and Marcus Morris were made available (along with shooting guard Kevin Martin, whose expiring $12.9 million contract was a must to make the money work).
On the Rockets’ side, meanwhile, sources said the message had been sent that the Magic could have one or possibly two prospects from a pool that included Morris, Patrick Patterson, Lamb, Jones, White and Donatas Motiejunas. Houston offered significant salary-cap relief, but, as had been the case on the topic of young players, never in the form that the Magic wanted.
So where do the Rockets go from here?
They now have 20 players on the roster, with Sean Williams, Greg Smith, Diamon Simpson and Courtney Fortson having non-guaranteed deals. Shaun Livingston’s deal has $1 million in guaranteed money but the remaining $2.5 million is non-guaranteed making him disposable as well.
The Rockets continue to work the landscape for free agents, having just agreed to a two-year $6 million package with Carlos Delfino
The Rocket have exhausted almost all of their cap space with the Delfino deal but still have their Room Exception worth $2.57 million.
“We’re very comfortable with what we have and rolling into training camp with that,” Morey said in an interview with KBME in Houston. “We think it will be a team that can fight for a playoff spot but we’re always aggressive to try to do more and I think people know that. If something comes along we will do it but really the reason why we’re comfortable with where we are at is if you look from one to 15, up and down the roster, it’s either a player who has got upside, who gives us flexibility to have cap room or we have the ability to, with the draft picks we picked up from Toronto and Dallas and those teams, the ability to trade for something. But we’re going to be patient and it takes two to tango.”
‘It Takes Two To Tango’ has been the message for a while in Houston, they still have a ton of trade assets – they just need to find a deal.
Meet Ed Daniel: Murray State’s Ed Daniel is hard to miss, especially on the fast break. His flowing afro hair style and rim-attacking style of play make him easy to like.
At last week’s adidias Nations in Long Beach he was clearly one of the more motivated players in attendance and if the goal was to get noticed by the scouts and NBA executives in attendance he did just that.
Give STAT A Chance A lot is being made of New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire’s off season work, including his recent trip to Houston to work with NBA low-post legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Howard Beck of The New York Times chronicled that part of the journey in yesterday’s Times, however that journey started at the end of the Knicks’ season not just last week.
Stoudemire had a full off-season of trips scheduled this summer, many for promotional and endorsement work. Some were for person vacations and time with the family, however wherever Amar’e went a gym and a trainer were soon to follow.
Stoudemire reserved gym space in every city he’s been in this summer and has been on a mission to not only reshape and condition his body, but also re-condition his game.
In addition to working with Olajuwon in Houston, Stoudemire has had private court work with Knicks coaches who flew in to work with him and he has been at IMG in Bradenton, Florida working with their world renowned strength and conditioning coaches too.
Stoudemire averaged a career low in scoring last year and plans to return to New York a different player.
With three years and more than $65 million remaining on his contract the Knicks need more from Stoudemire, especially if they want to contend in the East this season.
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