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NBA AM: Trade Situations To Watch – Part 8
Posted By Steve Kyler On September 5, 2013 @ 9:39 am In NBA | No Comments
Wizards' guard John Wall talks being a leader, building chemistry and helping his teammates get better.Watch More Video Here
Almost Through The Entire League: Over the last few weeks, we’ve touched on most of the NBA in terms of trade situations to watch. Given that we’ve gotten to almost all of them, let’s keep things rolling with three more today:
Playoffs Or Bust: The Washington Wizards view themselves as a playoff team that got derailed by injuries, specifically to star guard John Wall, last season. Wall is completely healthy coming into training camp and, barring any setbacks, could be ready to lead from day one of training camp.
The Wizards have a couple of intriguing young guys in second year guard Brad Beal and rookie forward Otto Porter.
During the second half of last season, with Wall running the show, the Wizards went 24-25. If they had won at that rate (.489) through 82 games, they might have been a playoff team in the East. So the Wizards’ confidence is not misplaced, they simply need Wall to stay healthy.
The Wizards do have some interesting options on the trade front.
Emeka Okafor is in the final year of his deal and will earn $14.487 million. It’s doubtful anyone is lining up for that contract in the preseason, but at the trade deadline when Washington has paid almost 70 percent of the deal, his value in trade could change significantly.
If Nene is healthy and Kevin Seraphin is playing as expected, Okafor’s role could be a lot smaller than anyone in a contract year would like.
Trevor Ariza is in a similar situation as his deal is also coming to an end and eventually his minutes and workload are going to shift to the tandem of Martell Webster and Porter, making him a likely deadline trade target.
The Wizards are sitting just at the Luxury Tax line with $70.768 million in salary commitments, so it is likely that with Wall’s new extension set to kick in next season that Washington looks to offload one or both of their ending contracts for future assets, especially if the season comes unglued.
Given the optimism in Washington, don’t expect a fire sale unless things go bad, but they do have options to add if they feel like they have duplication or need to clear out a logjam, especially like the one brewing at small forward.
Let The Young Guys Play: For most of the 2012-13 season, the vibe from Utah Jazz fans was ‘play the young guys.’ With forward Paul Millsap and center Al Jefferson heading out via free agency, Jazz fans will get their wish.
HOOPSWORLD spent some time with Jazz forward Derrick Favors this summer and he is more than ready to carry the bigger load that’s likely coming his way this season. He talked a lot about the faith and the trust he has in his teammates, specifically center Enes Kanter and forward Gordon Hayward.
While the youth movement will be prevalent in Utah this year, they also have a ton of ending contracts and still have a little wiggle room under the salary cap with just $55.865 million in salary commitments.
Flexibility is the buzz word you hear a lot in regards to where Utah is headed.
Richard Jefferson ($11.046 million), Andris Biedrins ($9 million), Marvin Williams ($7.5 million) and Brandon Rush ($4 million) all are on the final years of their deals and some of them could have real trade value around the trade deadline, especially when Utah has paid the lion share of their salary.
Players like Biedrins and Jefferson could see more minutes than expected in efforts to showcase their ability. Both could benefit from the fresh start they’ll get in Utah.
The Jazz do have the looming contract status of Favors and Hayward to consider. Both are eligible for contract extension on their rookie scale deals now; however, the Jazz may wait and let the market dictate the terms via restricted free agency next summer.
Word is the Jazz have had extension talks with both players, but whether either gets extended before the October 31 deadline for rookie extension remains to be seen.
The Jazz have an extremely young core and a lot of flexibility to make moves. No one is going to mistake Utah as a title contender today, but looking at their roster they could be fairly good if the young guys that fans have been clamoring for can reach their potential.
All In, In Brooklyn: If there is one team in the East that may be completely out of the trade market it might be the Brooklyn Nets. Almost all of their core players have some level of trade restriction and with the money owed to their top guys, it may be fairly hard to move anyone making real money.
With a whopping $102.211 million committed in taxable salaries, the Nets are set to be a massive luxury tax payer.
As things sit today, the Nets are $30.463 million over the luxury tax line, with the new graduated tax system that kicked in this year. Unlike previous tax years, this year NBA teams are penalized with an increasing tax rate based on how far over the tax they are. The first $5 million over is taxed at $1.50 for every dollar over. The next $5 million is taxed at $1.75 for every dollar and so on from there.
The Nets at $30.463 million over the tax line are looking at a tax bill in the neighborhood of $87.199 million.
All together that’s an outlay of $189.41 million for this roster.
That’s not to say there are not cost saving moves to be considered.
Neither forward Tornike Shengelia ($788,000) nor forward Mirza Teletovic ($3.22 million) had much of a role in Brooklyn last year. That could change under new head coach Jason Kidd, but exploring both players’ trade value could have an exponential impact on the tax bill if Brooklyn could move both without taking much back.
Combined, they make roughly $4 million, compounded with the where the Nets are in the new graduated Luxury Tax, that’s almost a $21.232 million swing in total outlay when you combine their salary with the $17.232 million in tax savings. That’s how nasty the new graduated tax can be for massive overspending.
So while the Nets may not be overly active in trying to make major trades, they do have some moves to make if only to lessen their tax burden, which is likely the only moves Brooklyn looks to make.
If you missed one of the teams mentioned before you can click any of the team names here and see the previous report:
The Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Wolves and Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons, the New York Knicks, Miami HEAT and New Orleans Pelicans , the LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats and the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers.
We Want To Know:
Osby And The Magic: There were some reports about the status of Orlando Magic second round pick Romero Osby and the possibility of the Magic losing his draft rights for failing to issue a “Tender Offer.”
To maintain draft rights to a player, NBA teams have to issue a basic offer of a contract. In Osby’s case as a second round pick, it’s a one-year deal at the NBA minimum and it is typically non-guaranteed.
The Magic issued Osby his Tender Offer a few weeks ago, so his rights are completely secured by the Magic until next summer.
Osby is not likely to sign such a deal, mainly because he’ll seek better terms and likely a longer possible commitment from the Magic and potentially some guarantees.
Think of the Tender Offer as a placeholder until a real deal can be reached.
Osby and the Magic have had ongoing dialogue and both parties are fundamentally in the same place.
If the Magic have a roster spot for Osby this year and a chance for him to learn and grow as a player, they would like him in training camp, but if the Magic’s roster is as such that Osby won’t ever see development time, the best course might be to have him play overseas for a season and come to the Magic next year.
Some have tried to tie Osby’s future to that of Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, but sources near the situation have been pretty adamant that the two situations are unrelated.
Based on where things stand today it seems like Osby will be coming to camp in Orlando, but that’s far from resolved at this point.
In talking with the Magic, they are extremely high on Osby and see him fitting in nicely with what they are doing, but bringing on a guy that may never see the floor isn’t good for the Magic or for the guy, and both sides know it.
Osby could force the Magic’s hand and sign his tender offer and force them to keep him or cut him in camp, but sources near the situation say that’s not an option being considered at all.
Did You Miss Something?: Every offseason we end up with more video interviews than you can possibly have seen so here are a couple more in case you missed them.
Magic forward Romero Osby talks about his new team, playing in front of NBA teams and how much he's trying to showcase.
Jazz forward Gordon Hayward talks about building team chemistry, being a leader and supporting his team.
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