Manu Ginobili tweets that he has a deal to remain a Spur for two more years. The Spurs are the kings of efficient deals, but aging stars are a new test of a system that has basically been three big deals and everyone else cheap and replaceable. There's a big cost to hanging on to one of the big deals too long. It's not a long gamble, though: The team is lining up to have huge cap space in the summer of 2015.
Danny Ainge is not a Buddhist, but that religion can help get in the mindset of a tanker. Saying it again: My fixation with tanking is NOT about whether or not teams should or shouldn't do it. Have no dog in that fight, and would never begrudge anyone doing what they believe is best for their franchise. My question is: Is that really what the league wants to reward? Rewarding the worst-run teams has long kept the free market from lighting a fire under owners to identify and develop the best-possible front office talent. No reason 30 teams couldn't have awesome GMs. And there's little reason to believe this system really helps bad teams become good more than any other would.
Amin Elhassan (Insider): "The Clippers added two of the best shooters in the league and didn't break the bank to do it. This is the clubhouse leader for 'best transaction of the summer.'" At the same link: No love for Tyreke Evans as a Pelican.
Not trying to tank, but getting that kind of roster anyway: The Bucks.
The way the CBA is now a lot of guys don't have that much to gain from a good agent. Rookies and max players have deals that are more or less fixed. On the other hand ... every now and again you can get a fat check for not even playing. Happy financial tales from Quentin Richardson, Joe Kleine, Gary Grant, Steven Hunter, Aaron McKie and Keith Van Horn.
The view of Dwight Howard from Houston: Exhaustively detailed and constantly updated on Red94. And a small note: The talk that Howard can earn $30 million more from the Lakers than another team is not an apples-to-apples comparision. The difference in salaries over the next four years is less than $4 million. The Lakers edge is they can sign him for a fifth year right now -- add that on, and we get around $30 million difference between one team's four-year offer and L.A.'s five-year offer. But the only scenario where Howard would earn nothing five years from now is one where he's retired in four years. Otherwise, he'll be making up a big chunk of that $30 million with whatever his salary is five years from now.
The Knicks are in win-now mode, but can they really expect to win an East featuring the Heat, Pacers, Nets and the like?
On Grantland, Charles Pierce is evidently seeking hate mail from Chris Paul fans: "Then there's Chris Paul, who has condescended to return to Los Angeles now that the Clippers gave him 107 million good reasons to be coached by Doc Rivers. This is another guy with a costume-jewelry résumé whom the league nonetheless slobbers over. You have your analytics and I have mine, but if you're a big-money point guard, the basic metric is whether you can get your team to win anything and, right now, Paul's got one division title with L.A. He, however, has fewer rings than Rajon Rondo or Mario Chalmers."
The thing about big men is that everyone needs them and there aren't very many of them. In a market like that, your choices are normally to draft them, or overpay them. (Going without is not an option, nor, likely, is finding a good one in the D-League.) So, with that in mind: Would you pay Nikola Pekovic $60 million?
You know what I'd like to read? A nice, plain-English explanation of the market effect of the qualifying offer. It's an important and tricky devise, which keeps a player simultaneously from testing the market or being truly employed. I'm curious why CBA negotiators rejected all other plans to go with this mess of legalese all those years ago. My guess is that the complicated rules, like fine print everywhere, create confusion that benefits those who had the best lawyers on the day the deal was written. Would be cool to understand the thinking.