Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Salary Cap Announced, Musings Follow

The NBA has announced the salary cap figure for the 2008-09 season. The key numbers...

Salary cap: $58.680 million
Luxury tax threshold: $71.150 million
Money committed to Hawks players not named Josh: $51.747507

Josh Smith is in Los Angeles today. Will Atlanta Spirit flirt with the paying the luxury tax in order to keep a 37-win team together? Should they? Philadelphia has now joined Miami and Chicago on the list of Eastern Conference teams that could improve by at least 10 wins next season. Neither New York nor Charlotte figure to compete for an NBA title anytime soon but both made massive improvements in the area of head coaching.

The Hawks will be, at best, fighting for the seventh or eighth seed in the East. There are only three guys on the roster you'd want to sign to another contract: Smith, Childress, and Horford. I still say go ahead and sign Smith and Childress (barring a great sign-and-trade offer for either), budget money to extend Horford in 2 years, and shop everybody else for whatever assets you can acquire to allow yourself flexibility in building a team around your three key young players through the 2009 Draft and the next two free agent classes.

I don't fear the Hawks missing the playoffs this season. I fear the organization would be surprised to miss the playoffs this season and lack a plan for any season beyond this one. When they're adamant that 37 wins and a first-round exit counts as a successful year, we probably shouldn't expect them to go about building a potential championship caliber team over the course of a couple of seasons instead of pretending that Mike Woodson's a competent head coach, Joe Johnson's a franchise player, and Mike Bibby's not 30 years old.

Ballhype: hype it up!

3 comments:

CoCo said...

"I don't fear the Hawks missing the playoffs this season. I fear the organization would be surprised to miss the playoffs this season and lack a plan for any season beyond this one. When they're adamant that 37 wins and a first-round exit counts as a successful year, we probably shouldn't expect them to go about building a potential championship caliber team over the course of a couple of seasons instead of pretending that Mike Woodson's a competent head coach, Joe Johnson's a franchise player, and Mike Bibby's not 30 years old."

Brett you are so silly. I was going to type this in a whole lot of other words, but now I probably don't have too.

Ron said...

I can't see this ownership group being willing to pay the luxury tax. They will bring back Smith, but it wouldn't surprise me to see Childress gone as part of a sign-and-trade. I would re-sign JChils and trade Marvin instead, but ownership has more faith in Marvin's "potential" than me and Chils has more trade value at this point too. I'm not sure I understand your JJ hate.

Bret LaGree said...

Ron--

I don't hate Joe Johnson. I believe that if he's the best player on your team (or the offense treats him as the best player) there's a pretty low ceiling (I'd guess 45) on the number of games you can expect to win.

I also assume that, because he's a good player with two years left on his contract, he has significant trade value.

My long range concern for the franchise is that it has neither a franchise player nor the volume of assets necessary to acquire a franchise player.

Factoring in that, as today's post about the summer league roster will argue, Rick Sund appears to be no better than Billy Knight at identifying possibly useful free talent, the Hawks will be really bad really quickly if anybody gets hurt for any length of time. Thus, I believe that this team has a less than even chance of barely making the playoffs in 2008-09 even if everything goes according to plan. I'd rather see them plan an attempt to be legitimately good in 2009-10 or 2010-11 than spend this season trying to scrape out 40 wins and making no real progress toward winning a first round series.

Mike Woodson was offered a new contract. My default assumption is that no one in management knows what they're doing.