Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Atlanta Hawks Summer 2010 Cap Space Primer

The key references are the salary information at Sham Sports and Larry Coon's Salary Cap FAQ. With those two resources you don't really need this post but I'll be using it as a reference point this summer as players come and go, money (real or virtual) comes off of or is added to the books.

The NBA has estimated the 2010-11 salary cap to be $56.1 million and the luxury tax threshold will be approximately $68 million.

The Hawks have seven players under contract for next season for a total of $45,130,214:

Name2010-11 Salary (millions)
Josh Smith11.6

Maurice Evans has a player option for $2.5 million next season. It has been reported that Evans is leaning toward declining the option and becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Because of cap holds, this does not mean the Hawks will have $11 million ($8.5 million if Evans exercises his option) in cap space this summer.

Until Joe Johnson re-signs with the Hawks or signs with another team, the Hawks will have a cap hold of approximately $16.2 million for Johnson. As Larry Coon explains, this is to prevent a loophole regarding Bird rights.

The hold for Johnson brings Atlanta's cap number to approximately $63.1 million.

There is also a cap hold for the Hawks' first-round pick. Last year, the cap hold (and first-year compensation) for the 24th pick was $933,500.

That brings Atlanta's cap number to approximately $64 million.

The Hawks also have cap holds for two potential restricted free agents: Josh Childress ($10.894 million) and Mario West ($1.06 million). In order to retain the right to match any offer, the Hawks must submit a qualifying offer to Childress and West by June 30th.

That brings Atlanta's cap number to approximately $76 million.

If the Hawks do not submit a qualifying offer to Childress or West, the will still have a cap hold of $854,389 for every empty roster spot if they have "fewer than 12 players (players under contract, free agents included in team salary, players given offer sheets, and first round draft picks)." The seven players under contract, plus Johnson (until he signs a contract with another team), plus the first-round draft pick, plus Childress and West, brings the Hawks to 11 players so we add $854,389 for one empty roster spot, bringing the total of salaries and cap holds to just under $77 million. As explained above, the Hawks can reduce that number by not submitting a qualifying offer to Childress and/or West but declining to submit the qualifying offers would not appreciably change the team's cap space.

This is why the Atlanta Hawks cannot pursue other team's free agents for anything other than the Mid-Level or Bi-Annual Exceptions. This is also why the Hawks may aggressively pursue sign-and-trade deals involving Joe Johnson and Josh Childress should the former sign with another team and/or should the latter opt out of his contract with Olympiacos and return to the NBA but not the Hawks.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Bret, Do you know at what number the luxury tax becomes involved?

Bret LaGree said...

Kris --

Thanks for pointing out that I forgot to include that. It'll be around $68 million.

Anonymous said...

So we would be deep into luxury tax territory correct?

Bret LaGree said...

All that stuff has yet to be calculated exactly, but, if I'm doing my rough math correctly, the Hawks will be near the luxury tax if they re-sign Johnson (and don't dump salary elsewhere) which would probably take the MLE and the Bi-Annual Exemption off the table. I can't make a good argument for Atlanta Spirit paying the tax in this market with a team built around Joe Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Yeah bringing Joe back with essentially the same team is putting a lot of faith in a potentially new coach. It is clear that we aren't up to par with the other elite teams in the East talent wise.

Thanks for the Salary Cap primer, I am sure to refer back to it a lot this summer.

Unknown said...

The chance to take a step forwards has already been wasted as far as I can see - I suggested that JJ be traded last summer (Rondo was 1st choice with Ray Allen one of the key players used to balance out contracts ), and/or at least let Bibby walk to give the team financial flexibility, seeing as the team as constructed was never going to be a true elite team.

Instead ownership played it safe (resigned Bibby and was passive with with JJ) and now options to make any improvements to the roster are severely limited. Once JJ inevitably walks into free agency, I don't see this ending well for the Hawks :(
We better hope that the new coach can coach his ass off!!

CoCo said...

@Dominique, Ainge wouldn't even include Rondo in a trade for KG. No way in hell he was giving him up for Joe.

Bret LaGree said...

Rondo, of course, was drafted by Phoenix with one of the picks the Hawks gave up to get Joe Johnson.

June 28, 2006 was not Billy Knight's best night.

Anonymous said...

Of course I am sure that Boston would be less than thrilled with the idea of trading players with a team that it deems a conference rival.

CoCo said...

Basically they need to hope some team hires Zeke Thomas as GM and try to sign and trade Joe there?

Bronnt said...

Bret, in regards to 6/28/2006:

I can only imagine a universe in which the Hawks' front office was extremely competent, and instead of making the JJ trade, they had both first round picks in 2006, which were immediately used on Rondo and Roy.

Rondo, Roy, Childress, Smith, and Zaza with Diaw on the bench. Then this super-competent front office goes on to take players like DaeQuan Cook, Marc Gasol, George Hill, and DeJuan Blair, despite never having a good draft position. I much prefer it to this universe.

jrauch said...

Deciding to pick the #1 3 point shooter in the Ukraine rather than DeJuan Blair in last year's second round was inexcusable.

rbubp said...

Bronn, the problem is the only front office in existence that presently seems to do THAT well is Oklahoma City. I'm sure everyone here knows what a crapshoot the draft is; it's more expensive but ultimately a lot easier to predict if the free agency route is used along with the draft.

There's not a team out there that hasn't made bad FA decisions and bad draft picks. So the Spurs got Blair; they also locked up Richard Jefferson in a move that was about as dumb as I've seen that franchise ever make.

It happens.

Anonymous said...

The Jefferson signing seems dumb now that it didn't work out. At the time everyone was putting the Spurs back in the finals with that move. If you saw that flop coming then more power to you.

The Spurs in my mind have gotten more personnel decisions right than just about any team in the league. Their drafts have always been late in the first round yet they come away with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, and George Hill. Not a surprise that they picked Blair and he played well for them in my mind.