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Trying to understand the NBA's salary capPosted Friday, July 4, 2008, at 2:00 PM
I have always considered myself to be fairly savvy when it comes to the NBA, but I am the first to admit that my knowledge of the NBA salary cap could be place on the head of a pin and there would still be room for the constitution.
Base Year Compensation, the Larry Bird Exception, Luxury Tax Amnesty, the Gilbert Arenas Provision, Midlevel Exception, Early Bird Exception and the July Moratorium are just a few of the terms thrown around on a web site for the NBA Salary Cap FAQ. There are 105 questions and very detailed answers involving scenarios about players salaries and trades.
As someone once said, "It is all Greek to me." I understand just enough to be dangerous.
From what I can comprehend, it is rules involving Base Year Compensation players that have prohibited the Indiana Pacers from officially announcing the trades involving sending Jermaine O'Neall to Toronto for T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic, Maceo Basten and Roy Hibbert and the one on draft night that will bring Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts to Indiana for Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu.
A BYC, as opposed to the BMOC (big man on campus), involves players that have recently signed new contracts but their new salary cannot be used for purposes of a trade. Salaries have to match with with 125 percent, I believe.
From what I can ascertain, the rule is to avoid loop holes in the salary cap. But from my point of view, it is a public relations nightmare.
There are not too many of those under the leadership of NBA commissioner David Stern but this one is.
Players like Rush and Hibbert, first-round draft picks, have to wait 13 days before they can be announced as being part of their new team because of the rules about the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
They cannot bask in the glory of realizing a lifelong dream come true plus they cannot compete in the NBA Summer League because of the timing.
So sometime in the immediate future, July 9 or 10, the Pacers will officially have seven new players that can be used to start to turn around the fortunes of the 'Blue and Gold.'
With O'Neal's contract, $43 million owed to the power forward over the next two years, and his recent bout with injuries, Indiana had to go in a new direction.
I truly wish Jermaine well and appreciate everything he did for my team. I sincerely hope he can revert back to form and help the Raptors.
Ford, providing he is 100 percent, and Jack should give the Pacers a very good 1-2 combination at point guard. Ford should be a perfect fit for the quick style that coach Jim O'Brien wants to play. Jack has skills at both ends of the floor and hopefully will give opponents the same amount of headaches he always gave the Pacers.
Say good-bye to Jamaal Tinsley. Indiana will likely eat his $21 million contract over the next three years and be done with the troubled and often-injured point guard.
Shawne Williams and Marquis Daniels also could be elsewhere by the start of the season.
Nesterovic, whose $8 million contract will expire at the end of 2008-09 and give the Pacers much need cap room (another salary cap term), and Hibbert should be able to man the center position.
NBA scouting guru Marty Blake said of Rush: "I thought that Rush was maybe the best all-around guard in the draft. He can play some small forward. He's a very well rounded player. Does a lot of things well. This is a guy that should really help Indiana."
Blake said of Hibbert: "He's more athletic than people give him credit for. He functioned very well in the Princeton offense in college. He's a very good passer for his size. Indiana needed a big guy, and he's a good fit."
The one thing about Rush is that he can be eased into the rotation behind Mike Dunleavy at big guard and in back of Danny Granger at small forward.
No projects for Larry Bird, who is now in charge of the Pacers with Donnie Walsh in charge of the New York Knicks. We will see what Bird is made of as leader of a franchise.
Hard to believe it was just four years ago that the Pacers won 61 games, tops in the NBA, and was a Reggie Miller dunk from being at lead in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against eventual champion Detroit.
I am not ludicrous enought to believe that anytime soon the Pacers can get back to the championship level, where they were in the ECF five times in seven years, including being in the NBA Finals in 2000. But I think we can be a competitive playoff team soon.
But I have only one question. What am I supposed to do with my Jermaine O'Neal poster and bobble head?
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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