NBA Roundtable

Orlando Gives $25mil to J-Rich

In Free Agency on December 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm

ESPN reports

Jason Richardson is staying with the Orlando Magic.

Richardson agreed to a four-year, $25 million deal to remain in Orlando, according to a report on Yahoo! Sports citing league sources.

Another awful move by Otis Smith following his acquisition of Glen Davis yesterday.

Cap Flexibility

This is what I would have liked Orlando to do:

2012 Contracts

  • Dwight Howard — free agent — max contract expected to be around $19.5 million
  • Hedo Turkoglu — $11.815 million with two years left on deal
  • Ryan Anderson — restricted free agent expected to be paid $8-10 million per annum
  • Jameer Nelson — $8.6 million (player option, likely to pick up)
  • Glen Davis ~~ $6.4 million with three years left on deal
  • JJ Redick — $6.19 million (non-guaranteed)
  • Jason Richardson ~~ $5.8 million with three years left on deal
  • Chris Duhon — $3.25 million with two years left on deal ($1.5 million guaranteed 2nd year)
  • Quentin Richardson — $2.63 million with two years left on deal (player option, likely to pick up)
  • Earl Clark — $1.24 million (player option, likely to pick up)
  • Von Wafer — $1.146 (team option, not likely to be picked up)
  • Justin Harper — $762k

Total including JJ Redick but not-including Ryan Anderson and Von Wafer = $64 million
Total including Ryan Anderson but not Von Wafer = $75 million

My Preferred Path

Creating cap flexibility for the summer of 2012 in order to make a run at Chris Paul or Deron Williams or some other highly talented player(s) to put alongside Dwight Howard in an effort to improve Orlando’s long term foundation to it’s roster and to convince Dwight Howard to stay.

  • Do not sign Glen Davis = minus $6.3 million
  • Do not sign Jason Richardson = minus $5.8 million
  • Use the Stretch Exception on Hedo Turkoglu = this means that Orlando can buyout Hedo’s contract and stretch the payments over two times his current contracts plus one year. So two years by two plus one is five years. Orlando can spread out $23.815 million Hedo is owed over the next two years over five seasons meaning that only $4.76 million would count against their cap that summer.
  • Waive JJ Redick = minus $6.19 million
  • Rescind rights to Ryan Anderson = no $8-10 million per annum deal
  • Trade Jameer Nelson to a team below the cap = minus $8.6 million
  • Let Brandon Bass opt out and leave
  • Sign Justin Harper and Earl Clark to one year deals only

This leaves Orlando with Dwight Howard, Quentin Richardson and Chris Duhon and $4.76 million of Hedo Turkoglu’s contract plus their 2012 first round pick (~$1.5 million) giving Orlando a new total of $31.64 million.

  • Trade the first round pick and Quentin Richardson to a team below the cap to get rid of his contract
  • Trade Chris Duhon + $3 million to a team below the cap. That team would still be responsible for $1.75 million of Duhon’s salary so Orlando would likely need another incentive to convince a team to take him on. Maybe a pair of second round picks.

That means Orlando would be starting off with only $4.76 million of Hedo’s dead salary on their books. They sign Dwight Howard to a max deal and now they have $24.26 million on their books. They have 11 open roster spots so that is another $5.5 million taking us to $29.76 million.

Assuming a cap of $60 million, Orlando would have $30 million in cap space to pursue Chris Paul or Deron Williams + additional FA target(s) [maybe Ryan Anderson].

Worst case scenario, it still isn’t enough to convince Dwight Howard to stay but you have maximum cap flexibility to rebuild your team and you are not stuck paying role players like Jason Richardson and Glen Davis for the next three years.

Summary

This is the type of aggressive strategy I wanted to see Orlando employ to keep Dwight Howard next summer.

Oh and one of the best parts about it, they wouldn’t have to part with Hedo, Anderson, Bass, Jameer or Redick until next summer so they could keep their supporting cast in place this season and win as many as possible. Not suffer through an excruciatingly painful 30 win season that infuriates Dwight Howard no-end in the short-term.

But no, this is not what Otis Smith does. Instead he overpays Glen Davis and gives a long term deal to Jason Richardson wiping out $11 million in cap flexibility that summer right off the bat. Mediocrity here we come. Well done Otis!

 

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