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    Default Dead money and cap ballast

    Dead money and cap ballast

    Comment Email Print Share <script type="text/javascript"> var stobj = SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title:"Sheridan:%20Dead%20money%20and%20cap%20ball ast", url:" ntracts-090630", published: "2009-07-02" }); stobj.attachButton(document.getElementById("espnst link")); </script>
    <cite class="source"> By Chris Sheridan
    Archive </cite>
    <!-- end mod-article-title --> <!-- begin story body --> <nospace><!-- photo wide photo --></nospace>
    <cite>Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images</cite>The $9 million owed to Darius Miles limits what Portland can do in free agency this offseason.
    <!-- end wide photo -->It is unknown whether we've seen the last of Darius Miles, who recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons again -- getting arrested on a possession of marijuana charge while rollin' in a '96 Impala not far from the East St. Louis neighborhood where he grew up.
    If Miles is convicted, he will undoubtedly face another suspension should he resume his NBA career, following his 10-game suspension of last season.
    If he chooses to retire -- though his agent said recently that Miles plans to keep playing -- he will roll into retirement with plenty of another kind of green substance: money.
    Miles will make $9 million next season in the final year of the $48 million contract he signed with Portland as a free agent in 2004. That $9 million will count against the Trail Blazers' cap for complex reasons that have been well documented, hampering the Portland Trail Blazers' efforts to be the major players in this summer's free-agent market.
    Take away that $9 million, and Portland would have between $17 million and $20 million of cap room to work with -- an amount similar to what Detroit should have available under the new salary cap when the free-agent-signing moratorium ends July 8.
    Instead, the Blazers are among a group of teams with a modest amount of cap space, including Oklahoma City, Memphis, Sacramento and potentially Toronto and Atlanta. And if the Blazers want to make a play for one of the major unrestricted free agents on the market -- a group that includes Lamar Odom, Hedo Turkoglu, Trevor Ariza, Ron Artest, Ben Gordon and possibly Carlos Boozer -- they probably will have to offer all their available cap space to just one player.
    Compared to the cap-killing contracts that were on the Blazers' books last season (Steve Francis for $14.4 million, Raef LaFrentz for $12.7), Miles' number is somewhat tame. But given the way it will hinder Portland's flexibility, it is more than enough to land Miles in the No. 1 spot on our list of the Summer of 2009's Top 15 Dead Money Players and Cap-Killing Contracts.

    1. Darius Miles ($9 million against Portland's cap)
    As noted above, Miles was pulled over in mid-May in the St. Louis suburb of Fairview Heights, Ill., for failing to use a turn signal. Police ticketed him for driving with a suspended license, and a search of the car after it was towed allegedly uncovered a misdemeanor amount of marijuana in a bag. The Memphis Grizzlies already have stated they have no intention of re-signing the 27-year-old, who had to serve a 10-game drug suspension before being allowed to play last season, and it already was clear Memphis' main motive in signing him was to affect the Blazers' cap flexibility -- in part to keep them from being the type of under-the-cap trade facilitator the Grizzlies and Clippers were last season.
    2. Jamaal Tinsley ($7.2 million against Indiana's cap)
    An arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 27 in New York to hear Tinsley's case, which could be a precedent setter. Tinsley was banned from the Pacers for "team character" reasons last summer, and he initially stayed away and didn't make much noise because Indiana promised to trade him. But when the deadline came and went in February without Pacers president Larry Bird finding a taker, and when Tinsley received no counter to his buyout proposal, he proceeded with a grievance in which he will argue before arbitrator Calvin Sharpe that Indiana has no right to keep him out of uniform against his wishes. Making it even more difficult for Bird to find a taker in a trade, Tinsley's contract runs for two more seasons. He will make $7.5 million in 2010-11.

    3. Marko Jaric ($7.1 million against Memphis' cap)
    Four years after the fact, it continues to boggle the mind that Minnesota's Kevin McHale included a future No. 1 draft pick when he obtained Jaric from the Clippers in a sign-and-trade for Sam Cassell. The Wolves still owe that pick to Los Angeles, and it has lottery protection through the 10th pick that comes off for the 2012 draft. Our crystal ball also tells us Jaric will have a prominent spot on this list a year from now, when he'll be owed $7.625 million. The newly acquired Quentin Richardson and his $8.7 million salary come off the books next summer.
    4. Mark Blount ($7.97 million against Miami's cap)
    Back when Pat Riley thought Ricky Davis would help the Miami Heat get back into title contention, he agreed to surrender a first-round pick (the one the Wolves used on Ty Lawson last week) and take on Blount's monster contract in order to get the deal done. The Heat, despite Blount's ballast, still would have been major players in free agency this summer had they not dealt Shawn Marion to Toronto for Jermaine O'Neal, who is on the books for the upcoming season at a whopping $23.016 million.

    5. Erick Dampier ($12.1 million against Dallas' cap)
    During a casual conversation with reporters during Team USA's camp in Las Vegas in the summer of 2007, the discussion was about the new NBA trend toward fiscal responsibility. "Damp ruined it for everybody, eh?" said Kobe Bryant, who can opt out of his own deal this summer or next summer but who said during the recent NBA Finals that he could not envision playing for a team other than the Los Angeles Lakers. Dampier also is owed $13.08 million for 2010-11, but that is a team option -- and we'll go out on a limb here and predict Mark Cuban will not exercise it.
    6. Andrei Kirilenko ($16.4 million against Utah's cap)
    Yep, the Jazz sure were throwing mad money around a few years ago, back in the days when "AK-47" was synonymous with the 5-by-5. The Russian forward is on the books for another $17.8 for the 2010-11 season, and -- just an educated guess here -- probably the only hope the Jazz have of shedding this contract is by tossing in the Knicks' unprotected No. 1 pick in 2010 that Isiah Thomas surrendered for Stephon Marbury and Utah subsequently acquired in the Suns' 2004 salary dump that enabled the signing of Steve Nash.

    7. Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries ($10.5 million and $6.47 million, respectively, against New York's cap)
    The real problem here is that both are on the books for a combined $18.2 million for the 2010-11 season, and New York president Donnie Walsh needs to move at least one of them (depending on how David Lee's and Nate Robinson's restricted free agency play out this summer) to have enough cap room to make a max offer to one of the stud free agents who will be on the market a year from now -- a lineup that begins, on New York's wish list, with LeBron James.
    8. Samuel Dalembert ($12.02 million against Philadelphia's cap)
    Want to know why Billy King is appearing regularly on NBA TV these days while Ed Stefanski is the man at the controls of the Philadlephia 76ers? Because of the litany of exorbitant deals the Sixers gave out under King's and Larry Brown's watch (Eric Snow, Aaron McKie, Kenny Thomas) -- one of the worst of which was King's alone: Dalembert's six-year, $64 million deal in the summer of 2005. Still to be determined is whether the Sixers will regret that signing more than last summer's signing of Elton Brand.

    9. Tracy McGrady ($23.29 million against Houston's cap)
    With McGrady recovering from microfracture surgery that will force him to miss at least part of the upcoming season, any team that acquires T-Mac will have an insurance company paying a large chunk of his salary. And in an economic climate like the one that's changing the NBA landscape as we speak, this could emerge as quite the trade chip for Daryl Morey if the Rockets' general manager plays his cards correctly.
    10. Kenny Thomas ($8.775 against Sacramento's cap)
    This contract would have been the Knicks' problem (actually, it wouldn't haven been a problem for them because it's a big deal that expires in the summer of 2010) if New York had agreed to send Nate Robinson and Jared Jeffries to Sacramento at February's trade deadline. If the teams decide to revisit that deal (adding Bobby Jackson as a sign-and-trade piece with only one guaranteed season would make the salaries match), it might make sense for both teams -- as well as being one of the few ways Robinson will get the type of money he is seeking.

    11. Mo Peterson and Antonio Daniels ($5.8 million and $6.6 million, respectively, against New Orleans' cap)
    Peterson is signed through '10-11 (he'll make $6.2 million in his final year) and has a 7.5 percent trade kicker, so we'll go ahead and pencil him in for the Hornets on next year's Dead Money List. Daniels once was a pretty nice player, a steady point guard who won a championship with the '99 Spurs, and he's one of the nicest guys in the league. But he never was worth the money Washington dumped on him when it gave him a five-year, $29 million contract in the Summer of Dalembert. Taking on this contract was the cost of getting rid of Mike James, which the Hornets were doing when they acquired AD from Washington this past December to have a more reliable backup behind Chris Paul.
    12. Nick Collison ($6.25 million against Oklahoma City's cap)
    Collison also is on the books for $6.75 million in 2010-11, meaning he'll earn nearly as much money in the next two seasons as Kevin Durant will have earned over the first three seasons of the rookie contract he currently is playing under. The good news for the Thunder: Earl Watson's $6.6 million salary comes off the books next summer, and Collision will come off the cap a year later when Clay Bennett and his partners have to start digging deep to pay veteran money to Durant, Jeff Green and then Russell Westbrook and James Harden. (Another positive note for OKC fans: The Thunder own Phoenix's unprotected 2010 draft pick, which means they could have two lottery picks next June.)

    13. Brian Cardinal ($6.75 million against Minnesota's cap)
    He doesn't have much game left, but Cardinal still is living large off the largesse Jerry West was throwing around in the summer of 2004 with Memphis, when he bestowed a six-year contract on a role player coming off one overachieving season in Golden State. Of course, that happened only 12 months after West traded the rights to Kendrick Perkins and Marcus Banks to Boston for the rights to Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones -- not a good year for "The Logo," whose successor, Chris Wallace, took on the Jaric contract in order to rid himself of Cardinal's contract in last year's Mike Miller trade.
    14. Marcus Banks ($4.5 million against Toronto's cap)
    NBA veteran Malik Rose once told me a story about how NBA players had a term for players who stopped producing immediately after signing a big contract. They called it "signed and retired," and Banks embodies that. And no Banks entry can exclude the story of how Phoenix gave him that four-year, $18 million contract the same year they drafted Rajon Rondo and traded his rights to Boston. Rondo will make just $2.1 million next season, while Banks will be on his third team since then, unless Toronto somehow manages to move him.
    15. Zach Randolph ($16 million against the Clippers' cap)
    Z-Bo is such a special case that he merits inclusion simply for the relative absurdity of his price tag ($33 million over the next two years). He's not really dead money, given his production, but he's an awfully expensive piece of a handsomely paid front line that also will include Chris Kaman 's $10.4 million, Marcus Camby's $9.6 million and Blake Griffin's $4.98 million in the upcoming season if none of them are traded over the summer.

  2. #2
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    that kenny thomas deal should have gone, could you imagine trading curry and effries for ak and the our first pick?
    Last edited by ANU; Jul 02, 2009 at 12:58.

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