As a way of continuing to make this blog even cooler (and yes I did just use the “blog” and “cool” in the same sentence). I have decided to get you guys involved more. From now on, I encourage you to post what you think the score will be on that day’s game on the game preview post. I know some of you are wondering why you would waste your time, SO let me let you know what you will win. I will tally up who is the closest/wins the most over a two week period, and that winner can either write a post for this blog, or choose a topic for Goose and I to write about. I thought this would be kind of a cool prize, cause we both know that I am too cheap to buy anything worth receiving for the prize. Let me know what you guys think, or if you can think of any other prizes that you would like. I look forward to seeing your entries tomorrow!
Raef's Contract Part 1
Ok, now onto my topic for the day. I would like to start a multipart post about Raef LaFrentz and his expiring contracts, and how it will affect our roster in trades and free agency.
First, let me start with the basics. Every year in the NBA there is what’s called a salary cap. This is the maximum an organization can pay their players without going into the dreaded “luxury tax”. Currently the salary cap is at $58,680,000.00 and the Blazers are at $82,371,043.00, which puts us $23,691,043.00 over. The $23.69 mil is considered the “luxury tax”. The penalty for going over the salary cap, and into the luxury tax, is a $1 for $1 payment to the league for every $1 over the cap. So, this season Paul Allen has to write a check to the NBA for $23.69 mil. Now you know why so many owners are trying to get under the cap. Good news for Paul though is that, not only does Raef’s$12.72 mil come off our salary after the season, but so does Steve Francis’ $17.18 mil. Now some of you might ask, why is Francis’ still on our books, I thought we got rid of him? Well we did, but in the form of a buyout. You might have heard the term buyout floating around Stephon Marbury and the New York Knicks. This is essentially a negotiated value (almost always less then the remainder on the players guaranteed contract), which is then spread out evenly over the remaining years of that players contract. Stick with me now, so we bought out Francis (who had 2 years and 39 mil left on his contract) for 34.36 mil. Since he had two years remaining on his contract, we divided the 34.36 buyout amount by 2, and that is why he is on the books this year for 17.18 mil.
Sorry for the random tangent on Francis, but I thought it was important to explain why expiring contracts are so valuable. This is also why it is such an issue if Darius Miles comes back onto our books, because if proven healthy we would have to pay him 9 mil not only this year, but next as well. But back to Raef’s contract, the reason it has even more value is the insurance policy on the contract. Because Raef had rotater cuff surgery before the season, and is likely to miss almost all of the season, the insurance will pay for 80% of his contract, leaving the team who owns the contract only paying $2.5 mil of his $12.75 mil.
Now I know this stuff is boring and mundane for some of you, but this is the kind of stuff that makes me tick. But for your sake I will bring it back around, and pose a question to you. What would you like to see the Blazers do with Raef’s contract? Just sit on it, and wait for it to expire and pick up a free agent this summer? Make a trade, with Raef and some of our young talent? If so,s then for who? These are all topics that I will cover later in other parts of my discussion of Raef’s contract, but I want to see what you guys think. Maybe I will even use and discuss some of your ideas in my future posts. So please, have at the comment section, I want to hear your thoughts!