2013 Free Agent Market Rumors

How They Were Signed: Rookie Exception

January 11 at 9:54pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

Continuing the discussion as to how teams have signed the players on their roster, we now turn our attention to the rookie exception. The rookie exception allows teams to sign players drafted in that year’s NBA draft regardless of their current cap situation.

Unlike previous exceptions we have discussed that can be quite complicated, the rookie exception is fairly straightforward. It applies only to picks drafted in the first round and allows a team to sign their first round pick for up to 120% of that year’s rookie scale amount. A player’s rookie scale amount is dependent on how highly they were drafted. Under this exception, a rookie is given two guaranteed seasons and the team is given options to extend that contract for the third and fourth seasons.

If the team picks up the third and fourth season team options, the rookie scale also provides a one-year qualifying offer amount the team must offer the player if they want him to stay beyond a fourth season. The qualifying offer triggers restricted free agency. In many cases, the player warrants a higher salary and a contract that covers a greater length of time, but the qualifying offer serves as a baseline for negotiation. The amount of the qualifying offer can change if a player meets “starter criteria,” which you can read more about here.

The salaries for the first three seasons of the rookie scale contract are set figures, whereas the fourth year and the qualifying offer are percentages of the previous year’s salary.

An example of what the rookie scale for the top 5 picks of the 2013/14 draft looks like is listed below:

Pick

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3 Team Option

Year 4 Team Option (% over year 3 salary)

Qualifying Offer: (% increase over year 4 salary)

1

$4,436,900

$4,636,600

$4,836,300

26.1%

30.0%

2

$3,969,800

$4,148,500

$4,327,100

26.2%

30.5%

3

$3,565,000

$3,725,400

$3,885,800

26.4%

31.2%

4

$3,214,200

$3,358,800

$3,503,500

26.5%

31.9%

5

$2,910,600

$3,041,600

$3,172,600

26.7%

32.6%

Remember that teams can, and usually do, sign their rookies to 120% of that player’s rookie scale amount. Proof of that is what the contracts for the top 5 picks of this draft actually turned out to be. They were all signed to the maximum amount (120% of the rookie scale) allowed under the rookie scale.

Player

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3 Team Option

Year 4 Team Option

Anthony Bennett

5,324,280

5,563,920

5,803,560

7,318,289

Victor Oladipo

4,763,760

4,978,200

5,192,520

6,552,960

Otto Porter

4,278,000

4,470,480

4,662,960

5,893,981

Cody Zeller

3,857,040

4,030,560

4,204,200

5,318,313

Alex Len

3,492,720

3,649,920

3,807,120

4,823,621

Feel free to read Hoops Rumors explanation of the rookie scale for more information as to how this exception works. Below is a team-by-team list of players who were signed using the rookie exception.

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

How They Were Signed: Minimum Salary Exception

January 7 at 6:16pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

As we continue to look at how teams have signed players on their roster, it is fitting on the last day that players unguaranteed salaries become guaranteed that we focus on the way most unguaranteed players were signed – the minimum salary exception.

Teams that are over the salary cap can sign a player for their allotted minimum salary for up to 2 years. Below is a player’s minimum salary dependent on how many years they have played in the NBA.  

Minimum Salary

Players with no NBA playing experience can be signed to a minimum salary deal. This is typical of second round draft picks because only first-round picks are guaranteed a rookie scale contract.

To incentivize teams to sign older players, the NBA has agreed to reimburse teams that sign a player with three or more years’ experience, with a few stipulations. The NBA will only reimburse the amount over what it would cost if that player had played in the NBA for two years and will only reimburse the team if the player was signed to a one year deal.

Below is a team by team list of players who were signed using the minimum salary exception. You can read more details on the exception here.

Because this article is posted past the 4pm deadline, all players listed below are now fully guaranteed for this season. Additionally, keep in mind the players listed below were signed under the exception. Other players may have been signed to a minimum salary contract but their team had cap space and thus didn’t need the exception to sign that player.

StorytellersContractsShamSports, and Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ’s were used in the creation of this post.

Minimum-Salary Players Averaging 20+ MPG

January 2 at 9:07pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Lakers aren’t known for their bargain shopping on the free agent market, but this year, they scored an extraordinary number of contributors for the minimum salary. Five Lakers are averaging more than 20 minutes per game while making the minimum, including Nick Young, the team’s leading scorer and a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. Young might have found more money if he’d signed with another team, but the allure of playing for his hometown Lakers was too great. The team’s other low-paid rotation guys probably wouldn’t have been able to sign for a salary greater than the minimum elsewhere, so with them, it’s more a matter of GM Mitch Kupchak‘s eye for talent and Mike D’Antoni‘s coaching. Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry, Jordan Farmar and Shawne Williams have all pitched in to help the team mitigate the loss of Kobe Bryant for all but six games so far this season. The Lakers are just 13-19, but they’d probably be much worse if not for their cut-rate five.

The Rockets have had much more success this season, with a 21-13 record, and while that has much to do with Dwight Howard and James Harden, the team’s pair of max contract players, three minimum-salary forces have emerged. Patrick Beverley is on the shelf with a broken hand, but when he’s played he’s notched 31.5 MPG, more than any other minimum-salary player in the league this year aside from Isaiah Thomas of the Kings. Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia are also significant cogs for Houston, which would boast a fourth minimum-salary rotation player if Chandler Parsons‘ contract didn’t call for him to make only about $42K more than the minimum for a player with his experience.

Here’s every player in the NBA this season making the minimum salary and averaging at least 20 MPG entering today:

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

How They Were Signed: Early Bird & Non-Bird Exception

December 28 2013 at 10:33pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

After looking at the frequently used Bird exception earlier this week, we will now inspect which NBA players have been signed to their current contracts using one of the lesser-used forms of the Bird exception. These variations to the Bird exception are the Early Bird exception and the Non-Bird exception. Both exceptions are similar to the Bird exception in that they were designed to allow teams to re-sign their players regardless of that NBA team’s current cap space.

As we discussed previously, in order for a player to earn their Bird rights they need to play for their NBA team for at least three seasons. However, a player can earn their Early Bird rights after playing for a team for only two seasons. Once a player has earned those rights their NBA team can re-sign that player for up to four years for either 175% of that player’s previous year’s salary or the league-average salary, whichever is greater. Whatever the first year salary becomes under this exception, the team may raise that player’s salary each year up to 7.5% of the previous year’s salary. More details on the Early Bird exception can be read here.

Even less playing time is needed for a player to earn their Non-Bird rights. If a player ends a season on an NBA roster, they are eligible for Non-Bird rights. Once a player has earned those rights, their NBA team can re-sign that player for the greatest of 1) 120% of the player’s previous salary, 2) 120% of the minimum salary, or 3) the amount of a qualifying offer that player may have if they are a restricted free agent. Once the first year salary is agreed upon, the team can sign that player for up to four years and give them up to 4.5% annual raises each year. More details on the Non-Bird exception can be read here.

Below is a team-by-team list of players who were signed using the Early Bird or Non-Bird exception. It is assumed the players signed via the Early Bird exception unless otherwise noted.

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

How They Were Signed: Bird Exception

December 27 2013 at 10:47am CST By Jonathan Nehring

Continuing the discussion of how players have signed around the league, we now look at the very popular exception – the Bird exception. The Bird exception is named after Larry Bird and lets teams go over the salary cap to re-sign their own players. The purpose of this exception is to allow teams to re-sign their star players regardless of their current cap situation.

Very briefly, a player can become eligible to be re-signed under the Bird exception if they have played on the same team for three years or longer. There are many more rules to this exception and a more detailed breakdown of those rules can be viewed here.

If a player signs a contract with the Bird exception they are eligible to sign a max salary contract that increases up to 7.5% each year for a maximum of five years.  The maximum salary amount is determined by the amount of years the player has played in the NBA. For example, the maximum salary in 2013/14 for a player with 0-6 years’ experience is $13.70MM, 7-9 years’ experience $16.44MM, and 10+ years’ experience $19.18MM.

A team is also allowed to sign players under what is called the Non-Bird Exception, and Early Bird Exception but we will focus on those another time. For now, below is a team by team list of players who were signed using the Bird Exception.

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

How They Were Signed: Mini Mid-Level & Room Exception

December 14 2013 at 10:05pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

Continuing to look at how players on current NBA rosters were signed; we will combine the two non-standard forms of the mid-level exception. As previously discussed, there are three versions of the mid-level exception dependent upon where the team’s salary is in relation to the salary cap and luxury tax amount.

Teams below the salary cap are given what is referred to as the room exception. Teams above the luxury tax line are given what is referred to as a mini mid-level exception. Teams above the salary cap but below the luxury tax are allotted the full mid-level exception. We have already looked at players signed under the full mid-level exception and today we will focus on those players signed under the room exception and mini mid-level exception.

The room exception allows teams to sign players for up to two years. The amount they are allowed to offer that player in the first year of the contract changes each year and in 2013/14 that amount was $2.65MM. The contract can grow each year to a maximum of 4.5%. Therefore teams who were looking to offer a player a contract this past offseason and were under the salary cap could use the room exception to offer that player up to a $5.42MM contract.

The mini mid-level exception allows teams to sign players for up to three years. The amount they are allowed to offer that player in the first year of the contract also changes each year and in 2013/14 that amount was $3.18MM. The contract can grow each year at a maximum rate of 4.5%. Therefore teams who were looking to offer a player a contract this past offseason and were above both the salary cap and the luxury tax amount could use the mini mid-level exception to offer that player up to a $9.98MM contract.

Teams are allowed to use both of these exceptions each year and are not required to use it on only one player but can split it among multiple players. A more detailed explanation of these exceptions is available here.

Below is a team-by-team list of which players on current NBA rosters were signed under either the room exception or the mini mid-level exception. Assume the player was signed using the mini mid-level exception unless otherwise stated.

  • Atlanta Hawks 
    • None
  • Boston Celtics 
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Charlotte Bobcats
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 
    • None
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Denver Nuggets 
    • None
  • Detroit Pistons
    • None
  • Golden State
    • None
  • Houston Rockets
  • Indiana Pacers
    • None
  • Los Angeles Clippers
    • None
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies
    • None
  • Miami Heat
  • Milwaukee Bucks
    • None
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
    • None
  • New Orleans Pelicans
    • None
  • New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
    • None
  • Orlando Magic
    • None
  • Philadelphia 76ers
    • None
  • Phoenix Suns
    • None
  • Portland Trailblazers
    • Mo Williams ($2.65MM 13/14; $2.77MM 14/15) (Room Exception)
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
    • None
  • Toronto Raptors
    • None
  • Utah Jazz
    • None
  • Washington Wizards
    • None

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

How They Were Signed: Mid-Level Exception

December 9 2013 at 7:15pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

After looking at players that were signed under a team’s cap space and under one of the infrequently used salary cap exceptions – the bi-annual exception; we will look at which players on current NBA rosters were signed using the mid-level exception.

The mid-level exception is the second most frequently used salary cap exception and comes in three forms. These forms of the mid-level exception depend on whether the NBA team’s player contracts are below the  cap, or in the luxury tax. Teams below the salary cap are given what is referred to as the room exception. Teams above the luxury tax line are given what is referred to as a mini mid-level exception. Teams above the salary cap but below the luxury tax are allotted the full mid-level exception. Today we will only focus on those players signed under the full mid-level exception and will look at the room exception and mini mid-level exception another time.

The full mid-level exception allows teams to sign players for up to four years. The amount they are allowed to offer that player in the first year of the contract changes each year. For 2013/14 that amount was $5.15MM. The contract can grow each year to a maximum of 4.5%. Therefore teams who were looking to offer a player a contract this past offseason but were over the cap could offer that player up to a $21.99MM contract.

Teams are also allowed to use this exception each year and are not required to use it on only one player but can split it among multiple players. A more detailed explanation of the mid-level exception is available here.

Below is a team-by-team list of which players on current NBA rosters were signed under the standard mid-level exception.

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

 

How They Were Signed: Cap Space

December 6 2013 at 11:59pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

Continuing Hoops Rumors overview as to how each player currently on an NBA roster was signed, we will look at the players who were signed using a team’s cap space. Ironically, more players are signed to a team’s roster using a salary cap exception than are signed to a team’s roster using a team’s salary cap space.

For the 2013/14 NBA season, each team has a salary cap of $58.679M. Players signed to an exception still count against this salary cap. For example, the Bulls haven’t signed any player to their current roster using cap space but are $20M above the cap.

Below is a team-by-team list of which players on current NBA rosters were signed using only a team’s cap space.

  • Atlanta Hawks 
  • Boston Celtics 
    • None
  • Brooklyn Nets
    • None
  • Charlotte Bobcats
  • Chicago Bulls
    • None
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 
  • Dallas Mavericks
    • Monta Ellis ($8.00MM 13/14; $8.36MM 14/15; $8.72MM 15/16)
    • Jose Calderon ($6.79MM 13/14; $7.10MM 14/15; $7.40MM 15/16; $7.71MM 16/17)
    • Samuel Dalembert ($3.70MM 13/14; $3.87MM 14/15)
    • Jae Crowder ($0.80MM 13/14; $0.92MM 14/15; $1.18MM 15/16)
    • Bernard James ($0.80MM 13/14; $1.12MM 14/15)
    • Ricky Ledo ($0.54MM 13/14; $0.82MM 14/15; $1.00MM 15/16; $1.02MM 16/17)
    • Gal Mekel ($0.49MM 13/14; $0.82MM 14/15; $1.00MM 15/16; $1.22MM 16/17)
  • Denver Nuggets 
    • None
  • Detroit Pistons
  • Golden State
    • None
  • Houston Rockets
    • Dwight Howard ($20.50MM 13/14; $21.44MM 14/15; $22.36MM 15/16; 23.28MM 16/17)
    • Omer Asik ($8.37MM 13/14; $8.37MM 14/15)
    • Jeremy Lin ($8.37MM 13/14; $8.37MM 14/15)
    • Chandler Parsons ($0.93MM 13/14; $0.96MM 14/15)
    • Patrick Beverley ($0.79MM 13/14; $0.92MM 14/15; $1.18MM 15/16)
    • Isaiah Canaan ($0.57MM 13/14; $0.82MM 14/15; $0.95MM 15/16; $1.22MM 16/17)
    • Robert Covington ($0.50MM 13/14; $0.82MM 14/15; $0.95MM 15/16; $1.22MM 16/17)
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
    • None
  • Los Angeles Lakers
    • None
  • Memphis Grizzlies
    • Mike Conley ($8.60MM 13/14; $9.29MM 14/15; $9.99MM 15/16)
  • Miami Heat
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Kevin Love ($14.69MM 13/14; $15.72MM 14/15;  $16.74MM 15/16)
    • Jose Barea ($4.69MM 13/14; $4.52MM 14/15)
    • Corey Brewer ($4.50MM 13/14; $4.70MM 14/15; $4.91MM 15/16)
    • Alexey Shved ($3.15MM 13/14; $3.28MM 14/15; $4.10MM 15/16)
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
    • None
  • Orlando Magic
    • None
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Portland Trailblazers
  • Sacramento Kings
    • Marcus Thornton ($8.05MM 13/14; $8.58MM 14/15)
    • Carl Landry ($6.50MM 13/14; $6.50MM 14/15; $6.50MM 15/16; $6.50MM 16/17)
    • Chuck Hayes ($5.72MM 13/14; $5.96MM 14/15)
    • Travis Outlaw ($3.00MM 13/14; $3.00MM 14/15)
    • Isaiah Thomas ($0.88MM 13/14; $1.15MM 14/15)
    • Ray McCallum ($0.52MM 13/14; $0.82MM 14/15; $0.95MM 15/16; $1.22MM 16/17)
  • San Antonio Spurs
    • None
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Utah Jazz
  • Washington Wizards
    • None

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

Signees With The Most To Be Thankful For

November 28 2013 at 7:58pm CST By Chuck Myron

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States, where 29 of the NBA’s 30 teams are based, so it seems like the right time to identify the players with the most to be thankful for. There are certainly plenty of worthy candidates, since just making the NBA is an achievement that should provoke gratitude.

We’ll use NBA.com’s net rating to help us. It measures how many points per 100 possessions a team either gains or loses while a player is on the floor. We’re only counting players who signed a new contract or an extension this past offseason. That leaves out guys like Amar’e Stoudemire, who has a negative 26.3 net rating while drawing nearly $21.7MM from the Knicks this year. He signed a contract for almost $100MM in 2010, and save for his first few months in blue-and-orange, he’s had reason to give thanks everyday since, so Thanksgiving is nothing special.

This list also excludes players who’ve played less than 100 minutes this season. The bar-room brawl that knocked Larry Sanders out for six weeks with an injured thumb gives him more reason for remorse than gratefulness, and there’s plenty of reason to think his negative 28.3 net rating in just 52 minutes this season will improve once he hits the court again. Certainly, the Bucks have $44MM reasons to hope so.

Another qualification is that the player’s team must be at least .500, since it’s a lot easier to accrue a negative net rating on a squad with a poor record. The minus 19.2 net rating that Derrick Favors has put up after signing for four years and $48MM certainly isn’t helping the Jazz, but it’s far from the only reason that Utah is a league-worst 2-14.

There’s also aren’t any minimum-salary players on the list. While even the smallest of NBA paychecks would represent a raise for most, it’s hard to expect much out of a player plucked from the NBA’s bargain bin, like Jamaal Tinsley and his minus 20.2 net rating.

We’re left with four players, enough to gather around a Thanksgiving table. Their net ratings, all of which are worse than negative 10, are listed in parentheses.

  • Quincy Pondexter, Grizzlies (-18.0) — signed four-year, $14MM extension
  • Marreese Speights, Warriors (-16.4) — signed three-year, $10,972,500 contract
  • Dennis Schröder, Hawks (-16.3) — signed four-year, $7,510,862 rookie scale contract
  • Tony Snell, Bulls (-11.3) — signed four-year, $6,785,647 rookie scale contract

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

How They Were Signed: Bi-Annual Exception

November 20 2013 at 9:33pm CST By Jonathan Nehring

Over the next several weeks Hoops Rumors will examine how all the players on each NBA roster were signed. We will look at whether space under the salary cap or one of the various cap exceptions listed below were used to sign each player.

The NBA utilizes a soft salary cap which allows teams without cap space the ability to go over that season’s cap using one of the following salary cap exceptions.

First up in our overview of each player’s contracts: The bi-annual exception. As the name describes, the bi-annual exception is available to teams every other year and is typically used to sign players worth more than the minimum salary but less than the mid-level exception.

The bi-annual exception allows a team to sign a player to a max of two seasons for a salary amount determined by the league each year. For 2013/14 the maximum amount allowed for the bi-annual exception is $2.016MM. Additionally, teams can give a player who is signing a bi-annual exception contract up to a 4.5% raise for the second season of that contract.

The bi-annual exception is very restrictive in its uses and results. Only teams above the salary cap but below the tax apron ($4MM over the tax threshold) are allowed to use the bi-annual exception. After using this exception, these teams are limited to a hard cap for that season, disallowing them from exceeding the tax apron at any time during the year.

Below is a team-by-team list of which players on current NBA rosters were signed under the bi-annual exception.

  • Atlanta Hawks 
    • None
  • Boston Celtics 
    • None
  • Brooklyn Nets
    • None
  • Charlotte Bobcats
    • None
  • Chicago Bulls
    • None
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 
    • None
  • Dallas Mavericks
    • None
  • Denver Nuggets 
  • Detroit Pistons
    • None
  • Golden State
  • Houston Rockets
    • None
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
    • None
  • Los Angeles Lakers
    • None
  • Memphis Grizzlies
    • None
  • Miami Heat
    • None
  • Milwaukee Bucks
    • None
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New Orleans Pelicans
    • None
  • New York Knicks
    • None
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
    • None
  • Orlando Magic
    • None
  • Philadelphia 76ers
    • None
  • Phoenix Suns
    • None
  • Portland Trailblazers
    • None
  • Sacramento Kings
    • None
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Toronto Raptors
    • None
  • Utah Jazz
    • None
  • Washington Wizards

StorytellersContracts and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.