The Hidden Value Of Brendan Haywood’s Contract

A 34-year-old backup center on the Hornets roster seems an odd selling point for the Cavs to use in their pitch to woo LeBron James back to Cleveland, but Brendan Haywood is reportedly one of the players the Cavs believe can help them win over the four-time MVP. It’s not because of any recruiting message Haywood might deliver to James. Rather, it’s because of a vestige of the amnesty provision that’s scarcely considered outside of NBA front offices.

USA TODAY SportsThe Hornets agreed on draft night to a trade that will send Haywood to the Cavs. It won’t be official until after the July moratorium, which runs through Wednesday. On the surface, the deal seems like a pedestrian exchange of the aging Haywood and 45th overall pick Dwight Powell for reserve small forward Alonzo Gee.

Haywood was in the middle of his ninth season with the Wizards in 2010 when they traded him to the Mavericks, who re-signed him that summer to a six-year deal worth more than $52MM. Dallas also traded for Tyson Chandler that same offseason, and when Chandler beat out Haywood for the starting job, Haywood’s deal quickly became an object of regret. The only saving grace about that contract for Dallas was that his salary for the final season, worth more than $10.5MM, was non-guaranteed. That wasn’t enough to save Haywood from the chopping block in 2012, when the Mavs used the amnesty clause to waive Haywood and clear the cap room necessary to sign Chris Kaman to a one-year, $8MM deal, another contract that didn’t pan out for Dallas.

The then-Bobcats, sensing an opportunity to acquire a serviceable player they might not be able to woo in free agency, since they had just compiled the league’s worst winning percentage of all time, submitted a claim for Haywood. Unlike regular waivers, amnesty waivers allow teams to make partial claims, in which they essentially place bids on the player. The Bobcats entered either the highest bid or the only bid — whether they had competition hasn’t been reported — and won the rights to Haywood for $6.15MM. That amount was spread over the three remaining seasons on the contract that were fully guaranteed. The Mavs would pay the rest of his guaranteed salary, but it wouldn’t count against their cap.

The final, non-guaranteed season remained untouched. Dallas wasn’t on the hook for that money, and Charlotte would only be responsible for it if it kept him past his contract guarantee date, which is August 1st, 2015, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports. That gave the then-Bobcats, or any team to which they traded Haywood, full control over the deal’s final season, which is 2015/16. That left an unbalanced contract on Charlotte’s books, with salaries in the neighborhood of $2MM for the first three post-amnesty seasons preceding a hefty leap to more than $10.5MM.

Haywood will almost certainly be waived before next August and never receive that $10.5MM. Still, after next year’s July moratorium, that salary would still count toward the league’s salary matching requirements if the Cavs were to trade him. Cleveland could acquire a player making as much as $5MM more than Haywood’s non-guaranteed 2015/16 salary, and the team that gives up such a player could waive Haywood and gain a chunk of cap space equal to that approximately $10.5MM salary. Therein lies the value of Haywood.

The rechristened Hornets aren’t in any position to attract James to their team, or any starry 2015 free agent like Kevin Love or Rajon Rondo, the presence of owner Michael Jordan notwithstanding. For them, the trade will net immediate cap flexibility, since Gee’s $3MM salary is non-guaranteed for 2014/15, whereas Haywood’s salary is guaranteed for this coming season.

Haywood would still have been valuable to the Hornets, who could have traded his deal to acquire a high-dollar player next summer. But it’s even more valuable to the Cavs, who can use it to show another high-dollar player — LeBron — that they have the capability to surround him with game-changing talent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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24 Comments on "The Hidden Value Of Brendan Haywood’s Contract"


Guest
frogbogg
1 year 1 month ago

“In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: “I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former ‘king’ wins one.”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.”

-Dan Gilbert

Never forget, LeBron.

Guest
Manchershaw Engineer
1 year 1 month ago

I can’t wait for Miami to collectively hate Lebron that much.

It sucks when a star leaves. No one deals with it well.

Guest
frogbogg
1 year 1 month ago

Why would Miami hate him? He took them to the finals 4 times in 4 years he was there and won it 2 times.

He could say he loves Fidel and they would probably still appreciate him.

Guest
Zak Arn
1 year 1 month ago

I don’t think Miami will really care all that much, they’re pretty much fair weather fans. The only one that will care are the guys that signed for LeBron, Wade, and Pat Riley everyone else will go back to the beach.

Guest
Cindy
1 year 1 month ago

As a Miami fan I promise you we would miss him but even if he were pull a similar stunt when leaving (which I doubt, surely he has learned his lesson!) we would not get to the level and duration of hate I have seen from Cavs fans. It is so off the charts I root for LeBron even more because of it. We will just be glad we got to see him play here for a while. Players move to other teams. Sometimes 25 year olds are immature. Life goes on, for most of us. We are lucky enough to have the Florida sunshine to chill us out. Thanks for the great post, Chuck!

Guest
Mike
1 year 1 month ago

STFU frog boy. Same ole line from a cheat fan!

Guest
Believelander
1 year 1 month ago

LeBron didn’t forget, he just forgave, as did his hometown.

Guest
LeAnda Carver Latstetter
6 months 20 days ago

Hogwash!

Guest
Ralow
1 year 1 month ago

Very good explanation of Haywood’s contract. Thanks!

Guest
HoopsRumors
1 year 1 month ago

I’m glad you got something out of it, Ralow!

–Chuck

Guest
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[…] otherwise overlooked draft-night trade that netted them a washed-up Brendan Haywood was a piece of brilliant cap-maneuvering. Because of a wild stipulation in Haywood’s contract, he is owed $2.2M this season, but has a […]

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[…] Because he is being paid so much in his final season but can be waived with no penalty makes him a candidate for a salary dump. For you NBA rookies, a salary dump is when a team trades a player (Cavs with Haywood) to another team that simply wants to gain cap space. The team acquiring Haywood then ships Cleveland an actual NBA player and waives Haywood, thus opening up the $10 million in cap room. (If you want to actually know how this works go here.) […]

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[…] for Thompson. And in a very interesting move, the Cavs acquired Brendan Haywood, who due to some CBA-related quirk will have a $10 million unguaranteed contract next off-season. The Cavs even have a few unguaranteed contracts they can trade this off-season for […]

Guest

[…] for Thompson. And in a very interesting move, the Cavs acquired Brendan Haywood, who due to some CBA-related quirk will have a $10 million unguaranteed contract next off-season. The Cavs even have a few unguaranteed contracts they can trade this off-season for […]

Guest

[…] for Thompson. And in a very interesting move, the Cavs acquired Brendan Haywood, who due to some CBA-related quirk will have a $10 million unguaranteed contract next off-season. The Cavs even have a few unguaranteed contracts they can trade this […]

Guest

[…] for Thompson. And in a very interesting move, the Cavs acquired Brendan Haywood, who due to some CBA-related quirk will have a $10 million unguaranteed contract next off-season. The Cavs even have a few unguaranteed contracts they can trade this […]

Guest

[…] for Thompson. And in a very interesting move, the Cavs acquired Brendan Haywood, who due to some CBA-related quirk will have a $10 million unguaranteed contract next off-season. The Cavs even have a few unguaranteed contracts they can trade this […]

Guest

[…] Haywood missed last season with a stress fracture in his foot. Whether he can recover fully is anyone’s guess. If he can play, Haywood provides another big body that can rebound, block shots and defend in the post. His offense is an afterthought and his value may come in a trade because of his unique contract. […]

Guest

[…] Haywood missed last season with a stress fracture in his foot. Whether he can recover fully is anyone’s guess. If he can play, Haywood provides another big body that can rebound, block shots and defend in the post. His offense is an afterthought and his value may come in a trade because of his unique contract. […]

Guest

[…] Haywood missed final deteriorate with a highlight detonate in his foot. Whether he can redeem fully is anyone’s guess. If he can play, Haywood provides another large physique that can rebound, retard shots and urge in a post. His offense is an afterthought and his value might come in a trade given of his unique contract. […]

Guest

[…] has one of the quirkier, and perhaps, useful contracts in the NBA. Broken down at length here, due to Haywood’s previous amnesty claim, Haywood’s contract carries a team option that […]

Guest

[…] has one of the quirkier, and perhaps, useful contracts in the NBA. Broken down at length here, due to Haywood’s previous amnesty claim, Haywood’s contract carries a team option that […]

Guest

[…] has one of the quirkier, and perhaps, useful contracts in the NBA. Broken down at length here, due to Haywood’s previous amnesty claim, Haywood’s contract carries a team option that […]

 

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