And-Ones: Player Values, Trade Kickers, D-League

With the NBA salary cap set to jump by about $22MM this summer, it’s time to re-evaluate how players are valued, says Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. As Kennedy points, 24 teams are on track to have the ability to offer at least one maximum-salary contract this offseason, so while it’s easy to argue that a player isn’t “worth” the significant salary he’ll land in free agency, it makes more sense to adjust our expectations and get used to the new normal.

In my opinion, a good way to make that adjustment is to consider what percentage of his team’s salary cap a player’s salary takes up, rather than simply looking at the dollar amount. For instance, some executives believe Bismack Biyombo will command $16MM+ per year in free agency. That may seem outrageous, but consider that a $16MM salary in 2017/18 (when the cap is projected to rise to $107MM) would only represent about 15% of the cap. In 2013/14, when the salary cap was $58.68MM, a player taking up the same percentage of his team’s cap would have been earning just $8.77MM.

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the NBA:

  • As Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders details, timing is crucial for many players’ trade kickers, which could affect teams’ plans this offseason. For instance, players like Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin, and Carmelo Anthony would be owed significantly more money if their current teams trade them in July rather than June. That’s not to say any of those players will be dealt, but for veterans with trade kickers who are on the block, teams may want to finalize deals this month.
  • Both the NBA and the D-League have been adamant about wanting 30 D-League affiliates for the NBA’s 30 teams, but there are still eight NBA franchises without them. Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor examines those eight teams, estimating the odds that they’ll land D-League affiliates within the next few years.
  • Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders identifies several pending free agents who will be seeking redemption and looking to bounce back on their next contracts, including Ty Lawson, Lance Stephenson, and Roy Hibbert.

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