According to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game, the Grizzlies' current ownership is in a serendipitous position to save money by honoring a bizarre clause in some assistant coach contracts (Sulia link). Usually, the playoff winnings from the NBA are shared with a team's players and personnel after postseason success. But former owner Michael Heisley negotiated deals with some assistant coaches that awarded a flat bonus based on a small percentage of their regular salaries.
After the Grizzlies surprised many by reaching the Western Conference Finals, the resulting playoff shares are worth $70K or more, depending on how many shares the team elected to have. Under the Heisley terms, some assistant coaches are due only 1/7th of that amount.
Current Grizzlies principal owner, Robert Pera, is under no obligation to stray from the deals the previous regime negotiated, but as Bucher points out "sometimes there is a divide between what is acceptable and what is right." In the grand scheme of things, it's a paltry sum to pay for assistants who may not be back next season and who helped guide a Rudy Gay–less Grizzlies team far into the tough Western Conference playoff bracket.
With Lionel Hollins' future as the Grizzlies' head coach in doubt, a sign of good faith to his assistant coaches, who rightfully deserve a larger share of the playoff winnings than their current contract calls for, might be the move that tips the odds in favor of Hollins returning to the sidelines for the Grizzlies next season.
Here are some other links from around this quiet NBA Saturday night before the Heat and Spurs do battle in Game 2 of the NBA Finals tomorrow:
- Speaking of this current Heat team, assistant coach David Fizdale is a hot commodity in the NBA’s coaching market with his team in the NBA Finals for the third straight year this June. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel says the 38-year-old Heat assistant would consider a head coaching job despite still having a year left on his contract with the Heat.
- Cheap labor is the key to the future for the Heat, writes Winderman. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all have an opt-out clause in their contracts for the summer of 2014, so surrounding those three stars with talent that doesn’t break the bank is the key for the Heat to continue their dominance of the Eastern Conference.
- Alex Kennedy spoke with Tracy McGrady about sticking around for so long and reaching his first NBA Finals as the 12th man on the Spurs despite the absence of some of his former NBA peers, like Stephon Marbury and Gilbert Arenas. Kennedy also has some terrific McGrady quotes via Twitter updates from tonight, including one about the NBA's age requirement (McGrady was drafted out of Mount Zion Christian Academy in 1997).
- David Mayo at MLive believes Pistons general manager Joe Dumars deserves to pick the new Pistons head coach despite the presence of Phil Jackson as a consultant. Whomever becomes the new head coach could go a long way towards determining who is really in power for the Pistons, and with Maurice Cheeks expected to be announced as the new head coach some time this weekend, it seems Dumars' days with the Pistons may continue.
- ShamSports has an update on all the available salary cap room teams have this offseason with cap holds included.
- Danny Schayes of SheridanHoops.com on the inanity of all the coaching turnover this offseason.
- Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee says new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive hasn’t met face-to-face with mercurial star DeMarcus Cousins. (Twitter links)
- Mary Schmitt Boyer in her mailbag column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, answers how all the Cavs’ offseason salary cap moves will affect the team.