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4:36pm: Philadelphia receives the right to swap the lesser of the 2016 first-round picks coming their way from the Heat and the Thunder for Golden State’s 2016 first-round pick, tweets Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
4:05pm: The Warriors have acquired Jason Thompson from the Sixers in exchange for Gerald Wallace, both teams announced via press release. Cash and draft considerations are also going to Philadelphia in the move. It’s a money-saving deal for Golden State, which sends Wallace’s $10,105,855 salary into Philadelphia’s cap space, with Thompson’s $6,908,685 salary going back in return, and with the Warriors poised to pay the luxury tax this season, the move saves the Warriors from tax penalties of as much as two and a half times the difference between their salaries. It also creates a trade exception worth $3,197,170 for Golden State.
“We’re very happy to add Jason to our roster,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. “He has a proven track record in this league and adds considerably to our team’s depth, which was a big key to our success last season and will be moving forward.”
Thompson will ostensibly fill the reserve power forward role that David Lee played last year for the champs, who sent Lee to the Celtics in the deal that brought in Wallace. The 29-year-old Thompson has chiefly been a starter during his seven years in the NBA, all of which came with Sacramento before the trade earlier this month that sent him to Philly, but he probably won’t mind a reduced role on a team with a legitimate shot to win another title. Thompson has never appeared in a playoff game.
It was somewhat surprising when reports emerged following Golden State’s agreement on the Lee trade that the Warriors intended to keep Wallace rather than release him and use the stretch provision to spread his salary and lower their tax bill. Thus, it makes sense to see them make another deal that sends Wallace away and takes a chunk out of their team salary. The Warriors were scheduled to pay Lee $15,493,680 this coming season, so they’ve reduced their obligation by more than 50% with the pair of trades. The estimated tax bill for the Warriors drops from $24MM to $16MM with today’s trade, according to former Nets executive Bobby Marks (Twitter link). It had been $38.1MM before the Lee trade, Marks adds. Lee signed his deal prior to the adoption of the current collective bargaining agreement, so he’s ineligible for the stretch provision.
Thompson’s contract runs through 2016/17 with $2.6MM partially guaranteed on a salary of $7,010,378 that season, Marks points out (Twitter link). That salary becomes fully guaranteed if he doesn’t hit waivers by June 26th, 2016, as Marks also notes.
The Sixers receive yet more draft assets and draw closer to the $63MM salary floor. They held more than $20MM in cap flexibility prior to the trade, and they still have about $17.5MM they can spend, not counting their non-guaranteed deals, giving them flexibility to absorb other contracts via trade. They could also float a bloated offer sheet to Norris Cole, in whom they reportedly have interest, or to Tristan Thompson. Philadelphia clears salary from its 2016/17 books, since Wallace is on an expiring contract.
Who do you think got the better end of this trade? Leave a comment to weigh in.