The Hawks and Nets proved three years ago that just about any contract is liable to be traded. Brooklyn agreed in the summer of 2012 to take Joe Johnson and the remaining four years and $89,295,016 on his contract from the Hawks. The Nets paid a record amount of luxury tax in 2013/14 in large measure because of Johnson’s bloated deal, while the Hawks deftly reconstructed their roster, paying only about $57.8MM last season, less than the $63.065MM salary cap, for a 60-win team. The Nets, since the trade, have topped out at 49 wins, and last season they won only 38 times in the regular season before losing a first-round series to top-seeded Atlanta.
It’s perhaps with the wisdom of that deal in mind that teams have seemed hesitant to take on large contracts this summer. The greatest chunk of guaranteed salary changing hands was only $20MM, and that’s spread over the four years of the extension the Suns gave Marcus Morris months before trading him to the Pistons. Spencer Hawes, who possesses the contract traded this summer with the next greatest amount of guaranteed money left on it, signed for the mid-level exception last year. Teams showed willingness to take on large expiring contracts, with Roy Hibbert and David Lee on the move, but no team committed to taking on consecutive seasons of eight-figure guarantees. Ty Lawson is on this list, and he would have topped it but for the sacrifice of the guarantee on his salary of more than $13.213MM for 2016/17.
Here are the nine players traded so far in the 2015 offseason with at least $10MM in guaranteed money left on their respective deals. Note that the figures reflect their post-trade cap hits, so any trade bonus money is included. All figures are rounded to the nearest $1K.
- Marcus Morris, Suns to Pistons (four years, $20MM)
- Spencer Hawes, Clippers to Hornets (three years, $18.48MM)
- Tiago Splitter, Spurs to Hawks (two years, $17.35MM)
- Roy Hibbert, Pacers to Lakers (one year, $15.592MM)
- David Lee, Warriors to Celtics (one year, $15.494MM)
- Nicolas Batum, Trail Blazers to Hornets (one year, $13.125MM)
- Carl Landry, Kings to Sixers (two years, $13MM)
- Ty Lawson, Nuggets to Rockets (one year, $12.404MM)
- Gerald Wallace, Celtics to Warriors (one year, $10.106MM)
The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.
Which of these contracts would you least want your team to be on the hook for? Leave a comment to let us know.