Pelicans Notes: Cunningham, Crawford, Allen, Luxury Tax

The Pelicans aren’t finished with roster moves after the reported additions of Tony Allen and Perry Jones, tweets Scott Kushner of The Advocate. Dante Cunningham, who declined his player option in April, remains a possibility, along with other players who can defend both forward positions.

The 30-year-old Cunningham spent the past three seasons in New Orleans, serving as a part-time starter. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 66 games last year, 35 in the starting lineup. Cunningham opted out of a $3.1MM salary for 2017/18, but may have to settle for less now that training camps are just two weeks away.

There’s more today out of New Orleans:

  • With significant roster turnover during the past two seasons, the Pelicans are focused on building team chemistry before the start of camp, writes Jim Eichenhofer of NBA.com. One of the organizers of a voluntary team gathering last month at the University of Kentucky was newly signed point guard Rajon Rondo, who got the idea from Kevin Garnett in Boston. “One of the things [Rondo] brings to a team is he makes players understand that we are in this together,” said Jordan Crawford, who joined the Pelicans in March. “You might think of it as a defiant attitude or something like that, but it’s really [having the perspective] that the coaches are part of this team, but they’re not going to be on the court with us.”
  • Allen personified the “Grit and Grind” era in Memphis and should bring the same toughness to New Orleans, writes Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Herrington recounts some of the defensive specialist’s highlights with the Grizzlies and says games this year won’t be the same without him.
  • The expected signing of Allen leaves the Pelicans $3.27MM under the luxury tax and $3.85MM away from a hard cap, according to Bobby Marks on ESPN Now. The team is up to 13 fully guaranteed contracts, with Crawford, who has a $250K guarantee, expected to fill another roster spot. The additions of Allen and Jones give New Orleans 17 players for camp, with three slots still open.
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5 thoughts on “Pelicans Notes: Cunningham, Crawford, Allen, Luxury Tax

  1. rxbrgr

    I don’t get how Marks is calculating their space below the tax and below the hard cap as being so close together… How can those two numbers only be ~$600k apart when the luxury tax line and hard cap are $6MM apart?

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    • Luke Adams

      My guess is that for luxury tax line he’s only counting guaranteed salary, whereas for hard cap it’s total salary. There are also other small ways that salary is calculated differently for tax purposes than it is for general purposes, but I don’t think that would create the discrepancy on its own.

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      • I think he just made a mistake or doesn’t understand the CBA that well, he probably would have referenced the cap and apron amounts if he had a better understanding of what he was talking about.

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        • Luke Adams

          I don’t think he would have lasted two decades in an NBA front office in the positions he held if he didn’t understand the CBA that well.

          Having taken a closer look at the Pelicans’ team salary, I think the discrepancy may come in large part due to unlikely incentives — they count against the apron but don’t count toward the tax unless they’re achieved, and Holiday, Hill, and Asik all have them in their contracts.

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