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Thread: Can We Even Sign A Player If We Wanted To? (Luxury Tax / Hard Cap Discussion)

  1. #1

    Can We Even Sign A Player If We Wanted To? (Luxury Tax / Hard Cap Discussion)

    With all the talk of players potentially being bought out and released, I thought it would be interesting to see if we could even sign one of those players without making a trade first. Keep in mind we have 15 guaranteed contracts on the books right now so we would have to cut one of them, pay their salary, and then take another cap hit for signing the new player.

    I'll try and limit it to basically the hard cap and luxury tax stuff since that's the most pressing issue for us. Sorry if this is a little wordy, I'm going to try to explain it as clear as I can but it had my head spinning as well. Also sorry if I mix something up, I'm just trying my best and certainly not getting paid for this. Correct me if I get something wrong below and I will edit this post accordingly.


    First I think it's important to understand why this team is hardcapped. Because we used the Non-Taxpayer Mid Level Exception to sign Rondo, Miller, and Jackson we hardcapped ourselves from being able to go over the Apron this season.

    Don't get confused about what the apron is and how it works, etc. What's relevant to the Pelicans is this: For the 2017/2018 season the maximum salary we can have on the books at any time is 125,266,000.

    The hardcap is calculated differently than the luxury tax to help prevent loopholes for teams to be able to go over the apron. Again, not necessarily important the exact details about how and why, but what is relevant to the Pelicans: All incentives whether likely or unlikely count against the hard cap.

    The Pelicans currently have 15 guaranteed contracts that all count against the cap. We also have Josh Smith signed on using the hardship exception to a non guaranteed contract. Every game he plays will cost the Pelicans roughly 12,000 against the hardcap/luxury tax.


    I tried my best to find out exactly what the Pelicans hardcap salary is at right now. I've based it on the different NBA salary websites but this information is easy to get wrong and will probably require double checking. Basically, I'll try to get us close but not hold me to it 100%. Note: Veterans on minimum deals make more money than their salary cap hit, this is a way for the NBA to give incentive to teams to sign veterans to reasonable deals while still allowing them to get paid a little more.

    The Pelicans hardcap salary is as follows:

    Ajinca - 4,961,798
    Allen - 1,471,382
    Asik - 11,595,505
    Clark - 1,471,382
    Cook - 25,000 guaranteed
    Cousins - 18,063,850
    Crawford - 250,000 guaranteed
    Cunningham - 2,300,000
    Davis - 23,775,506
    Diallo - 1,312,611
    Hill - 12,236,535
    Holiday - 29,470,000
    Jackson - 815,615
    Miller - 2,100,000
    Moore - 8,445,024
    Nelson - 1,429,818
    Rondo - 3,300,000
    Smith - 36,000 (3 games played so far)
    Toupane - 25,000 guaranteed

    Total : 123,085,026

    Assuming my numbers are close, what this means is the Pelicans are ~2,000,000 away from the hard cap that we cannot go over.


    The luxury cap is calculated differently from the hardcap. Our number for the luxury tax is roughly 118,280,000. The luxury tax is 119,226,000. This number however, is not calculated until the last day of the season, and is adjusted for whether players hit their likely incentives or not. Hill will not hit his incentive this year due to injury which will lower our luxury tax salary by 489,000. Jrue is currently on pace to miss one of his likely incentives as well, which would lower our luxury cap hit by another 275,000.

    Why is this important? Because it means *potentially* we could cut one of our guaranteed contracts and sign a veteran to a minimum deal costing roughly 1,471,000 and we would still be under the hardcap and the luxury tax for the end of the season.

    TL: DR - The numbers are EXTREMELY close and because we don't have completely accurate numbers it might be off enough to not make it possible. But, it does look at this time like we could add a player that gets released if we wanted to and they were willing to sign a minimum deal. Keep in mind however, this is a one time thing, we would get no do overs if the player gets injured. We wouldn't have the space.


    I don't know if others thought this was interesting but since we've talked about the possibility of adding a player that gets released from another team I thought I'd see if it was even possible without making a trade. Most importantly, I'm doing this so in a few months when I forget all this information again, I can just check this thread instead of having to research everything over again.
    Last edited by Mythrol; 11-09-2017 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Thanks for looking all this up. The next question is who would we cut to bring in another minimum guy? I think a trade is more likely to open up a roster spot, we would need to have two guys go out and only one back. Say, Ajinca and Moore for another player. Or either of those guys for cash or a pick.

  3. #3
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythrol View Post
    With all the talk of players potentially being bought out and released, I thought it would be interesting to see if we could even sign one of those players without making a trade first. Keep in mind we have 15 guaranteed contracts on the books right now so we would have to cut one of them, pay their salary, and then take another cap hit for signing the new player.

    I'll try and limit it to basically the hard cap and luxury tax stuff since that's the most pressing issue for us. Sorry if this is a little wordy, I'm going to try to explain it as clear as I can but it had my head spinning as well. Also sorry if I mix something up, I'm just trying my best and certainly not getting paid for this. Correct me if I get something wrong below and I will edit this post accordingly.


    First I think it's important to understand why this team is hardcapped. Because we used the Non-Taxpayer Mid Level Exception to sign Rondo, Miller, and Jackson we hardcapped ourselves from being able to go over the Apron this season.

    Don't get confused about what the apron is and how it works, etc. What's relevant to the Pelicans is this: For the 2017/2018 season the maximum salary we can have on the books at any time is 125,266,000.

    The hardcap is calculated differently than the luxury tax to help prevent loopholes for teams to be able to go over the apron. Again, not necessarily important the exact details about how and why, but what is relevant to the Pelicans: All incentives whether likely or unlikely count against the hard cap.

    The Pelicans currently have 15 guaranteed contracts that all count against the cap. We also have Josh Smith signed on using the hardship exception to a non guaranteed contract. Every game he plays will cost the Pelicans roughly 12,000 against the hardcap/luxury tax.


    I tried my best to find out exactly what the Pelicans hardcap salary is at right now. I've based it on the different NBA salary websites but this information is easy to get wrong and will probably require double checking. Basically, I'll try to get us close but not hold me to it 100%. Note: Veterans on minimum deals make more money than their salary cap hit, this is a way for the NBA to give incentive to teams to sign veterans to reasonable deals while still allowing them to get paid a little more.

    The Pelicans hardcap salary is as follows:

    Ajinca - 4,961,798
    Allen - 1,471,382
    Asik - 11,595,505
    Clark - 1,471,382
    Cook - 25,000 guaranteed
    Cousins - 18,063,850
    Crawford - 250,000 guaranteed
    Cunningham - 2,300,000
    Davis - 23,775,506
    Diallo - 1,312,611
    Hill - 12,236,535
    Holiday - 29,470,000
    Jackson - 815,615
    Miller - 2,100,000
    Moore - 8,445,024
    Nelson - 1,429,818
    Rondo - 3,300,000
    Smith - 36,000 (3 games played so far)
    Toupane - 25,000 guaranteed

    Total : 123,085,026

    Assuming my numbers are close, what this means is the Pelicans are ~2,000,000 away from the hard cap that we cannot go over.


    The luxury cap is calculated differently from the hardcap. Our number for the luxury tax is roughly 118,280,000. The luxury tax is 119,226,000. This number however, is not calculated until the last day of the season, and is adjusted for whether players hit their likely incentives or not. Hill will not hit his incentive this year due to injury which will lower our luxury tax salary by 489,000. Jrue is currently on pace to miss one of his likely incentives as well, which would lower our luxury cap hit by another 275,000.

    Why is this important? Because it means *potentially* we could cut one of our guaranteed contracts and sign a veteran to a minimum deal costing roughly 1,471,000 and we would still be under the hardcap and the luxury tax for the end of the season.

    TL: DR - The numbers are EXTREMELY close and because we don't have completely accurate numbers it might be off enough to not make it possible. But, it does look at this time like we could add a player that gets released if we wanted to and they were willing to sign a minimum deal. Keep in mind however, this is a one time thing, we would get no do overs if the player gets injured. We wouldn't have the space.


    I don't know if others thought this was interesting but since we've talked about the possibility of adding a player that gets released from another team I thought I'd see if it was even possible without making a trade. Most importantly, I'm doing this so in a few months when I forget all this information again, I can just check this thread instead of having to research everything over again.
    Mate, firstly great job and thank you.

    I think Jrue's salary is wrong though.
    I hope LF that he isn't getting 29M this season.

    I like this website....it's up to date within 24 hours of trades happening.

    http://en.hispanosnba.com/salaries/t...leans-pelicans

  4. #4
    That's not Jrue's salary cap hit, that's Jrue's hardcap hit. It is so much higher because he has a good number of unlikely incentives like making an All-Star, etc. These unlikely incentives could come into play if we actually achieved them, but I couldn't find what they all were to.

  5. #5
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythrol View Post
    That's not Jrue's salary cap hit, that's Jrue's hardcap hit. It is so much higher because he has a good number of unlikely incentives like making an All-Star, etc. These unlikely incentives could come into play if we actually achieved them, but I couldn't find what they all were to.
    Fair enough.
    Not sure if I want him to or not lol.

  6. #6
    If Jrue managed to hit all of his incentives he would be playing like a legit 3rd member of a big 3. By all means we want him to hit those incentives.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AUSSIE_PELICAN View Post
    Fair enough.
    Not sure if I want him to or not lol.
    If Jrue hits his unlikely incentives, we are probably in a pretty good position.

  8. #8
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    So any idea what type of numbers we will have next season to play with cap wise?

    Do we even have any space to sign that 3rd bananna?

    Assuming that Asik and Ajinca have been traded for expiring contracts.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by AUSSIE_PELICAN View Post
    So any idea what type of numbers we will have next season to play with cap wise?

    Do we even have any space to sign that 3rd bananna?

    Assuming that Asik and Ajinca have been traded for expiring contracts.
    Lol, 3rd banana contract has already been given to Jrue H.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AUSSIE_PELICAN View Post
    So any idea what type of numbers we will have next season to play with cap wise?

    Do we even have any space to sign that 3rd bananna?

    Assuming that Asik and Ajinca have been traded for expiring contracts.
    I could give you a number but it'd be pretty useless. Who were they traded for? Did we keep our pick? What other moved were made?

    No matter what moves we make, we probably won't have enough room to give another large contract to a free agent other than Cousins. If we wanted a player, we probably need to trade for them.

  11. #11
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythrol View Post
    I could give you a number but it'd be pretty useless. Who were they traded for? Did we keep our pick? What other moved were made?

    No matter what moves we make, we probably won't have enough room to give another large contract to a free agent other than Cousins. If we wanted a player, we probably need to trade for them.
    I’m assuming only the following return after all trades:

    Holiday
    Davis
    Hill
    Moore
    Diallo
    Jackson

    We traded both Asik and Ajinca with our first for an expiring.

    How much do we have before we sign Cousins?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by AUSSIE_PELICAN View Post
    I’m assuming only the following return after all trades:

    Holiday
    Davis
    Hill
    Moore
    Diallo
    Jackson

    We traded both Asik and Ajinca with our first for an expiring.

    How much do we have before we sign Cousins?
    You can add D. Miller on there. Seeing his contract as guaranteed next season for 2.2mil. Like Mythrol said, a lot depends on who they get back for Asik/Ajinca/1st. Assuming all goes well (playoffs), and they don't trade Hill, Moore, and the rest, then we'd probably spend something like the MLE on Rondo and a few minimum contracts to fill out the rest of the roster.

    Cousins /
    Davis / Diallo
    Hill / Miller
    Holiday / Moore
    / F. Jackson

    But still lots left of this season with our current roster!

  13. #13
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rheem654 View Post
    You can add D. Miller on there. Seeing his contract as guaranteed next season for 2.2mil. Like Mythrol said, a lot depends on who they get back for Asik/Ajinca/1st. Assuming all goes well (playoffs), and they don't trade Hill, Moore, and the rest, then we'd probably spend something like the MLE on Rondo and a few minimum contracts to fill out the rest of the roster.

    Cousins /
    Davis / Diallo
    Hill / Miller
    Holiday / Moore
    / F. Jackson

    But still lots left of this season with our current roster!
    Miller isn’t guaranteed.

    http://en.hispanosnba.com/salaries/t...leans-pelicans

    What’s the MLE next season?

  14. #14
    Keep in mind it also depends on what incentives Jrue hits. Numbers just won't be accurate right now.

  15. #15
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mythrol View Post
    Keep in mind it also depends on what incentives Jrue hits. Numbers just won't be accurate right now.
    True. Fair point. Let's discuss after the playoffs!!!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AUSSIE_PELICAN View Post
    True. Fair point. Let's discuss after the playoffs!!!
    Yep yep. The trade deadline is a big deal too because of what might or might not happen. We will know a lot more after the all star game. Even if Asik can medically retire or not,.

  17. #17
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    Pels will be more flexible after Dec 15th or especially Jan 15th when all FA signings will be eligible for trades.
    Dante. Miller. They all will be available as a salary fillers.
    Combined with Asik/Ajinca and pick for Mirotic types.
    At that point Pels may have make uneaven trades...
    So many options..

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