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View Full Version : ESPN Chad Ford Chat: His take on why we didn't make good of our expirings.



flox
02-24-2009, 03:23 PM
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=25192


Cory (Indy): Chad in your estimation why didnt David Morway, and Larry Bird make a deal with anyone?

SportsNation Chad Ford: My guess is that they had two pieces of information we didn't. 1. Mike Dunleavy was probably out for the year. 2. Danny Granger was probably out for three weeks to a month. Neither piece of info was public until after the trade deadline. Why spend the money on a team with no shot of making the playoffs? Remember, the Pacers are losing a lot of money. I think they decided that the prudent thing to do was to take a wait and see approach in the summer. Given the circumstances, I think it was probably the right move.

Tom White
02-24-2009, 03:39 PM
I agree with Ford's reasoning on the financial side of why the Pacers did not trade off their expiring contracts.

In my mind, they DID "make good of their expirings".

NuffSaid
02-24-2009, 03:59 PM
Well, they came into the season w/7 new faces - Rasho, Jack, Ford, Maceo (old-brand new), Hibbert, BRush & McRoberts. Of those, Rasho, Maceo and McRob have expiring contracts @ season's end totallying $11.4M. Add in Quis & Jack who will be FAs over the summer and I can see why the Pacers stood pat. That's just over $21M to play with on the FA market.

Pacersfan46
02-24-2009, 04:05 PM
Well, they came into the season w/7 new faces - Rasho, Jack, Ford, Maceo (old-brand new), Hibbert, BRush & McRoberts. Of those, Rasho, Maceo and McRob have expiring contracts @ season's end totallying $11.4M. Add in Quis & Jack who will be FAs over the summer and I can see why the Pacers stood pat. That's just over $21M to play with on the FA market.

No, that makes for 1 mid level exception to play with on the FA market ......

And that's about it.

-- Steve --

count55
02-24-2009, 04:14 PM
Well, they came into the season w/7 new faces - Rasho, Jack, Ford, Maceo (old-brand new), Hibbert, BRush & McRoberts. Of those, Rasho, Maceo and McRob have expiring contracts @ season's end totallying $11.4M. Add in Quis & Jack who will be FAs over the summer and I can see why the Pacers stood pat. That's just over $21M to play with on the FA market.


No, that makes for 1 mid level exception to play with on the FA market ......

And that's about it.

-- Steve --

We have $58mm in contracts next season on 9 players, and the tax threshold will be around $69.4mm. Therefore we have only about $11mm to sign 6 players to fill out the roster. The 1st round pick will take up about $2-3mm of that money. Most likely scenario is a $3-4mm signing (probably Jack), and some min contracts (probably 2nd rounders and McBob/Graham).

You should never add up expiring contracts. It is misleading. What is important are the contracts that you still have. The Knicks, for example, have $33mm in expiring contracts, but will still be over the tax next season. (Or, at least that was true before the trades at the deadline.)

kellogg
02-24-2009, 04:14 PM
No, that makes for 1 mid level exception to play with on the FA market ......

And that's about it.

-- Steve --

Please explain your reasoning...

count55
02-24-2009, 04:16 PM
Please explain your reasoning...

See my post.

Please

Kstat
02-24-2009, 04:18 PM
We have $58mm in contracts next season on 9 players, and the tax threshold will be around $69.4mm.

HUH?

You're expecting the salary cap to actually INCREASE this year?

It's going down. Maybe not by much, but it's decreasing.

DisplacedKnick
02-24-2009, 04:20 PM
You should never add up expiring contracts. It is misleading. What is important are the contracts that you still have. The Knicks, for example, have $33mm in expiring contracts, but will still be over the tax next season. (Or, at least that was true before the trades at the deadline.)

Still true - we didn't help ourselves cap-wise.

Though if my expected David Lee and Jared Jeffries for Bosh S&T happens this summer . . .

That one makes so much sense for both teams (and for Lee & Bosh) I'd almost be surprised if it doesn't happen.

Hicks
02-24-2009, 04:21 PM
HUH?

You're expecting the salary cap to actually INCREASE this year?

It's going down. Maybe not by much, but it's decreasing.

He said tax.

count55
02-24-2009, 04:22 PM
HUH?

You're expecting the salary cap to actually INCREASE this year?

It's going down. Maybe not by much, but it's decreasing.

Tax...not cap.

The tax threshold is $71.2mm this year, dropping to $69.4 next.

The cap is at $58.7mm, and it will probably drop into the $56-57mm range.

I always use the tax level, because I believe it is treated as a hard cap by the Pacers FO and Ownership.

So, we have $58mm in contracts, and we need to fill out the roster and stay under the tax. We're already over the cap, which is why I think Jack will be the "big" signing this summer, starting between $3 & 4mm.

rexnom
02-24-2009, 04:35 PM
So it sounds like Larry is at least being realistic about this year...

ChicagoJ
02-24-2009, 05:00 PM
This was the best possible use of our expirings, assuming we couldn't swing any additional draft picks out of them. The worst thing we could have done was take on additional salary beyond this season.

MyFavMartin
02-24-2009, 05:17 PM
I think the Tinsley trade almost happened as well as the Chandler trade.

I'd rather have almost really good trades compared to actual bad trades.

But both of these would have done nothing for the PO run this year asChandler is still recovering from an injury and Tinsley is always an injury in some form or another.

Pacersfan46
02-24-2009, 07:37 PM
Please explain your reasoning...

Many years of dealing with, and understanding of the NBA cap rules. Then understanding of where the Pacers are willing, and more importantly where they aren't willing to go with their salary.

It's pretty basic, really.

-- Steve --

Haggard
02-24-2009, 08:04 PM
I think the injuries were partly the reason we stayed put, but at the same time I only think the pacers were only looking to move tins. in my opinion TPTB are happy to let the expirings expire.

danman
02-24-2009, 11:06 PM
This was the best possible use of our expirings, assuming we couldn't swing any additional draft picks out of them. The worst thing we could have done was take on additional salary beyond this season.

Well, maybe if your last name is Simon. From a fan point of view, it would do no harm to have traded them for players with a couple years left on their deals. With Dunleavy, Murphy, and god help us Tinsley on the books for a couple more years, the Pacers can't really get significantly under the cap. Granger also has a sizable salary that runs far beyond that.

So if the Pacer had traded those expiring contracts for a quality player with 2 more years on his deal, it wouldn't have made our "cap hell" last any longer at all.

I understand why the Simons did't want to do it. The pacer fans aren't a big revenue stream these days, so they want to save some money.

But if you were hoping for a more talented Pacer team, those expiring deals were a lost opportunity.

ChicagoJ
02-24-2009, 11:26 PM
No they weren't. Those players/ deals weren't going to fetch "talent", they were going to fetch somebody else's bad contract. The only hope for improving talent was and is to draft our way into more players like Granger - hopefully Rush and Hibbert are on their way but we still need a couple of drafts.

It took a long time to make this Pacers team as bad as it currently is, it will take a while to make it better as well. Trading an expiring for somebody's problem or bad contract doesn't get them any closer.

Naptown_Seth
02-24-2009, 11:38 PM
Jay - plenty of expirings become good players, that's not the issue here. Maybe Tinsley would require a contract hit in return, but Rasho for a solid player from a team looking to cut costs is realistic. It wouldn't have to be a bad contract coming back, just one that no longer made sense for the other team, maybe because they were losing so much.

The issue as Ford alludes to is you don't swap expiring for talent if the team isn't just that one step away from making a move. The only trade that would make sense right now is to get a young piece as part of the build, or pull in a draft pick with a less returned contract.

But right now I don't think any team looking to take on an expiring is willing to give up young talent or a pick. Those teams are trying to get into the exact same position as the Pacers. Picks and young players.

If the team was right on the edge then you turn Rasho into Baron Davis or some other big time guy on a team going nowhere.


I agree that TPTB traded the expirings correctly - to themselves. The Pacers got what other teams wanted - expiring contracts.

The only bummer to me is that Quis is playing out of his mind and makes a monster impact for this team, but they won't be able to keep him while being forced to retain the more expensive Dun and Troy. Figures you get one guy who can D up and he's financially squeezed out.

ChicagoJ
02-24-2009, 11:48 PM
But right now I don't think any team looking to take on an expiring is willing to give up young talent or a pick. Those teams are trying to get into the exact same position as the Pacers. Picks and young players.

That's a given. Thus, I jumped straight to:


Those players/ deals weren't going to fetch "talent", they were going to fetch somebody else's bad contract.

... because to me the statement you made is so painfully obvious that I didn't think it needed to be said.

Kuq_e_Zi91
02-24-2009, 11:52 PM
I think it goes back to the Foster extension. We would have more flexibility without it. Has it even been worth it so far?

I'd love to keep Jack and Quis at the expense of not having Foster. Hindsight is 20/20, though.

count55
02-25-2009, 07:12 AM
Well, maybe if your last name is Simon. From a fan point of view, it would do no harm to have traded them for players with a couple years left on their deals. With Dunleavy, Murphy, and god help us Tinsley on the books for a couple more years, the Pacers can't really get significantly under the cap. Granger also has a sizable salary that runs far beyond that.

So if the Pacer had traded those expiring contracts for a quality player with 2 more years on his deal, it wouldn't have made our "cap hell" last any longer at all.

I understand why the Simons did't want to do it. The pacer fans aren't a big revenue stream these days, so they want to save some money.

But if you were hoping for a more talented Pacer team, those expiring deals were a lost opportunity.

As a fan, I'm not just hoping for a more talented team, I'm hoping for a team that will contend. It appears that the deals available may have made the Pacers marginally better in the short term, but there cost would have far outweighed their benefits. As you note, it may not have made our cap hell last any longer, but it certainly would have made it much harsher and more damaging while it lasted.

Using the Chandler as an example, trading expirings only for him could have resulted in perhaps as much as $40 million in additional salaries, taxes, and tax penalties over the next two years. It is doubtful that adding a player like Chandler does much more than put us in the fringes of the playoffs, so they probably wouldn't be able to recoup much more than a quarter of that money in additional revenues.

Essentially, trading the expiring contracts for the rumored available deals would have been one of the most damaging things you could do to the franchise. Financially, it could have been a worse version of the Murphleavy trade, where even the solid-to-good performance of the players involved is forever offset by the way their contracts hamstring further improvement.


I think it goes back to the Foster extension. We would have more flexibility without it. Has it even been worth it so far?

I'd love to keep Jack and Quis at the expense of not having Foster. Hindsight is 20/20, though.

Of course, hindsight also now knows that the LT threshold is only $69.4mm, instead of the $75-ish that was anticipated last summer. The salary cap had been growing at a relatively steady rate (5-6%) since the signing of the CBA, but the economic events of late last fall have negatively impacted the NBA's finances, resulting in $5mm less room under the tax.

I go back and forth on the Foster extension. I probably would not have done it, but I didn't think it was a terribly unreasonable move at the time. At the time of Jeff and Danny's extension, they had still left themselves room to do two of the following:

- Re-sign Jack
- Pick up Quis' option
- Re-sign Rasho at a reduced rate
- Sign a FA at the full MLE

The drop in BRI and the tax threshold now means that they won't be able to do anything with either Rasho or Quis, and they likely will have to choose between re-signing Jack or signing a FA, but they'll probably only be able to use part of the MLE, instead of all of it.

Also, the lottery will go a long way to determining what they'll be able to do, as well. If they were to pick according to their current standings, 10th, they'll have to pay their rookie about $2.2mm. However, if we were to get into the top three, the rookie could command anywhere from $3.5 to $5.0mm, depending on his slot. Getting the first pick in the draft would likely mean that we'd have to fill the roster out with min players, forgoing the re-signing of Jack or pursuing any other FA's.

danman
02-25-2009, 10:20 AM
As a fan, I'm not just hoping for a more talented team, I'm hoping for a team that will contend. It appears that the deals available may have made the Pacers marginally better in the short term, but there cost would have far outweighed their benefits. As you note, it may not have made our cap hell last any longer, but it certainly would have made it much harsher and more damaging while it lasted.

Using the Chandler as an example, trading expirings only for him could have resulted in perhaps as much as $40 million in additional salaries, taxes, and tax penalties over the next two years. It is doubtful that adding a player like Chandler does much more than put us in the fringes of the playoffs, so they probably wouldn't be able to recoup much more than a quarter of that money in additional revenues.

Essentially, trading the expiring contracts for the rumored available deals would have been one of the most damaging things you could do to the franchise. Financially, it could have been a worse version of the Murphleavy trade, where even the solid-to-good performance of the players involved is forever offset by the way their contracts hamstring further improvement.
other FA's.

Again, the "harsher and more damaging" is oriented towards the Simon bank account. Swapping Rasho and Marquis for a good player(s) with a 2 year deal does not hamstring anything. It is not comparable to the Murphleavy trade AT ALL. That trade extended our capped status -- it's the parameter of this discussion. Now, if you're talking about trading the expiring for players with 3 or more years left, that's a different story.

The only thing helping fans from letting the expiring players walk is the draft. Essentially, by lessening talent, we're going to get slightly better picks. May be even the diff between a #15 pick and a #8 or something. Impossible to know, really.

Of course, we've also got 2 more years of bad basketball in this bargain.

ChicagoJ
02-25-2009, 10:32 AM
Trading Rasho and Marquis is not enough to get a "good" player in return.

Let's put it this way: if you were offered Rasho and Marquis, what "good" player making $1x-1x million (whatever it is that works) would you be willing to trade for them?

On a 0.500 team, they are both backups/ role players. They'd barely play on a legit contender. You're not going to get a young stud on his rookie contract in a deal like that - the math doesn't work. A contender is not going to give up a starter in exchange for two expiring contract backups in February. (Unless, of course, the starter is a troublemaker or grossly overpaid.)

If there was actually a trade out there to improve talent, they would have taken it. But trading is a zero-sum game unless you get into a "trading for potential" scenario. Expensive expiring contracts do not generally turn into "trading for potential" assets because of the salary cap math.

binarysolo
02-25-2009, 10:44 AM
Let's put it this way: if you were offered Rasho and Marquis, what "good" player making $1x-1x million (whatever it is that works) would you be willing to trade for them?

...

A contender is not going to give up a starter in exchange for two expiring contract backups in February. (Unless, of course, the starter is a troublemaker or grossly overpaid.)


It's not the contenders that are looking to shed salary; it's the bad teams. It's the guys like Richard Jefferson or Vince Carter that could have been had. I'm not saying those would have been good trades, but don't act like there are no upgrades to be had from expiring contracts.

count55
02-25-2009, 10:47 AM
Again, the "harsher and more damaging" is oriented towards the Simon bank account. Swapping Rasho and Marquis for a good player(s) with a 2 year deal does not hamstring anything. It is not comparable to the Murphleavy trade AT ALL. That trade extended our capped status -- it's the parameter of this discussion. Now, if you're talking about trading the expiring for players with 3 or more years left, that's a different story.

The only was that letting the expiring players walk helps the fan is in the draft. Essentially, by lessening talent, we're going to get slightly better picks. May be even the diff between a #15 pick and a #8 or something. Impossible to know, really.

Of course, we've also got 2 more years of bad basketball in this bargain.

Well, I don't think you can actually separate the Simons bank account from the health of the team, and I consider the health of the team and its future in Indy to be a very important issue to me as a fan.

Second, I believe it is directly comparable to the Murphyleavy trade because it is an absolute case of confusing activity with accomplishment. There is very little reward, and I consider the risks to be pretty great.

OakMoses
02-25-2009, 11:22 AM
If there was actually a trade out there to improve talent, they would have taken it. But trading is a zero-sum game unless you get into a "trading for potential" scenario. Expensive expiring contracts do not generally turn into "trading for potential" assets because of the salary cap math.

I know one example is an exception rather than a rule, but what I was really hoping for was a trade like this one:

February 20, 2002

Phoenix Gets: Joe Johnson, Randy Brown, Milt Palacio, 1st Round Pick
Boston Gets: Rodney Rogers & Tony Delk

count55
02-25-2009, 11:33 AM
I know one example is an exception rather than a rule, but what I was really hoping for was a trade like this one:

February 20, 2002

Phoenix Gets: Joe Johnson, Randy Brown, Milt Palacio, 1st Round Pick
Boston Gets: Rodney Rogers & Tony Delk

I'm assuming we're the Phoenix side, and yes, that would have been good, but where could we have gone to get that deal?

OakMoses
02-25-2009, 11:46 AM
I'm assuming we're the Phoenix side, and yes, that would have been good, but where could we have gone to get that deal?

Nowhere. That's why it didn't happen. It's just little pieces of history like that always give me hope that we're going to benefit from another GM's stupidity or short-sightedness.

In his deadline review Ford took a shot at Houston for not going after Daniels as a fill-in for McGrady. If we could have landed Carl Landry for Daniels...

The great thing about hope is not allowing yourself to temper it with realism.

danman
02-25-2009, 12:08 PM
It's not the contenders that are looking to shed salary; it's the bad teams. It's the guys like Richard Jefferson or Vince Carter that could have been had. I'm not saying those would have been good trades, but don't act like there are no upgrades to be had from expiring contracts.

This is on target. I'm not saying Bird or the Pacers messed up and that there was a great deal available. Unlike me, they are also accountable to explaining to the Simons why spending more millions is a good idea. I absolutely concede the point that the Simons may not want to spend the money, especially with the lux tax, etc.

But for the sake of discussion, suppose a team had a good player who they felt was somewhat overpaid. Maybe he doesn't fit in with the team somehow. This team's salary is about at the cap. Moreover, there are a couple free agents they would love to get in the offseason. Or next year's offseason.

Problem is, the overpaid good player is signed for 2 more years.

Furthermore this overpaid good player is liked by Bird/JoB, who feel he would fit their system well. Heck, the player is a PF shotblocker who gets up and down the floor well. He's just not a real scorer or whatever.

If this imaginary player matched with one our expirings, or a combo of them, the Pacers could have made a trade that would not affect their cap hell status by extending it. Cap hell is cap hell from a fan's view... There is no "degree of cap hell" -- it's how long it will last.

Kuq_e_Zi91
02-25-2009, 01:05 PM
Of course, hindsight also now knows that the LT threshold is only $69.4mm, instead of the $75-ish that was anticipated last summer. The salary cap had been growing at a relatively steady rate (5-6%) since the signing of the CBA, but the economic events of late last fall have negatively impacted the NBA's finances, resulting in $5mm less room under the tax.

I go back and forth on the Foster extension. I probably would not have done it, but I didn't think it was a terribly unreasonable move at the time. At the time of Jeff and Danny's extension, they had still left themselves room to do two of the following:

- Re-sign Jack
- Pick up Quis' option
- Re-sign Rasho at a reduced rate
- Sign a FA at the full MLE

The drop in BRI and the tax threshold now means that they won't be able to do anything with either Rasho or Quis, and they likely will have to choose between re-signing Jack or signing a FA, but they'll probably only be able to use part of the MLE, instead of all of it.

Also, the lottery will go a long way to determining what they'll be able to do, as well. If they were to pick according to their current standings, 10th, they'll have to pay their rookie about $2.2mm. However, if we were to get into the top three, the rookie could command anywhere from $3.5 to $5.0mm, depending on his slot. Getting the first pick in the draft would likely mean that we'd have to fill the roster out with min players, forgoing the re-signing of Jack or pursuing any other FA's.

Ah, thanks for clarifying that. It makes me feel a little better about the Foster extension. It makes me wonder which two of the options you listed they were leaning towards, because other than re-signing Rasho, I think I would take each of the other three alone, instead of extend Foster. (If that made any sense)

As for Jack or a FA with part of the MLE, I'm leaning towards keeping Jack. He's done a lot for us and shown some great things. It would be good to keep someone like that around for the future.

One thing is for sure, I miss the days when I was kid and didn't have to worry about the business side of the game. You just sit in front of the TV and root for your guys, not worrying about what's gonna happen next year, or if the guy grabbing all the rebounds is doing it for contract purposes. It sure gives a completely different perspective and one I don't particularly enjoy.

d_c
02-25-2009, 01:15 PM
The Pacers ARE going to make use of their expiring contracts. They're going to make use of them for themselves and let them expire so as to avoid any luxury tax predicaments in the future.

Don't overthink it, Chad.

Naptown_Seth
02-26-2009, 01:14 AM
Second, I believe it is directly comparable to the Murphyleavy trade because it is an absolute case of confusing activity with accomplishment. There is very little reward, and I consider the risks to be pretty great.
Exactly. Other teams want expiring contracts - why?

The answer to that is the reason the Pacers kept theirs instead of dealing them. Rasho is basically the Pacers getting rid of the JO contract, just like a team would be doing if we traded Rasho to them. They'd be getting out of a contract they didn't want anymore.


Classic case of activity over accomplishment - instead of letting Brad Miller sign as a free agent Walsh insisted on getting value back with Pollard.

So you can't afford Brad, but you can afford to SnT him in order to get part time help? Sometimes it's better to just let a guy walk. Hell even the Peja deal which we all loved ended up biting the Pacers. Cost them Edward money, a #11 pick (weak draft luckily) and they still spent a good chunk of the money on Harrington, which they then turned into Murphy.

So ironically instead of keeping an elite 3pt specialist with no defense they wound up getting a couple of infamously streaky 3pt guys with expensive long deals and not much more defense.

Now imagine that Peja just walks, the Pacers keep that pick and at worst trade Jack for Dun. Definitely leaves them in a better spot now. And I say this as someone that thinks the Peja for a TE was brilliant and the fact that it applied to Al worked great. They just dropped the ball totally after that and got bullied into 2 bad trades by the idea of fan appeal (get Al to improve tone for fans, trade Al/Jack to get rid of hated Jack).

This time Bird was smart and stuck to his guns. Make sure something is worth winning before you start fighting for it. Ebay makes people a lot of money by helping buyers totally forget this advice.

Anthem
02-26-2009, 01:20 AM
Now imagine that Peja just walks, the Pacers keep that pick and at worst trade Jack for Dun. Definitely leaves them in a better spot now. And I say this as someone that thinks the Peja for a TE was brilliant and the fact that it applied to Al worked great. They just dropped the ball totally after that and got bullied into 2 bad trades by the idea of fan appeal (get Al to improve tone for fans, trade Al/Jack to get rid of hated Jack).
A solid point. Good call.

Bball
02-26-2009, 03:21 AM
This time Bird was smart and stuck to his guns. Make sure something is worth winning before you start fighting for it. Ebay makes people a lot of money by helping buyers totally forget this advice.


Or maybe this time it wasn't Walsh pulling the chains and trying to think he's the smartest guy in the room and refusing to look like maybe he didn't get the best end of the deal. ...to a fault...

Bball
02-26-2009, 03:28 AM
They just dropped the ball totally after that and got bullied into 2 bad trades by the idea of fan appeal (get Al to improve tone for fans, trade Al/Jack to get rid of hated Jack).



Are you sure both those trades were for the fans? And are you sure that Sjax deal wasn't at least in part due to something bigger than what the Joe Sixpacks desired? IOW... What of the corporate fat-cat sponsors... Do you think they were happy sponsoring and supporting that festering atmosphere that Sjax was at the center of any longer?

Considering how little Walsh ever listened to the fans I think you're focusing too much in the wrong direction. I think Walsh and/or the Simons talked to a group they listened to. Money talks....

BillS
02-26-2009, 11:18 AM
Or maybe this time it wasn't Walsh pulling the chains and trying to think he's the smartest guy in the room and refusing to look like maybe he didn't get the best end of the deal. ...to a fault...

Yeah, because we know Donnie's biggest critics on this board berate him for all those mid-season trades that didn't work out :rolleyes:

danman
02-26-2009, 01:23 PM
We're mixing trade types. If we traded the expirings for guys with 3 plus years left, it would be a valid comparison. If we traded the expirings for guys with 1 or 2 years left, it would not have impacted our ability to get under the cap. Our exit from cap hell would occur at the same time.