When Andre Iguodala made his much anticipated post-trade appearance with the Nuggets brass at the Pepsi Center, he spoke in upbeat tones about the prospects of a long term tenure with his new team. On the question of his future in Denver, Iguodala explained that he and executive Masai Ujiri were both on the same page:
We aren’t coming in to this thinking this is just a one year deal we are looking to the future and definitely looking ahead looking to see how we can go forward so this isn’t a quick stop for me.
On the surface it seems simple enough. Iguodala has two years remaining on his contract at $14,968,250 and $16,154,750 respectively, with an Early Termination Option (ETO) for the final year. This allows at least one or two years for he and the Nuggets to work out a new deal which will keep him around long term.
But what, specifically, are are the possibilities for Iguodala and the Nuggets going forward, and which of these various scenarios is most likely to play out in reality? (more…)
The NBA’s big spenders will soon have to reckon with a much more punitive luxury tax structure. From the league’s implementation of the tax in 2003, teams have been required to pay “just” one dollar in luxury tax for every dollar in payroll that exceeds the tax threshold. This relatively soft penalty on an already soft salary cap will soon undergo significant changes. Cap guru Larry Coon describes the new luxury tax conditions under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will kick into effect next year:
Starting in 2012-13, teams pay an incremental tax that increases with every $5 million above the tax threshold ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc.). Teams that are repeat offenders (paying tax at least four out of the past five seasons) have a tax that is higher still — $1 more at each increment ($2.50, $2.75, $3.50, $4.25, etc.).
The desired effect is that these heavier penalties will give pause to even the deepest pocketed, biggest spending owners such as the Knicks’ James Dolan, the Lakers’ Jerry Buss, and the Mavericks’ Mark Cuban, when it comes to dishing out big bucks on salaries. (Though many might point to this summer’s free agency period as evidence the dissuasive effect has been minimal so far).
With the Kroenke family at the helm, the Denver Nuggets have been in the upper strata of teams with wealthy owners. According to (more…)
In the summer of 1996 Dikembe Mutombo was a free agent. Dikembe was the best player on the Nuggets, but the Atlanta Hawks offered him a sizeable contract. Bernie Bickerstaff was faced with a decision. Pay Dikembe more than he felt he was worth, or let the cornerstone of the franchise walk.
Bernie decided that it was not wise to pay Dikembe and Mutombo became a member of the Atlanta Hawks. The rest is history. Dikembe won three of the next five defensive player of the year awards and helped lead the Sixers to the NBA Finals in 2001 while the Nuggets crumbled into obscurity.
Clearly Bickerstaff chose poorly. Mutombo was easily worth the money that he was offered. Even so, Bernie may have actually been ahead of his time. One of the keys to managing a team in the luxury tax era is recognizing when to say, “uncle” over a player’s salary.
The Denver Nuggets have an opportunity to add a quality player, or three, in the upcoming NBA Draft, soon after that free agency will kick off so it is important to know how the Nuggets stand heading into both events. Kalen has been doing a fantastic job of covering the draft so I will lay out a picture of the Nuggets financial standing and provide a few insights into the upcoming free agency period.