Dallas Mavericks: James Anderson
|Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
Howard’s max salary next season would be $20,513,178. The salary cap is expected to be set between $58.5 million and $60 million. The Rockets have $48,571,158 worth of contracts on the books, assuming they decline Francisco Garcia’s $6.4 million team option.
It doesn’t take an MBA from MIT -- which Rockets general manager Daryl Morey happens to have -- to figure out that the math doesn’t add up for Houston and Howard.
Morey made sure the Rockets had some built-in wiggle room with seven nonguaranteed deals on the roster, although that list includes six-figure bargains Chandler Parsons, Patrick Beverley and Greg Smith that are inexpensive, integral parts of James Harden’s supporting cast. Houston might have to sacrifice one of their major additions from last summer to make room for Howard.
That could mean trading point guard Jeremy Lin or center Omer Asik to a team with cap space for no immediate return. That is a nice way to say dumping an $8,374,646 million salary, the amount both Lin and Asik are due in the second season of their identical three-year, $25.12 million contracts.
Such a salary dump would put the Rockets close to being able to afford Howard, but they’d still have some work to do.
They could waive sixth man Carlos Delfino ($3 million) and/or reserve point guard Aaron Brooks ($2.5 million), both of whom have June 30 deadlines before their salaries become guaranteed, meaning a decision would have to be made before the Rockets are allowed to meet with Howard. The nonguaranteed salaries of young projects Tim Ohlbrecht ($788,872) and James Anderson ($916,099) could also create the necessary space depending on where the cap falls, although the Rockets would pick up a cap hold of $490,180 in the process if they cut both because their roster would dip under 12 players. A salary-dump deal that would send 2012 No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson ($3.53 million) to his third team is another alternative.
A much less attractive option than finding an under-the-cap trade partner to take on the contract of Lin or Asik: Waiving one of them and using the stretch provision.
In that case, the Rockets would still have to pay the $16.75 million remaining on the contract, but they would be allowed to spread the cap hit over five years (twice the length remaining on the contract plus one year). So Houston would create a little more than $5 million in cap space with such a move – and then have to get rid of nonguaranteed salary and/or make salary-dump deals to ship off young talent (Robinson, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas).
The Mavs would also have to do some maneuvering to give Howard a max contract, but not nearly as much as the Rockets.
The Rockets can free up enough money for Howard, but it would require slicing into the supporting cast of a playoff team -- and perhaps paying a $16.75 million tax in addition to his max deal.
Jones is one of 70 NBA players that will participate in the Impact Basketball League, a two-week competitive training series that some are calling the “Lockout League.” They'll train and play games from Sept. 12-23 at Impact Basketball's facility in Las Vegas. Impact Basketball is run by Joe Abunassar, considered the the world's top basketball trainer and "Trainer to the pros."
Impact Basketball released the roster of players expected to attend. Jones is the only Mavs player, but he'll be joined by pretty solid NBA company, including veterans like Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Zach Randolph and Jermaine O'Neal, to a slew of young guys like John Wall, Texas ex's Jordan Hamilton (Denver Nuggets) and Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics), former Oklahoma State guard James Anderson (San Antonio Spurs) and Baylor center Ekpe Udoh (Golden State Warriors).
Jones is coming off a fractured foot during a rookie season in which he found minimal playing time and was never active during the playoffs. He's staring at a crowded shooting guard position with Jason Terry, Rudy Fernandez and Rodrigue Beaubois under contract, plus the possibility of free agent DeShawn Stevenson returning.
* The Mavs have three players currently involved Olympic qualifying tournaments. J.J. Barea has the Puerto Rico into the semifinals in the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina. Dirk Nowitzki is trying to keep Germany alive in its quest for a 2012 Olympic bid and Rudy Fernandez is playing for a powerful Spain team.
* Fernandez, at this moment, appears to be the lone Mavs player to have agreed to a contract to play overseas if the lockout continues. That's according to reports out of Spain last month. Those reports also say Fernandez has signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid. While he would return to the Mavs when the lockout ends, according to those reports he would apparently resume his career in Spain after this season. However, a source with knowledge of Fernandez's thinking says nothing has been set in stone. It is certainly a possibility that Fernandez could play in Spain during a prolonged lockout and return to his home country permanently after this season. The source said Fernandez will likely meet with representatives early next week in Lithuania and that a definitive plan could be reached in a couple weeks. Fernandez played his first three NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers and was acquired by the Mavs in June in a draft-night trade.
* Barea has said throughout the summer that he will play in Spain during a lockout, but it is not believed that he has a deal in place as of yet. His agent, Dan Fegan, has not returned repeated phone calls.
* Corey Brewer was in talks to play overseas, possibly in Spain, but his agent, Happy Walters, said earlier this week that deals have not worked out for various reasons. He said they are exploring other options as they monitor progress made in labor negotiations.
* Nowitzki told ESPN.com's Marc Stein prior to the European Championship that he would make a decision about playing overseas after the tournament.
The Mavs tried to move into the middle of the first round to get Jones, but unwilling to give up a 2011 first-round draft pick, the Mavs felt fortunate that Jones slipped to No. 25 where Memphis could make the selection on behalf of Dallas for a cost of $3 million.
Jones was mostly rated as a late first-round to early second-round selection by media analysts, and Carlisle acknowledged that the Mavs valued Jones more than other teams and "had him rated higher than a lot of people did."
Jones, who plans to wear No. 20, was flattered that the Mavs would spend $3 million to get into the first round to acquire him, but he believes he'll pay off. Asked how he would compare himself to Oklahoma State's Anderson, Jones said: "I think I was better. But, like I said, success isn't in the beginning. Nobody has reached success; no John Wall. Nobody has reached success. Success is in the end. This is just the beginning for everybody in the draft and I'm very comfortable with my situation and my team and I'm just ready to go."
Jones said he sees himself as cross between Miami star Dwyane Wade and Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey: "Just getting in the lane, strong body, getting contact, and-1s. And, I feel like the D-Wade style, which is transition, getting out in transition, one-on-one transition, you know, basically being unguardable."
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