I Thought I Understood The Concept Of A Salary Cap Until I Heard Joe Johnson To The Cavaliers Is A Possibility
CBS Sports- The Cleveland Cavaliers have proven they'll spare no expense in their pursuit of a title. Dan Gilbert is ready and willing to open up those pockets and pay for however much in luxury tax he needs to get a title in Cleveland. The latest sign of that is their interest in trading for Joe Johnson's $24.9 million contract in exchange for Brendan Haywood's non-guaranteed expiring contract and other assets to be determined if a deal develops. From ESPN:
It would take more than just Haywood to make a deal between the Cavs and Nets, but trading for and waiving Haywood could save the Nets tens of millions in tax payments.One possible option for the Cavs would be sending big man Anderson Varejaoto the Nets in such a deal. Varejao will make $9.6 million this upcoming season as part of an extension he signed last year. Varejao is coming off of a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered last December but is on track to return by the start of the season.
I like to think I know sports. Not just the actual rules of the game, but also the financial aspects and the monetary constraints that all professional teams, outside of baseball, have to operate under. That's not to say that I have ever identified myself as a salary cap guru, mostly because that seems like the most difficult job in the world. It's one thing to be good with numbers, it's another to have your entire career reliant upon the ability to calculate numbers that are large and erratic enough to give the national debt a run for it's money. Still, before this weekend I would have liked to imagine that I could process whether or not a team could fit a player that is due to make 24 MILLION next year into their plans. If Joe Johnson somehow becomes a Cleveland Cavalier it is very apparent that the only thing I know is that I don't know a damn thing.
I understand the concept of 'Bird rights' and having the ability to sign your own free agents to longer and more lucrative deals. I understand the concept of a luxury tax, and having to pay 4 dollars per every dollar you go over the cap. What I don't understand is how you could add Joe Johnson, and one of the richest contracts in sports history, to a team that already has 48 million tied up in 3 players that are NOT named LeBron James. If that is possible than isn't pretty much anything possible? And if anything is possible, isn't the whole premise of a salary cap pointless? Maybe it's the booze retroactively killing my brain cells, but I feel like jumping up and down and yelling "it's not fair" like a child that just got denied his favorite candy in the grocery store. It may be a bit immature, but it's not wrong. Joe Johnson on the Cavaliers in cheating. Replacing JR Smith, one of the most unpredictable loose cannons in NBA history, with one of the most consistently clutch players currently in the NBA, is just cruel to the rest of the competition. The only contract higher than Joe Johnson's? Kobe Bryant's $25 million dollar contract that currently has the entirety of the Lakers organization hamstrung, while the Cavaliers are willingly picking up the check on max contracts like it's dollar beer night. Fucking Dan Gilbert just making it rain like he's beating his nephews and nieces in Monopoly. I don't get it. I don't like it. But I'll be damned if I don't respect it.