Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Roster Trimming Complete, Let Free Agency Begin!
Today, Pat Riley finalized a buyout with James Jones which will count only $1.5 million against the cap instead of the $1.9 million which he was on the books for. I don't know how he did it, but with that move, we are officially down to our 2008 rookies, 2009 rookies and 2010 rookies.
Since our 2009 and 2010 rookies are unsigned as of yet and were either acquired in the second round or as free agents, all we have on the payroll is Michael Beasley ($4.962M), James Jones's buyout ($1.5M) and Mario Chalmers ($847K). Let's get down to the math to figure out how much money we could throw at free agents while keeping Michael Beasley and if we have cleared enough room for three maximum free agents if we deal him.
Assuming we have a $56.1M cap:
$56.1M - $4.962M (Beasley) = $51.138
$51.138M - $1.5M (Jones's buyout) = $49.638
$49.638 - $.847M (Chalmers) = $48.791
$48.791 - $2.842M (6 cap holds of $.4736M) = $45.949
That is the calculation for how much money we could throw at three players without breaking up our Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers core. No, that was not a joke. We may have to shed Michael Beasley if the three maximum free agents are unwilling to take a $1.5M discount on their first year salary. The max free agents in question are entitled to 30% of the cap, which comes out to $16.83M. However if you divide the money Miami has been able to clear up, it comes out to $15.32M per player.
A slight disappointment for me is that if you could have rid yourself of Jones and Chalmers, you could have offered the free agents $15.94M, while keeping 2008's #2 pick. In any case, it is only a $5M discount over three years and each of them still can get one more major deal three years down the line that will more than make up for that gesture.
Alas, dealing away Michael Beasley creates $50.437M in cap room, which divides into three salaries of $16.81M. It almost spooky how that has worked out almost to the penny. The official cap number comes out after the July 1st-8th moratorium and we will no longer have to guess what the cap number will be. I doubt $20K would make the difference in closing the deal with a max free agent, so Mario Chalmers is likely safe, but he better offer his Mr. Clutch #6 to LeBron James or he could be finding himself fighting for that number elsewhere.
We do not yet know for sure if Miami will be adding the trio of max free agents, but they have successfully created a unique opportunity. I am hearing movie catch phrases in my head like "I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse" and "if you build it, they will come". I haven't figured out if Pat Riley is the Godfather or Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. Either way, he looks like a genius right now. May his wildest dream come true.