Salary Math & Trade Considerations
Finances, however, do not allow it unless it is followed closely by a second trade that creates a significant salary reduction. Here's the logic:
Next years salary cap approximately: $50 million per team.
The Luxury Tax start at about $60 million.
Assume the Magic want to create a perennial winner with a payroll in the $40 to $50 million range and always below the luxury tax threshold.
$75 million (taxable portion is $67 million after not counting Doug Christie.) Likely tax payment is $8 million.Next Year:
6 contracts, $47 million for Hill, Francis, Turkoglu, Howard, Dooling, & Nelson. (If Stevenson does not opt out, as is his option then Magic have 7 contracts and $50 million on the books. I assume he will opt out in search of a longer, more lucrative deal. For sake of argument, he might be worth 3 years & $4 million each like Arroyo.)Assume that the Magic want to resign:
Expiring contracts: Cato $8.6, Christie $8.2, Battie $5.2, Garrity $3.2, Outlaw, Augmon, Morris, Kasun, Diener.
Stevenson $4 million, 3 yrs guessThe Magic are at 9 contracts and $57 million in salary. Add $3 million for a likely top ten draft pick, $300k for a 2nd rounder, you are at 11 contracts and $60 million.
Battie $5.5 million, 3 yrs guess
Diener $640K second year salary
All without improving the team much unless you can count on a rookie to come through in year one. This still leaves Orlando to find a starting Center and offensive SF/SG specialist with the $5 million exception and $3 mill veterans exception if they are willing to keep the payroll inflated and pay luxury tax. I'd say it's doubtful.
If the Cato for Darko/Arroyo trade were to come through you would have 13 contracts and $70 million on the books. In 2007 Hill comes off the books, but Darko is a restricted free agent.
It doesn't make much sense. You get a potential starting center in Darko, move Battie to backup PF/C, but wind up with a 4th point guard in Arroyo, and are still well over the luxury threshold.
This trade requires a big salary dump to work. Either Hill retiring, or Francis for an expiring contract. If either happens, the payroll drops to $55 million next year. If Francis is gone, the team payroll is under $50 million in 2007 just as Howard & Nelson are entering their 4th years.
Bottom line: together Hill & Francis are strangling the Magic's ability to make any moves. Together next year they will account for $32 million of payroll. If neither are moved you have to expect a minimum of moves to be completed and are forced to consider that next year will likely be a repeat of this years disspointment.