Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Salary Math & Trade Considerations

I don't know if Cato for Darko/Arroyo would be a good trade or not. Darko could prove to be the best player in the deal. That rarely happens for the Magic. Cato is best for giving his body and 6 fouls to Haq-a-Shaq and could come in handy to Detroit in the playoffs. So it could make sense.

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.

Current Payroll:
$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.)

Expiring contracts: Cato $8.6, Christie $8.2, Battie $5.2, Garrity $3.2, Outlaw, Augmon, Morris, Kasun, Diener.
Assume that the Magic want to resign:
Stevenson $4 million, 3 yrs guess
Battie $5.5 million, 3 yrs guess
Diener $640K second year salary
The 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.

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.


  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Thank you weR for clearing that up,i said it wouldnt happen,we dont need a fourth point guard,no way,it doesnt make since for either side,and detroit doesnt take chances on injured players,the magic do!

  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Very well said... Once again, I don't like Arroyo, but I do like the risk of Darko. Of course for it to happen, and make sense, other moves would have to be made, which is most likely not to happen. But then again, since when does a move have to make sense before the Magic make it? Haha... We'll see what they do, or don't...

  • At 3:39 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Thanks for doing all the research on the salary numbers, WeRDevos. Even though I think Milicic would be worth the risk, I don't expect this trade to go through, especially if the Magic would wind up keeping Francis.

    Remember a few weeks ago that multi-team trade that was being rumored with Francis being involved... that sure went away in a hurry, didn't it?

  • At 4:32 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    I think it only happens if Francis is dumped for an expiring contract (and either a low cost rookie or 1st round pick.) Then picking up Arroyo as a 3rd pg might be defendable. Options would include NY (Penny), Toronto (Davis) and maybe a few others.

    Toronto could use a pg and has cap space. And Isiah is pretty dumb and Magic could probably get David Lee out of the deal as well. Then again, Otis is no genius and would probably screw up and trade a first rounder...

    By the way, the deal really makes sense for Detroit. Prince and Ben Wallace are due huge pay raises next year.

  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    How does it make since for detroit,your getting a ten year vet,who's got a cracked bone in his foot,a shoulder that will never be the same thats been operated on,and that hasnt played meaningful minutes since in houston,just doesnt sound like the pistons,last time they had a player with bad injury problems,even though he was an all-star they let him go,i think he became a member of the magic,the nba's injured reserve!

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    If Cato can play it makes sense. It makes sense to assume that Detroit has better doctors than the Magic employ.

    Detroit gives up: two third stringers, one who keeps reminding them they passed on Anthony & Bosh.

    Detroit gets: a certified thug with a history of taking on Shaq & Duncan. Cap space to pay two starters next year. And the odds of them winning the ring go up from near-certain to mostly-certain.

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    "if" ,isnt enough,lets stick with what we know,and thats cato sprained his ankle so bad that he has a cracked bone in his foot,and his shoulder is prone to make him less physical in years to come,it doesnt make since for the magic b/c we dont need arroyo,and it doesnt make since for the pistons b/c cato isnt healthy!

  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Coaching,coaching,coaching,our coach is an idiot,why the hell isnt deshawn guarding pierce,only one quarter is done,and coach hill has no clue,DESHAWN IS YOUR STOPPER PUT HIM ON PIERCE,hedo should be running around with waly,not guarding their best perimeter player,its messin up the whole team,damw this shit is pissin me off!

  • At 7:20 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    If coach hill changes the defensive match-up in the second half and lets deshawn guard peirce,and steve can get his head in the game,we could beat the celts easy,wake up steve cmon!

  • At 7:46 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    It doesn't add up to something that DET may go for. They are taking a big chance on Cato this season that may not happen and they will end up with an expiring contract and dumping two salaries at about 9 million. For Magic it doesn't make sense b/c they will end up with 4 million Arroyo's salary for no use. DET won't do a stright swap of Cato and Milicic b/c their salary dump would be reduced to 5-4=1 million only.

    WeRDevos, thank you for the informative research. Salary numbers are just one element amongst many other considerations. There are many NBA teams that are paying luxury tax, year after year but they are offseting the extra tax by genarating revenues from the team's success in a variety of ways. As for the Magic, they need to build a successful team sooner rather than later. That is necessary in terms of leveraging construction of a new arena (whether in Orlando or a new location) or the sale of the franchise (if they elect to do so).

  • At 9:22 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Thanks for the well researched info WRD. I agree we don't need another PG, but I do think by aquiring Arroyo, it would free-up our teams dependence on Francis, and therefore continue to shop him around for the best trade available. I think Francis is making a statement by his play these last 4 games and has turned into a festering tumor that this team just dosn't need. "Grown up"? my ass he has!... He's regressing if anything. He has no more motivation than Cato, We all know Cato is lazy, but Francis has become lazy, And a total head case. How the hell does this team get stuck with so many of these types of players?

  • At 9:34 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    There are so many ways to answer that question, but the bottom line is the Magic ineptness manages to recruit and breed bad attitudes.

    Another way is that Francis has read the book left behind by Penny & T-Mac. The one that says your hard work will never pay off here and act like an ass until they ship you out of town. Even the great Horace Grant used it his last stint here.

    The worst part of the math equation is that as long as Francis is here in Orlando the team will be limited in its acquisition strategies. Even with Hill coming off the books after next year the team will be near the cap number which continues to limit them to using the $5 million mid-level exemption or $3 million veterans exception.


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