Keith Van Horn, NBA, Josh Smith discussed on The Lab

The Lab
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Stories some. Don't we end each week? Show with one of these two cents. The hot take down rabbit hole of the week. Neil take it away sure so this week I wanted to use the rabbit hole to plug in interactive. That will be launching soon. It's by a colleague. Visual Journalists Ryan best and we know visual interactive's they work great in the podcast medium But I'll try do my best to talk through the data and the interesting things that he found so basically he's been gathering data on all NBA player contracts at five hundred and fourteen contracts to be exact To plot their salaries against their production as measured by you guessed it raptor and so according to his analysis I there were some obvious. Clusters of players that jumped out. There were the superstars Who are earning every penny of their huge deals. These are players that are getting paid at least about seventeen million dollars and are on pace to have a at least ten wins above replacement by the end of the season is currently only nine players in that category and the three most cost effective superstars in the league have been no surprise. James Harden Lebron James and John Under CUCO. You've heard of those are the one through three in raptor war in general and I think it selling because due to the MAC salary rule in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. You basically can never pay these megastars enough money to really fairly compensate them for the amount of value that they generate so the NBA is basically made. Lebron a bargain as amazing as that is to say. There's two other classes of really cost effective players. There's young stars who are still on their rookie contract. So Luca Danni jumps out in that and then hidden gems like Dunkin Robinson of the heat. These guys are on super cheap deals. Maybe they were undrafted. Maybe they drafted really late generating a ton of value and you can build a whole team around these types of players. Miami actually has done that a lot getting tons of production out of younger cheaper guys next to Jimmy Butler. Of course and they currently had the League's eighth best efficiency margin but we aren't really here to focus on those good players providing value to their teams. We want to talk about the opposite kind of players. Those who have been raking in the cash but not really playing well or at all in a lot of cases so in. Ryan's research found that there were fifty players this year that are getting paid a combined. Two hundred thirty four million dollars despite not playing a single game. Zero game played between all these players now. A lot of it can be explained by injuries. So John Wall Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson alone. Make up one hundred eight million of the two hundred and thirty four. There's some funny ones on there Like for instance players who are being paid a ton ton of money but are literally not on the team that is paying them anymore. So Miles plumlee. He's getting paid twelve point. Five million dollars by the grizzlies right now. And he's currently playing for the Perth wildcats of Australia's National Basketball League and meanwhile Josh Smith you guys remember Josh Smith He hasn't played an NBA game. In eight hundred fifty four days. But he's being paid five point three million dollars by the Pistons this year and so those are the least cost effective players in the game. Because you can't really help a team if you are literally not in the NBA. Maybe you're helping the team by not play. Well yeah I mean you know. We saw some of those Josh Smith shooting years from three but the Josh Smith Tidbit also made me think of a really funny footnote from NBA. History just speaking of players who paid despite not being in basketball so I thought back to a particular trade in February. Two Thousand Eight. That made Keith. Van Horn four point. Three million dollars despite not having played a single game in two years so the mavs needed to make trade. It was Jason Kidd trade with the nets and they needed to match salaries. I thought they'd had things worked out. But then one of their players used his bird rights to decline a trade and block it and they knew they needed to scramble to match the salaries or the trade would fall through. And it's very near the deadline so they called up. Keith van Horn. We'll probably keep van. Horn's agent and a used a cap hold that they had on him and a cap hold is when a team holds onto. They never officially renounce players rights. They just hold onto them. They're almost certainly retired by that point. But they keep them if especially if they're over the cap in order to potentially include them in a trade to match salaries because salaries have to match within plus or minus twenty five percent of the amount going in and out. So all of. This was to say that Keith. Van Horn's four point three million dollars salary. Cap Hold was then used to match the salary with Jason Kidd Trade and so one day. Keith van Horn two years after playing got a call from his agent was like Keith. I got good news for you today. You just made four point three million dollars and all he had to do was like fly to New Jersey take physical or something fail the physical obviously and then and then you know he he. He was able to cash that money in and it used to be a very common practice. I think it's a little bit less so now but especially for teams that were over the salary cap for a long period of time to just hold on to these players cap holds and the players of course they would never officially file their retirement papers with the league. Because that would sort of you know end. The possibility to use them as a cap hold and so it was a mutually beneficial thing because even though it was rare on the off chance that they needed to be included in a trade. Keith Van Horn Style. They could potentially make money off of it so as recently as twenty fourteen. I WanNa read off some names to you. That were still on. The Los Angeles Lakers list of Cap holds okay. Ron Harper. Remember this is twenty fourteen. Karl Malone Theo ratliff Horace Grant John Salley Mitch Richmond. All of those guys could theoretically have been included in a trade that the Lakers made as recently as two thousand fourteen even though they were like stars of the nineteen nineties NBA. And I'm not sure if they close this up in the most recent CBA. But it always fun to me to think that potentially Karl Malone could have made one point eight million dollars like a decade plus after he played in the NBA if he'd been included in a trade and yeah. I really love that. I feel like other employers should do that. I think five hundred age gap like cold. The contract rights. This is someone just in case we need to make a trade with the New York Times so we can like Trade Harry and yeah. Yeah you know we'd have a capital. We we get anything from CNN. We let them go as we thought we could be. Signed him right. We should've trade him with a year to go really misplaced. Yeah who was our GM? At that time I don't know if that will do it for this week's show. Thank you.

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