Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Unsung Winners of the Trade Deadline

By: Brian Sanchez
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There were really no flashy deals at the trade deadline. There have been major trades this year with Rudy Gay and James Harden changing uniforms, they just weren't at the deadline. I would feel comfortable saying all the people like me who refreshed their Twitter feeds every five seconds waiting for an update thought today's was a deadline with a capital DEAD. I would also tend to say that not too many people would jump for joy when their playoff contending team only traded the last two players (Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins) on the roster for second round picks, but I did, and this is why:

1. The Warriors are under the salary cap
Left: Charles Jenkins Right: Jeremy Tyler
Coming into the Thursday deadline the Warriors were $1.2 million over the cap. There was no way GM Bob Myers was going to dupe somebody in to taking Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins, so the only way to get under the cap was to trade two of the end of the bench players: Charles Jenkins, Jeremy Tyler, and Kent Bazemore. Bazemore has gone from a Summer League walk-on, to a guy who provides a couple minutes of defense a game and seems to have a future as a defensive role player in the league. So naturally, that only left Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler, who project to be back-ups on non-playoff teams at their peaks in the league. So, why was it so important to be under the salary cap?

2. The Warriors are out of the luxury tax
Left: Owner Joe Lacob Right: GM Bob Myers
With the new CBA, there are steep penalties for being in the luxury tax. Now, the Warriors will enter the luxury tax at some point because owner Joe Lacob is willing to if the money is being spent on a difference maker. Lacob really cares about winning. He is, in a way, the anti-Cohan. Now there is something new for Lacob to dance around financially, and that is called the repeater tax. The repeater tax is in place to try and make sure large market teams can not continue to out spend small market teams at will. In it's most basic explanation, the repeater tax exponentially increases what teams that are constantly over the threshold have to pay. Usually, a team has to pay however far they are over the threshold as the tax. For example, if a team is $10 million over the cap, they have to pay an additional $10 million in luxury tax. For large market teams, this is no big deal. If that's the cost of having Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol on the Lakers, they say, "that's fine." But for teams that are in small markets like the Memphis Grizzlies, they are so desperate to not pay the tax that they were willing to give up Rudy Gay just to save the money. To pay the repeater tax you need to have been in the luxury tax for three of the past four years. If the Warriors would have stayed over the cap, they would have started the clock on their requirement to pay the repeater tax only to keep Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins who usually only play in garbage minutes.

3. They have a reason to look forward to the draft
Before the trades of Tyler and Jenkins the Warriors had zero picks in this upcoming NBA Draft. Now at the very least they have two second rounders. What could come of those two picks? Honestly, I can't imagine. The Warriors are one of the youngest teams in the league, so the likelihood of them drafting two second rounders and signing them to contracts is low. But that does not mean the picks could not be useful. They could possibly be packaged in to moving up to the end of the first round when they may be able to find a player they like or draft a European player and stash him over seas. They could also be used in a trade again. You never really know, but one thing is for sure, most people trust GM bob Myers to do something smart that helps the team.

4. Nobody batted an eye at Klay trade rumors
Eric Gordon battles KlayThompson for the ball
This is probably the bit of information that came from this trade deadline that excites me the most. Klay was rumored to have been in the works of a trade for New Orleans SG Eric Gordon. Whether or not Gordon would make the Warriors that much better compared to the price of his contract s debatable but not what I care about for this instance. What excited me was, the Warriors trigger happy second-year SG was rumored to be on the move, and most fans seemed alright with it. Even beyond that, you could see Twitter was flooded with people saying they would love to have Eric Gordon and didn't mind that it cost Klay. I don't necessarily want Klay gone, but I also don't think he's that good. It was just that I expected their to be riots in the streets with people screaming that Klay is a great shooter, cheap, young, and should be going nowhere. But the openness to deal one of the Warriors young assets was thrilling to me. People want to win, and win now. If that costs Klay, so be it.

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