With the strong chance that Eddy Curry's contract may be included in an Anthony Randolph deal, I thought I'd try to write a quick article explaining the cost of swapping Curry's deal with our available space under the salary cap.
Eddy Curry's deal has a cost to the Timberwolves in three distinct ways:
1. Financial Costs
First, Glen Taylor has to write those checks. Curry's annual salary is $11,276,863, but the Wolves are only responsible for the pro-rated cost remaining for the rest of the season. NBA players get paid for 170 days of service, and a trade at the deadline would mean he'd still have 40% of his salary remaining.
Many have pointed out that the Knicks paid much of Curry's contract at the beginning of the season, but the Collective Bargaining Agreement obviously don't allow a team to pay someone to play on someone else's team. MIN may have to reimburse NYK, but it's mathematically irrelevant - we're paying Curry or the Knicks that 40% limit. In addition, Curry has a trade kicker for about $600,000 at the deadline. Therefore, unless Curry renounced some of his salary or the TK, or accepted a cheaper buyout, his price tag would be
$11.28 x 40% + $0.6 = $5.1 million
EDIT: While the NBA Players get their first guaranteed paycheck on November 15, they are paid for 170 days starting November 1. If the trade was completed today (2/22), there will be 56 paid days remaining to pro-rate.
$11.28 x (56/170) + $0.6 = $4.3 mil
2. Opportunity Costs
This is a fairly straight-forward concept. If the Wolves use their cap space now, they can't trade it elsewhere before the deadline. Cap Space > Cash, especially for team's over the luxury threshold. While I would hope that the front office has been on the phones looking for offers,but we don't know if offers will become available. The Curry offer may be the best, but closing the door on other opportunities is certainly a cost.
3. Fair Distribution of Value?
Suppose your local watering hole said you and your friends could take home a case of beer if you could all agree how to split it. You may say, "I'll keep 22, and you each get 1 .. that's one more than you had before!" If your friends are like mine, they would refuse the deal, saying, "you have the chance to lose 22 if you don't offer something more fair!"
The cap space is certainly valuable in the Melo deal. With it, DEN would be able to save over $20+ mil, and NYK would be getting Carmelo freakin' Anthony. Yes, the Wolves lack leverage, because if they asked for too much, the Knicks could just see if the Cavs would underbid us. However, even if Mr. Taylor can afford it, we have no better opportunities, and the final deal is a slight net positive, there is a tremendous amount of trade value being generated in this trade, and the distribution should be equitable compared to the contribution.
I didn't post here to derail other conversations, and we can continue to discuss the iterations of the potential trades elsewhere. CNN SI has us getting a weak 2014 NYK 1st. CBS Sportsline has us getting $3 mil in cash. ESPN this morning had the Knicks receiving cash, which makes little sense. However, while we discuss these things, I felt that a lot of confusion surrounded Eddy Curry. Hopefully this can article can help give people a little better definition of what he'll cost.