Larry Coon — about the author

Larry Coon

Larry Coon is a computer scientist by both education and trade. He works in IT management at University of California, Irvine, and has also taught university Computer Science courses, specializing in database theory. A lifelong NBA fan, he assimilated a working knowledge of the league’s salary cap and trade rules, eventually organizing this knowledge into the Salary Cap FAQ to provide “the kind of reference I was looking for when I was trying to figure it all out.”

Larry has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register and Sports Illustrated. He makes regular media appearances including television (such as ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”) radio and podcasts. He is a regular contributor to and He is often quoted and cited, both online and in print, by local and national media venues. His work has also appeared on the New York Times Off the Dribble blog and

Larry also leads Sports Business Classroom, which is a one-of-a-kind educational and training initiative focusing on the business of basketball, giving attendees the opportunity to train and interact with top executives while performing real work in team video, scouting and analytics; social media & public relations; broadcast production and distribution; and the league salary cap. Sports Business Classroom takes place during the NBA Summer league in Las Vegas.

Larry lives in Orange County, California with his wife and daughter, about whom he brags at every possible opportunity.

13 thoughts on “Larry Coon — about the author

  1. Doug B

    Larry, saw your blog posting a few months ago about whether it might be possible for Dwight Howard to move to the Nets. Here’s the trade I developed that I think would do the trick though I’m not sure the Jazz get enough here to participate:

    BKN outgoing Lopez, Humphries, Teletovic, Brooks, future first rounder
    BKN incoming Howard

    LAL outgoing Howard (S&T – near max)
    LAL incoming Lopez, Teletovic

    UTA outgoing second rounder
    UTA incoming Humphries, Brooks, future first rounder

    Nets pay Utah to take on Humphries to facilitate the deal. Howard would likely have to give some on the max deal to ensure Brooklyn remains under the apron. Not clear Lakers would want to commit long-term money to either Lopez or Teletovic.

    1. lcoon Post author

      If everyone involved wants to get Dwight to the Nets, is it possible? Of course — they just have to find a means to do a sign-and-trade where the Nets add Dwight’s massive salary and still finish the trade with a team salary below about $75.6 million. Let’s not cheat and assume Dwight takes a pay cut — that assumption has shades of deus ex machina. The Nets are committed to $86.3 million already, and adding Dwight would take them to $106.8 million — so they’d need to trade away at least $31.2 million for the trade to be legal. Your four guys add up to $31.1 million so we’re close — in fact, close enough that I think we’re within the error bars of the future cap/tax/apron amounts.

      But the hard part here is convincing everyone to do this. As we saw a year ago when Orlando & Brooklyn were looking at a midseason trade to send Dwight to Houston, it all fell apart when a third party (recruited to do the job you have Utah doing in your scenario) said “Naaah.”

  2. MIke L

    Love your work, its literally an order of magnitude better than any of the other CBA analysts out there. I have a quick question. If the Rockets really are willing to dump Thomas Robinson for cap space, is there any chance the Pacers could get involved (and still be able to re-sign David West)? Perhaps by trading a future #1? He seems like the perfect young back-up to groom behind West, but I can’t see them doing it with the current cap situation. Thanks.

    1. lcoon Post author

      David West could be a problem for Indiana. He’s coming off a $10 million salary and the team has his Early Bird rights. These rights let them sign him for up to $17.5 million — which should be enough — but it doesn’t leave the team with any additional spending room. They’re committed to $49.9 million without West, and either his free agent cap hold or his new contract will consume their remaining space (the cap is projected to be $58.5 million).

      So that pretty much leads them to seeking trades — and since the Pacers don’t have sufficient non-guaranteed salary to send to Houston, it means the Pacers would need to send back guaranteed salary. Which means the Pacers aren’t a natural trade partner in the Robinson scenario.

  3. Michael

    Assume there are two teams over the salary cap looking to make a trade.

    Team A wants to trade Player A who makes $5M. Team A also owns two TPEs, one for $3M and one for $2M.

    Team B wants to trade Player B who makes $3M and Player C who makes $2M.

    Since the salaries match exactly, Player A can be traded for Player B plus Player C.

    But can Team A use its two TPEs to acquire Player B and Player C in this trade? If so, would Team A also receive a $5M TPE for Player A?

  4. Jason


    When does the cap hold for a teams 1st round pick come off their books if that pick signed with a team overseas? For example, Dario Saric signed prior to the draft, yet was drafted and we all know he will not sign a deal within the next two seasons. How does this impact his cap hold? Does it immediately come off because he signed a contract overseas?

  5. Jason

    I have a CBA question:

    If a player is not on a rookie deal, but is on a deal that has a player option next year, how do you calculate his max amount. For example, Lebron is signed through the 15/16 season, but has opted out. To calculate his max salary, do you take the amount of what would have been his final year [15/16] and multiply it by 105%, or do you take the amount of the last completed year of his contract since he opted out…

  6. Brian G.

    Thank you Mr. Coon,
    I have read numerous articles on you and anytime you are on a radio show I drop what I’m doing to listen to your words of wisdom. I read your website religiously because I love everything about the nba from a front office perspective. There is something that is not mentioned on your cbafaq site that I wanted to get clarification on if you have the time.

    Suppose a team over the cap has some combination of their mini or full mid level exemption. They still have a player eligible to be amnestied under contract on their roster. They are planning to amnesty said player as of the end of the moratorium on July 10th to get back under the cap.

    Either during or after the waiver period once they have amnestied that player are they able to use any exemptions they had prior to sign free agents or since they are now under the cap must they use available cap space or minimum contracts if close to the cap to add additional players?
    I hope my question makes sense.
    I will be anticipating your response whenever you have time out of your busy schedule to answer.
    Thank you for all you do to make something so complex come across much easier.


  7. ray

    Larry: since you are the expert that I can get a hold of, I am hoping you would answer a question for a UCI alumni.

    I don’t think it is possible, but I am arguing with someone that the Lakers cannot sign Lebron and Melo to the maximum and then say that kobe’s salary can go over the cap by using the Bird Rights exception. That is ludicrous to me, but my friend is adamant that I am wrong and that is a possibility. I have read your CBA FAQ but wanted to get a definitive answer from you. Thanks

  8. Ben

    I may very well be confused as to how players salaries count against the salary cap but I after skimming this blog a bit I found what I was looking for and just want to confirm some conclusions I’ve come to from my reading.
    So if the projected cap is somewhere in the range of $63 million, LeBron wants his max, Bosh wants $80 million over 5, and DWade wants $60 million over 4, (Obviously those number are based on speculation) can’t the Heat have $16.8 million in cap room after signing those three (not accounting for minimum roster holds as I don’t know the number for them, or cole and napier holds)? I got these numbers from 20.7 million base year salary for LeBron, 13 million base year for Bosh, and 12.5 million base year for DWade, which with 4.5 % raises could have Bosh and Dwade at their ,speculatively, requested salaries. Am I mistaken in using the base year salaries as the number which counts against the cap as opposed to the average salaries over the contract’s lives? Also if these numbers work, what would the projected cap room be for the Heat after actually accounting for the minimum roster slot holds, Cole, and Napier?

  9. Drew Peterson

    Can a restricted free agent like Chandler Parsons receive and sign an offer sheet from multiple teams at the same time? For example since Chandler has been reported in signing an offer sheet from the Dallas Mavericks can the Cavs come in with a better offer?

  10. STEVEN

    Hi Larry,

    Enjoy your work, interested in the early numbers for the Salary Cap for 2015/16, has the projections been adjusted as what occurred for the 2014/15 season which happened three separate times. The increase went from the NBA projected 4.5% to 7.7% final adjustment.

    Appreciate your insight, great respect for your work.

  11. Kat

    Hi Mr.Coon!

    I was reading through your cbafaq website which is terrific and so very helpful. But I was wondering whether you’d be willing to help me a bit more?
    In the last sentence of point #76 it states “NBA teams can’t take any steps to dissuade their players from participating in such competitions, such as asking their players not to participate or making public statements suggesting they do not want their players to play in these competitions.”.
    Could you please tell me where in the CBA this is specified?
    I was looking through the 500+ pages of the CBA and couldn’t find the part relating to this, only one that said FIBA competitions were excluded from summer events.


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