Chris Sheridan wrote a piece for SheridanHoops.com saying that Dwight Howard can leverage the Lakers into doing a sign-and-trade this summer which would result in Howard ending up a Brooklyn Net.
It’s a difficult proposition. One of the features of the new CBA is stiffer penalties for taxpaying teams — and here “taxpaying” is defined to mean more than $4 million above the tax line, a point called “the apron.” Why $4 million? Because that’s what they negotiated.
One of these penalties, starting this summer, is restricted access to sign-and-trade transactions. A team cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade if, at the conclusion of the trade, the team is above the apron. They can still send a player away in a sign-and-trade transaction, and they can receive a player who himself is not signed-and-traded. But they can’t trade for a guy who is signed by another team if their team salary is a penny above the apron after the trade is done.
The salary cap, tax level, and apron won’t be known for sure until this July when the league concludes its annual audit. However, the league periodically provides the teams with forecasts, and teams also project their own amounts internally. Most of the teams I’ve talked to are using a figure of $71.5 million to $73 million for the tax line, which would put the apron at $75.5 million to $77 million.
So here’s Sheridan’s proposition — the Nets will be able to complete a sign-and-trade transaction for Dwight Howard, which will result, at the conclusion of the trade, in the Nets’ team salary being $77 million or less (let’s use the high end of the range, in order to be as generous as possible).
Sheridan acknowledges the difficulty, writing, “…my cap guru said it would be difficult but NOT impossible.”
Well, yeah. So’s winning the lottery. Continue reading