Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 20th 2016 Contents A53
Saturday, February 20, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
MIAMI---In past years, a team like
the Toronto Raptors almost certainly
would have been looking to add some
help for the stretch run. They re hold-
ing down second place in the Eastern
Conference, have been one of the
league s hottest teams for the last
month and seem poised to make a
significant playoff push.
Yet on this trade-deadline day, they
They weren t alone. For the most
part, Thursday s deadline came and
went with most NBA teams seeming
cautious, with the huge rise in the salary
cap for next season---and the uncer-
tainty of how the free-agent market
will react to that over the summer---
deterring clubs from making moves
that might adversely affect their flex-
ibility going forward.
"Yes, we are in a different situation
from last year," Raptors general manager
Masai Ujiri said.
He was talking about his team. He
may as well have been talking about
the league, where there s a clear wait-
and-see approach about how the mas-
sive cap jumps that are coming will
inevitably change the way teams go
about their business. This season s cap
was a record $70 million.
That seems like pocket change when
compared to how next season will likely
top $90 million, and a cap of $110 mil-
lion or more for 2017-18 is possible.
"The spike is something we re all
aware of...as we re thinking about things
and trying to create more financial
opportunities in the coming summer,
for us to grow and get better," Atlanta
coach Mike Budenholzer said.
"I m sure every team is similar."
There were several deals Thursday,
but no blockbusters.
Cleveland landed Channing Frye and
the Los Angeles Clippers got Jeff Green
for perhaps the two biggest player
moves among contending teams, while
Miami got under the luxury-tax thresh-
old and Orlando opened up about $45
million in a pair of key accomplishments
with an eye toward the future.
Besides, with Golden State off to a
48-4 start, there probably aren t that
many teams thinking they have a legit-
imate chance of winning it all this year
Hence, wait til next year---or at least
til next summer---might have been the
most prudent policy.
"We ve been on the other side of it
not too long ago when you never knew
if you were one piece away or one move
away or how a trade could impact a
season either positively or negatively,"
Warriors guard and reigning MVP
Stephen Curry said.
"I like where we are."
Detroit was the most notable excep-
tion at trade time, with the Pistons
adding Tobias Harris (his contract that
runs through 2018-19), plus taking a
chance on Donatas Motiejunas.
He ll be a restricted free agent, so
Detroit will have a chance to keep him
if it so chooses.
"I don t think anybody in the NBA
knows exactly what the market is going
to look like for guys this summer," Pis-
tons coach Stan Van Gundy told the
team s website. "You gauge it the best
you can...We weren t going to give away
assets for unrestricted free agents and
so we feel good about it."
Most of the deals that were bandied
about in recent weeks never happened.
Dwight Howard, Al Horford and
Kevin Love---all big names who got
trade attention---stayed put.
"Certainly the cap changes are going
to make players under contract more
valuable," Cleveland general manager
David Griffin said.
"But I think in some cases people
who had a big expiring contract weren t
getting the value they hoped to get
because the guy was most likely going
That s likely why Howard is still with
It would have taken a strong com-
bination of players and draft picks to
get the Rockets to move him anyway,
which some teams seemed willing to
consider. But with Howard holding a
$23 million player option for next sea-
son, he could---and by all indications,
will---opt to become a free agent instead.
So landing him would have come at a
huge cost for some team who likely
would have seen him leave July 1 any-
way, and no deal got struck.
"There s no question that the new
cap impacted not only the fundamentals
of this trade period, but maybe even
more the psychology of it as well," Utah
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey
Minnesota GM Milt Newton under-
stood why teams were hesitant.
"Why bring someone into the fold
that might take away some of your cap
space when you re not necessarily
sold?" Newton said.
"It may make your team better if
you re a playoff team for this year, but
how will it affect you next year?"
The NBA will know that answer in
a few months. (AP)
With cap set to soar,
NBA trade deadline
Cavaliers general manager.
Links Archive February 19th 2016 February 21st 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page