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Jose Calderon trade, amnestying Charlie Villanueva could give Pistons more than $30 million in cap space

The salary page is updated, and we can estimate the Pistons’ cap room this summer. There are plenty of variables that won’t become clear until the season ends, so here a few assumptions I’m working with for now:

*Renouncing a player doesn’t mean the Pistons can’t re-sign him. It just means they can’t go over the cap to re-sign him. But if the Pistons don’t renounce these players, they continue to count against the cap at an amount higher than their previous salary.

Of, course I’ve omitted one key question. Will the Pistons amnesty Charlie Villanueva? I have no idea, and it makes a big difference, so I’m not including that in my assumptions. Here are the two key numbers:

  • Pistons’ cap room if they amnesty Villanueva: $30,027,902
  • Pistons’ cap room if they don’t amnesty Villanueva: $22,018,082

Either way, Detroit has great flexibility going forward thanks to this trade.


  • Jan 30, 201310:01 pm
    by Anthony


    Although I have been tough on Tayshaun lately I would just like to take this time to thank him for all of his contributions. Tay has been one of the most constant piston. He’s very underrated an I hope he finds success. I won’t lie, I am a bit sad to see him go this way. I think we should’ve let him go in free agency instead. No matter who the player is, I hate to see them traded especially if they reached a certain pedigree on a team. Tayshaun will always be a lifelong piston no matter what.

    Here’s to the best to Tayshaun and the Memphis Grizzlies!!! 

  • Jan 30, 201310:04 pm
    by jay


    so the can release stuckey? and his contract not count against the cap?

    • Jan 30, 201310:11 pm
      by Blair


      Of Stuckey’s 8.5m contract only 4m is guaranteed. So cutting him you would get 4.5m in cap space. 

    • Jan 30, 201310:39 pm
      by sloppy joe


      Not gunna happen

    • Jan 31, 20131:08 am
      by tarsier


      What would be the point? You think there will be more than $30M worth of FAs worth signing who the Pistons will be able to convince to join Detroit?

      It’s great that they have so much flexibility. But more at this point will give diminishing returns. 

  • Jan 30, 201310:31 pm
    by Vince


    Would 12M per year over 4 years be too much to offer to OJ Mayo? I’m honestly hoping we trade Stuckey by the deadline or during draft day and if Calderon works well in Detroit and is open to re-sign I wouldn’t be against it either. (To a respectable contract that is) If he’s not then go after Billups.

    OJ Mayo – 48M/4y
    Calderon – 8M/2y or Billups 2M/1y


    • Jan 31, 201312:53 am
      by jacob


      Eric Bledsoe may be cheap, he’s young and could have a high ceiling.

      • Jan 31, 20131:47 am
        by tarsier


        Bledsoe has shown how mediocre he is in the last several games. He got a chance to replace an injured CP3. And in 8 games as a starter, he has averaged the following line:

        11.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.8 apg, 2.1 TOpg, 2.5 spg, 1.0 bpg in about 33 mpg
        4.1/11.1 (37% FG),  0.9/1.1 (78% FT)

        Those are good numbers (except for the percentages), but they aren’t core player sorts of numbers. I’d be fine with using Bledsoe to fill out the roster. But the Pistons need someone splashier first. 

    • Jan 31, 20131:15 am
      by tarsier


      Yes, $12M/yr is far too much for Mayo. He is pretty much a Monta Ellis clone: a nice player to have, and probably a great fit in Detroit, but worth $6-8M annually.

      • Jan 31, 20131:43 am
        by Vince


        Fair enough, I just assumed that 12M would definitely guarantee his services, especially considering theres a lot of other team that can offer him 8M. Would 10M still be too excessive?

        I like Jacob’s idea of Bledsoe though, only problem is that we’ll have Knight and Stuckey on the roster and the odds are Joe will re-sign Bynum or Calderon. Bledsoe would make a great sixth man though…

        Your thoughts on pursuing Iggy? I think it would make for an interesting lineup if we managed to land him. Just imagine the athleticism and offensive prowess of a starting lineup of Drummond, Monroe, Iguodala, Mayo and Knight. A second unit of Kravtsov, Jerebko, Singler, Stuckey and Bledsoe would be pretty damn fun to watch as well…

        So many possibilities, so little time…

        • Jan 31, 20131:57 am
          by tarsier


          If the Pistons throw 8 figures at Mayo, I certainly hope it isn’t on a long term deal. I can see overpaying for a two year deal to see how he fits and how his production holds up. But I don’t expect Mayo to improve much. So there is no reason to try to lock him away at a bargain.

          Iggy would be awesome but I have no idea how much he’d cost. Bledsoe, Calderon, and one of Knight/Stuckey could be a nice backcourt rotation.

          Potential scorers available for the Mayo role in the coming offseason include Mayo, K-Mart, and Reke. Pierce and Ellis can opt out of the last year of their current deals.

          • Jan 31, 20132:59 am
            by Vince

            Agreed. I’d imagine Iggy would want something along the lines of 13M considering thats how much he is making currently… maybe a steep price for a 29 yo SF, hopefully Joe doesn’t make the same mistake he did with Prince and sign him to a lengthy and expensive contract.

            I personally would stay well away from Pierce or Gay of they were to opt out, Pierce is just too old, and Gay, well, a tad inefficient. Not sure about Reke, he’s an improved Stuckey, but a Stuckey nonetheless. I’d be interested to see what interest K-Mart would garner and would entertain signing him at a decent price.

            Lets say we get Mayo, Iggy and Bledsoe, retain Calderon and somehow get rid of Stuckey and Maxiell. We’d have a damn good team, definitely good enough to make the playoffs.

            Mayo 18M/2y
            Iggy 23M/2y
            Bledsoe 18M/3y

            That would work cap wise wouldn’t it? 

          • Jan 31, 201310:39 am
            by tarsier

            Those contracts would be doable. But at that point, the Pistons would be pretty much capped out, so retaining Calderon would be tough. If Stuckey were shipped out with not much coming back salary-wise, it’d be possible.

            Let’s see, about $30M cap space. By those numbers, first year salary will be about $8.5M for Mayo, $11M for Iggy, $5.5M for Bledsoe. That leaves $5M which I believe still has to cover draft picks. A first rounder and a second rounder will probably add up to about $3M.

            Obviously, the Pistons won’t be able to re-sign Calderon for $2M. If some of Stuckey, Knight, Jerebko, Slava, Singler, English, and Middleton were traded, that could open up some more space. Even without trades, Stuckey and Slava could be waived to remove $4.5M and $1M from the books respectively. $7.5M should easily be enough space to retain Calderon if the Pistons were to go that route.

  • Jan 30, 201310:32 pm
    by FreeDreDrummond


    i wonder how much iguadala would command this summer.  i doubt anyone is going to give him a max contract at this point.  i’d like to see the pistons go back to being a strong defensive team.  maybe sign some vets like iggy, tony allen, maybe dalembert or okafor to split with drummond.  i know people have mentioned guys like josh smith and millsap.  i dont want the pistons to bring in anyone to get in the way of drummond or monroe’s development.  those guys wont want to come to detroit anyway but who knows whats going to happen this summer.

    what does seem likely is that the pistons are going to pick somewhere around 4-8, especially if they continue to play like they have been.  a good wing like mcclemore or shabazz, maybe even glenn robinson jr would fill the void at the 2 or 3.  i dont think were going to solve the pg void in the draft this yr.

    i usually avoid looking this far ahead but with the way things have been going i cant help it.   

    • Jan 31, 20131:17 am
      by tarsier


      Every big man rotation needs at least three guys. I wouldn’t want to bring in Smoove and Millsap unless one was dealt immediately. But one of those plus Iggy would be awesome. Besides which, both can play spot minutes at SF. So there would be enough playing time in a game to get each of Monroe, Drummond and Smith/Millsap about 36 minutes.

  • Jan 30, 201310:51 pm
    by FreeDreDrummond


    im also sick of combo guards.  we need a pg.  if that means trying to resign calderon to a short term deal this summer then fine.  after watching stuckey and knight the last few yrs it will be refreshing to watch a true pg run this offense, even if it is for just a few months.  

  • Jan 31, 201312:54 am
    by jacob


    trey burke looks like he could really be a good pg 18 and 8 again tonight

  • Jan 31, 20131:03 am
    by TheDude


    Amnestying Charlie would be a terrible idea. If he opts-in during the off-season he’s an expiring deal which any GM would want. Why pay him to play somewhere else?

    • Jan 31, 20131:34 am
      by tarsier


      Why do so many people think expiring deals are so great? Are you really unclear on the concept?

      Yeah, expiring contracts are better than long term bad contracts, because they won’t be a weight on the books as long. So they are often traded for such a bad contract plus an asset. But just as one year of a bad deal is better than two and two better than three, zero is better than one.

      So if you want all the value of an expiring contract for facilitating trades, you can get that from just having the open cap space. And that is even more desirable. Because then your trade partner not only has their bad contract off the books for the coming offseason, they have it off the books immediately.

      The only time an expiring contract is more valuable than open cap space is when the player it is attached to is actually desirable. And CV is not desirable.

      • Jan 31, 20132:01 am
        by TheDude


        As many people point out, with the 30 million dollars in space, you’re not gonna get people in line to join the pistons. Using our expiring contracts to trade for a “bad contract” could get us a superstar. If you’re telling me you rather let Maxiell, Maggette, and Bynum’s 18 million just disappear off the books rather than trading them for a player worth that much to a team who no longer wants to pay him, I ask you please show me which player in Free Agency this summer you rather get. Dwight? CP3? Not voluntarily, especially if we’re a lottery team.

        • Jan 31, 20139:01 am
          by tarsier


          But you don’t need expiring deals to trade for a superstar. Typically, the trade is several nice, young prospects and picks plus a big expiring deal for the superstar. However, the package would be even more desirable to the prospective superstar seller if it were just several nice, young prospects and picks with no expiring deal. That can’t normally be done because the salaries don’t match. But if you have enough open cap room to fit the player you’re bringing in, you don’t need salaries to match.

          I don’t know what superstar the Pistons would be able to trade for. But having another $8.6M in cap space instead of an expiring deal that size would only increase their bargaining power. So unless you think someone is going to really want CV (not for his contract coming off the books, but for having CV–at $8.6M), the Pistons are better off amnestying Charlie.

          I will concede that there is small loophole here. Let’s say the Pistons were trading for Kevin Love (probably the most likely superstar to be available). He will be making $14.7M next year. And let’s say after FA (but before deciding whether to amnesty CV, Dumars pretty much exactly uses up all his cap space (so he has maybe $0.5M left). And let’s say the Wolves and Pistons can agree to trade Monroe ($4.1M) + whatever picks are agreed upon for Love. If he amnestied CV, that would mean he has $9.1M of cap room to go with $4.1M of salary going out. So he can bring back in $14.2M. So now, in order to make salaries work, Joe has to include another $1.5M in salary who the Wolves have no interest in (so they aren’t willing to make a reduction to what picks are included). If he had still had CV under contract, he could have traded CV and Monroe straight up for Love because even though their total salary is less, it is within the 25% or whatever the max difference allowed by the CBA is.

          So, in one insanely specific situation in which the Pistons have no smallish contracts on prospects that they are willing to add to a superstar trade as throw-ins to make salaries work, and the salary number are exactly in a very narrow range, it could be better to have the expiring deal than the cap room–assuming the trade partner doesn’t mind paying CV for the rest of the season. But most likely, the mere fact that the Wolves would only end up taking back about $6M in salary instead of $4.1M in prospects plus $8.6M in expiring deal, would make them willing to receive a lesser pick anyway, because they are saving another ~$7M (prorated for the remainder of the season).

  • Jan 31, 20136:53 am
    by Corey


    My offseason shopping list: sign Mayo and Millsap. Unfortunately, both are likely cost $10m/year minimum. But I’d do it. Millsap would be a great complement to Drummond and Monroe, and we could have a crazy dominant 4th qtr lineup with all 3 on the floor at times.  Last I checked, Millsap was showing a good 3pt shot this year.

    Then either: Draft Trey Burke, resign Calderon, or sign Eric Bledsoe.  including Stuckey in a sign-and-trade  would also make me smile. Used to love his potential, but am so over him.

  • Jan 31, 20136:58 am
    by Corey


    Ah yes- and if amnestying CV gives them the money to sign Millsap- then heck yes I’d rather pay CV to play somewhere else. The only thing wrong with Millsap is that some really big guys can play over the top of him. That wouldn’t be a problem next to Drummond.

    • Jan 31, 201311:36 am
      by jamesjones_det


      Why do you want Millsap?  We have a C and a PF, is he going to ride the bench?
      If you want Millsap I would just trade Monroe for him now and hope to resign him.  Your not going to get away with having those 3 guys on your team at the same time.

      • Jan 31, 201312:05 pm
        by tarsier


        Why not? You need at least three rotation big men. One may come off the bench, but with Millsap playing just spot minutes at SF, there’s still enough playing time for them all to see about 36 mpg of court action. That is easily within the range you can “get away with”. And if it turns out not to work, just flip one of them for a better fit.

        • Jan 31, 201312:39 pm
          by jamesjones_det


          I think your dreaming a bit.  Millsap isn’t Mcdyess trying to win a championship with a backup role.
          If you were Millsap, would you trade a starting role for a backup roll on a team that might or might not make the playoffs?  I don’t think so.  Not to mention paying 10+ mill a year for a backup is insane if it doesn’t make you an immediate contender to win it all. 
          There is no way you could get all 3 of those guys 36 mins without making your SF which he wouldn’t be great at.
          I’m fine if you want to sign him and start him and run Monroe until you trade him, but it’s a pipe dream to think you can keep those 3 guys happy on the same team.

          • Jan 31, 20131:24 pm
            by tarsier

            It would only take 12 mpg of Millsap at SF for all three of Drummond, Monroe, and Millsap to be playing 36 mpg.

            Millsap has repeatedly shown he is more than capable of handling that much time at the three.

            The reason you don’t normally pay $10M for a backup is because backups typically don’t play 36 mpg and because that would normally mean you have another guy who is better than an 8 figure player at the same position. Most teams only have two or three players making 8 figures. So of course none of them are usually backups. But if you are getting top level play (and plenty of it per game), who cares when in the game it comes. 

  • Jan 31, 20139:09 am
    by Crispus


    I hope all the Joe D haters give him a little break now. Yes the team is still struggling, but he made a shrewd deal and proved he wasn’t butt buddies with Tayshaun after all.

  • Jan 31, 20139:17 am
    by tarsier


    Mayo, Ellis, and Reke are probably gonna be the best scoring wings available in FA. Which would you want to have and why?

    I think Ellis and Mayo are pretty close to identical players. Mayo has the slight advantage of being younger, though. Reke has the highest ceiling and the lowest floor of the trio. I would love to sign him to a long-term deal if he could be had for <$6M/yr.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The key to the 2000s era Pistons was signing guys with upside (Billups and Wallace) to long term deals when their value wasn’t yet very high. It meant the Pistons had them at a discount for years and were able to afford to splurge on Rip and Sheed. I’d love to at least try to make that happen with Reke. But if he is going to be closer to $10M/yr, screw it. He just wouldn’t represent good value at that rate.

  • Jan 31, 201310:13 am
    by Satch


    OJ mayo and monte Ellis are totally different players. Neither are a good fit.

    What about tony Allen/iguoldala and resign calderoN? 

    • Jan 31, 201310:52 am
      by tarsier


      Their playing styles are somewhat different, but not that much. And what they add to a team is nearly identical.

      What about them makes you think they are totally different?

      I’d love Iggy, but I really doubt Tony Allen is leaving Memphis. Besides which, Calderon, Allen, Iggy, and Drummond in the starting lineup will be pretty starved for scoring. Defensive players are great. And beeter to have too many all-D, no-O players than all-O, no-D players. But in your starting lineup, you want at least one bulk scorer and at least two others who give you double digit scoring at least 95% of the time (you know, the 14-18 ppg types). Monroe and Iggy qualify as the latter. But it becomes a lot harder for them, and the rest of the team, to get theirs when there isn’t someone defenses typically have to key in on.

      • Jan 31, 201311:44 am
        by jamesjones_det


        You touch on a great point here.
        Monroe’s 1-1 defense is so bad it’s hard to watch sometimes, but if we can pick up someone who can guard the guy bring the ball up the court and add a couple shooters we should be in good shape.
        I kept hoping Knight would pick up his D this year but so far he’s close to Monroe like.  Some of that is the crap defense our couch has us playing though.

  • Jan 31, 201311:30 am
    by jamesjones_det


    The question is can we put the money to good work. 
    We will be fighting with Cleveland, Atalanta, Utah, Milwaukee, New Orleans and Huston all in the 20+ million in cap to spend and a few of those teams are more compelling then the Pistons are at this point.
    There are also some other teams that might end up in the mix with 15+ million like San Antonio, LAC, Charlotte and Sacramento.
    That means we are competing with 6 to 10 teams for quality FAs.  Given our track record here I can’t say I’m convinced this cash will help the team all that much next year.  I’m hopeful but not getting my hopes up.

    • Jan 31, 201311:57 am
      by tarsier


      Atlanta and Utah, yes. Largely because they are the teams from whom we are talking about possibly grabbing FAs.

      But many of these teams will only have the kind of cap space to which you refer if their players inexplicably opt out of their deals or the teams don’t pick up options that they obviously will.

      So Cleveland is looking at more like $15M. Milwaukee is under $10M unless Ellis opts out, which seems pretty 50/50. New Orleans isn’t cutting well-priced Lopez or Smith, so they too are looking at about $15M. Houston has no way of getting $20M under. But they could get a little over $10M of room.

      The only way San Antonio has any cap room is by letting Ginobili or Splitter go. Not gonna happen. The only way the Clippers have room is if they don’t hold on to CP3. And that would be good news because it would mean there is a t least a chance of Detroit getting the offseason’s best FA. And if they don’t, that would still eat a ton of cap room off a competitor while only opening maybe $10M for LAC. To get more than $10M, Charlotte would have to let go of Henderson and Mullens. Sacramento has about $12M assuming they let all of Garcia, Evans, and Johnson walk.

      All these number are before draft picks and cap holds for empty roster spots. So for most teams, take off about $5M. So the competition for 8 figure FAs is pretty much Atlanta, Utah, Cleveland, New Orleans, and maybe Milwaukee.

      • Jan 31, 201312:56 pm
        by jamesjones_det


        Hoopshype figures in player options and team options but I missed some of the restricted players.  Houston could have 12 million to spend if they don’t pick up their team options and let Douglas go, your right on Milwaukee though, I missed that Jennings will be a restricted FA so they are probably out of the running unless they get lucky and get no offers for him.
        I don’t think SA will let Ginobili walk but you never know, especially if they think they can get someone they like. 

        All I was trying to say is with a limited pool out there I’m not 100% confident we can pull enough quality players to put us back into contention.  The nice thing is we have a front line so we can focus on high availability positions (SG, SF).  Our PG spot could be iffy but at least there are possible option there if things work out (Knight and/or Jose).

        • Jan 31, 20131:28 pm
          by tarsier


          True. And I pulled my info from hoopshype too.  But they don’t account for draft picks (which would be awfully hard to account for as we don’t know what position each team will end up in).

  • [...] one fell swoop, Dumars upgraded the current roster and improved the salary structure. All it took was trading a player he’s clearly fond of, a move many thought Dumars was incapable [...]

  • [...] Jose Calderon trade, amnestying Charlie Villanueva could give Pistons more than $30 million in cap s… [...]

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