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Viacheslav Kravtsov’s contract becomes guaranteed tonight

Viacheslav Kravtsov will get paid $500,000 next season by an NBA team no matter what, according to ShamSports.com. The Pistons have three options:

  • Pay him an extra $1 million to keep him on the roster (counting $1.5 million against the salary cap).
  • Waive him and pay him nothing more.
  • Trade him.

The Pistons must decide by midnight.

A trade could have some appeal to a team with a marginal player making $2.35 million or less in 2012-13 who is also under contract for 2013-14. That team could trade that player for Kravtsov, waive Kravtsov and clear cap room.

The Pistons could waive Kravtsov, which would allow every team with cap room or an exception large enough to swallow his $1.5 million salary a chance to claim him. If he clears waivers, he would become a free agent.

At that point, the Pistons would have the option of either paying him all $500,000 next season or spreading that amount over the next three years – the cap hit following the same pattern.

If the Pistons use that stretch provision, lowering Kravtsov’s cap hit to $166,667 next season, and he clears waivers, they could re-sign him to a minimum contract. At that point, he would count $955,549 against the cap. In other words, the Pistons would maneuver $544,661 in extra cap room.

Of course, the risk is another NBA team claims Kravtsov on waivers or signs him as a free agent. He’s under no obligation to return to Detroit. I actually think the greater risk would be him taking his $500,000 and going back to Europe.

Based solely on what Kravtsov did during games last season, I’d probably waive him, but it’s close. If he showed even a small amount of promise behind the seasons, keeping him would be OK.

But if the Pistons are trying maximize cap space and open a roster slot and Kravtov has shown a little potential, maybe waiving him, using the stretch provision and trying to re-sign him is a good middle ground. If they re-sign him, great. If he goes elsewhere, the downside of that risk, it’s not necessarily a terrible outcome.


  • Jun 29, 201310:03 pm
    by Tony J


    I see no need for him unless Tony Mitchell doesn’t impress and the piston brass are doubtful on Jonas coming off the bench at PF.

  • Jun 29, 201310:36 pm
    by Filo Putz


    I think they like him banging with Drummond and Monroe in practice. But that’s a lot of cap space for a practice player. The need is still there for a banger in practice if they cut him.  He would do better financially going back Europe if they do.

  • Jun 29, 201310:45 pm
    by TIB


    I don’t see the cap being a problem for the Pistons this year so I don’t see the harm in keeping him- he showed me enough to justify an additional year with the new staff in my opinion

  • Jun 29, 201310:56 pm
    by Matt


    Where paying this guy 1.5 million? OK Mr. Joe Dumars. I guess I’d keep him. He showed enough as a shot blocker. He’s suppose to be a good defender and hes only 25. Might be worth a small risk. My biggest question for him is can he rebound and be a better defender. If we need to cut a milli in useless players we have 8.5 in Charlie, plus 4.5 more by cutting Stuckey. Now that’s addition by subtraction.

  • Jun 29, 201310:58 pm
    by deusXango


    The CAP is a poor excuse to rid the team of a 3rd string 7 foot center, that is a banger, can rebound, and is not afraid to deliver a hard foul. Where can you get that for $1.5 million? I honestly don’t think Frank used the man to his best potential, and it would be unfair to all involved to waive him now.

  • Jun 29, 201311:05 pm
    by ryan


    Keep him.

  • Jun 29, 201311:17 pm
    by Tony


    1.5mil a year is nothing in NBA, especially for 7ft, 260lb Center who is Athletic

    If we are starting Monroe together with Drummond, it’s pretty obvious that we need another C coming off the bench. I prefer Kaman, but then he’ll cost us somethjng around 4-5mil a year

    Kravtsov took out scouting team so much time traveling around in Ukraine. Who a better shot, judging him solely by last season was unfair. He was adapting

  • Jun 29, 201311:38 pm
    by MIke


    I don’t think it’s as much about his salary for next year as it is about him taking up a roster spot. Counting the rookies we just drafted, we have 12 players on the roster + Kravtsov, giving us room for 2 more, I believe. Considering we’re staring at $20+ million in cap space, I’m guessing we’re not done adding (even if it’s not a really high priced guy).
    Ultimately, it probably comes down to how many guys like he, English, Siva and the like they’re willing to keep, and how they prioritize those players. Also kind of depends on what they’re doing with Villanueva (hopefully amnestied) and Stuckey (hopefully dealt or possibly bought out).

  • Jun 29, 201311:51 pm
    by City of Klompton


    Contrary to the usual score of things in these comments, I have to agree with mostly all of the previous comments.  For $1.5 mil, why not have an extra 7 footer cow on the roster, even if only to clog up the lane and collect fouls for a few minutes?  We’re not going to get that kind of bargain elsewhere.

  • Jun 29, 201311:54 pm
    by Hook shot


    He is a stiff who can be replaced(Marriisle Speights?).

    • Jun 30, 201312:24 am
      by City of Klompton


      Yeah, and what is he going to cost? More than $1.5 mil…d=

  • Jun 29, 201311:59 pm
    by Corey


    Need to have a bruiser 3rd string center on the roster anyway. Keep him. If they need cap space OR a roster spot, amnesty CV.

    a fun trick they could do: a team MUST spend 90% of the cap on players. But amnesty dollars count! So they could spend themselves up to 90% of the cap, and amnesty CV. They’d then be able to carry about $13.5 mil in cap space into the season, without having an obligation to spend more. But NO other team would be likely to have that much room, meaning they would have here at trade leverage with that cap space to absorb salary during the season. 

  • Jun 30, 20131:19 am
    by frankie d


    i’d probably like to keep him.
    too bad frank never really played him enough to find out what he could do.
    ridiculous, considering the kind of season the team had.
    you’re supposed to at least be able to evaluate your talent in a lottery year so you know just what you have to focus on for future player acquisitions.
    BUT, i’d say in a qualification…i hope the team signs jackie charmichael as a summer league participant and let him go to work. 
    i think he could make slava obsolete.
    i kinow the timing doesn’t really work, but i do hope they move aggressively on charmichael, as i think he’s going to be one of those free agents that  everyone is shocked about years later.

  • Jun 30, 20132:02 am
    by Otis


    He costs a million and a half bucks and he looked like a decent backup center last season. If there’s a compelling reason to save a million bucks, you cut him. Otherwise I don’t see what the problem is. No need to overthink this.

  • Jun 30, 20136:40 am
    by Arthur


    pistons must give him a chance with the new coach. if they waive him i will be very disappointed. he is from my native donetsk. when detroit signed him i was happy because im a big fan of every detroit professional team in every major league. this guy came to ametica to play in the best basketball league. iI wish he will do it in Detroit, not in another team

  • Jun 30, 20137:23 am
    by Grizz


    All the points made by posters here for keeping Kravtsov are strong ones .. It really doesnt cost that muc to keep him and he really did more than OK considering the crappy way Frank handled him … We are really short 2 bigs anyway even with Tony on board…Jmax is NOT a big .. just a problem .. a far bigger problem than Kravtsov ..

    • Jun 30, 20133:07 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      we will max him no doubt

  • Jun 30, 20138:02 am
    by Eric Musu


    We need more cap space- get rid of him.

    Marc Stein on ESPN is reporting 5-6 teams are pursuing Josh Smith and he specifically mentioned the Pistons.  Hopefully he could play the three, but I wouldn’t give him a max contract.


  • Jun 30, 20139:15 am
    by MrBlockedShot


    We do need a backup center to give some rest to Drummond, no doubt, might be Slava or not. He has shown little progress over the season, given that 9 mpg gives you small sample to analyze his throughput.  He struggled mightly at the free trow line not even achieving the.300 mark which is really awful for guy that was getting almost as ftas as fgas. But the bottom line is his prize.At worst he is a chep replacement for Drummond and has room to improve. 

  • Jun 30, 201310:31 am
    by RyanK


    He’s a big body who can play backup minutes when needed  If not, Monroe is our other option since Max is likely gone.  Slava is not a bad option as a guy who sees action in the case of foul trouble or injuries.

    I wonder what this means for Stuckey…I thought the Pistons have to guarantee his contract also.  Unless we’re in need of the cap space to acquire another player, I think it’s a good idea to keep him around for now.  His expiring deal might be tradeable later in the season for a nice asset

  • Jun 30, 201311:34 am
    by Tyrone


    Slava is a big body that can bang with Drummond and Monroe in practice.  Slava is also a back up C who may find limited minutes given the match ups Coach puts on the floor.  Drummond is still developing his game and will only benefit by banging with Slava during practice.  I think that Slava is here to stay for this season.  

    The real cap options will come if Joe D can trade CV31 and Stuckey for roster upgrades… If that trade is not out there then next season they both are off the books.  In addition CV31 and Stuckey both have millions of reason to play harder than ever this season, because both are looking for new contracts next season…either way The Pistons win

  • Jun 30, 20131:52 pm
    by jacob


    We did keep stuckey. Also Detroit is pursuing both of the Smith’s. JR and SMoove. It’s going to be an interesting week.

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