↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

Brandon Jennings sign-and-trade will cost Pistons about $4 million of 2014 cap room

Update: Cap-room numbers corrected from initial post.

At most, Brandon Jennings will make $7,724,248 next season, and I’ve updated the salaries page with him and Peyton Siva.

But the sign-and-trade that brought Jennings to Detroit likely won’t change the Pistons’ spending flexibility this season.  Either way, they have the room exception to spend on free agents.

The real question is how the Jennings deal affects Detroit’s cap space in 2014.

A few underlying scenarios for either estimate:

  • The salary cap will be $62.1 million, as the NBA estimates
  • Jennings received the maximum allowable salary
  • The Pistons pick up team options for Chauncey Billups and Andre Drummond
  • Jonas Jerebko opts into the final year of his contract
  • Peyton Siva does not count against the cap (due to having a one-year contract, a contract that guarantees no money before he’s waived or a team option that isn’t picked up)
  • The Pistons renounce every free agent but Greg Monroe (He would count against the cap at $10,216,135 until he signs. If he signs with the Pistons, his first-year salary would become his new cap number. If he signs elsewhere, he would come off Detroit’s cap.)
  • The Pistons would not have waived Khris Middleton, whose 2014-15 contract is unguaranteed

Before the trade, the Pistons projected to have $15,001,475 in cap room. After the trade, the Pistons project to have $10,891,460 in cap room.

That’s a difference of $4,110,015.

Is Jennings worth that? Given the Pistons’ clear goal of making the playoffs this season, probably. Jennings upgrades the point-guard position immediately, so that long-term hit probably takes a back seat.

With $10,891,460 to spend next summer, the Pistons still have the flexibility to upgrade their roster, but Jennings comes at a real cost in the future. Even though my goals for the the Pistons don’t perfectly align with their apparent goals, I’d still say getting Jennings so cheaply this season outweighs the future cost.

However, if the Pistons had amnestied Charlie Villanueva like I wished they would have, they possibly could have signed Jennings outright without giving up Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kravtsov. Perhaps, the Bucks would have matched the offer Jennings ultimately received if it meant losing him for nothing, but the Pistons would have had the upper hand in sign-and-trade talks. Likely, the Pistons wouldn’t have had to give up so much – or nothing at all if they signed Jennings outright and Milwaukee didn’t match.

Accounting for the conditions at the time of the sign-and-trade, I love the deal. But it’s very possible the Pistons chose Villanueva over Knight, Middleton and Kravtsov. Obviously, Jennings would have made Knight more expendable, but Knight could have brought back additional assets – same with Middleton and maybe Kravtsov, too. (Kravtsov’s value may be zero, but the Pistons let his partially guaranteed contract become guaranteed, so they clearly thought he presented some value).

Anyway, with the choices the Pistons made, they don’t project to have enough cap room next summer to sign a player to a max contract. But they still have enough cap room to keep improving – and they have Jennings.

52 Comments

  • Aug 8, 201310:37 am
    by David

    Reply

    Great info. I’m a little confused though. Are you saying, if the Pistons had amnestied CV, that they could have signed Jennings to less than 6 million a year while keeping Knight, Middleton, and Slava (or making a different trade with some/all of them)? 

    Couple issues with that:
    - seems unlikely that Jennings would have signed a contract for less than 6 rather than take his 1 year qualifying offer from the bucks.
    - Keeping Knight, Middleton, and Slava would mean that they didn’t have a roster spot for Jennings so they either would’ve had to cut or quickly trade one or more of them. The quickness being key because it means they would have had a tough time getting full value back. If they did trade them, they would have had to take back more than 3 million in salary, some of which could still be on the books next year. If they didn’t trade Knight by next year they would have had to either pick up his 3.5 next season or let him walk. 
    - the pistons might not have been able to sign Siva (not the biggest deal in the world, but still)
    - the Pistons would not have had CV’s expiring contract to use as trade bait by the deadline. Not sure if they’ll be able to use it, or if they should use it. But we should wait and see before assuming anything.
    - sounds like you’re assuming Monroe would sign a 10 million a year extension. I’m not sure that’s realistic. If he has a good season, I think there’s a good a chance a team will offer him 12 – 15. In which case that max contract room is gone anyway.

    My point is you’re making a lot of assumptions there. Jennings at 24/3 years is a pretty good contract for a PG with his talent, upside, age, and lack of injury issues. Compare that to Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday’s contracts.

    And, as we’ve seen with Dumars, its not clear that having the ability to sign a player to max contract is necessarily a good thing. Who would they use it on? And how would that affect their ability to extend Drummond when it comes time?

     

    • Aug 8, 201310:54 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      If CV were amnestied then he no longer takes up a roster spot so Jennings would have one…seems pretty obvious.
       
      If CV were amnestied then Jennings contract wouldn’t have to be less than 6 mil…the Pistons would have all of CVs contract space as well.  He is asserting that rather than trade away contracts of Middleton/Knight/Slava the Pistons could have freed up the space to sign Jennings to the same contract by simply amnestying CV.  This wouldn’t leave more future cap room, but would leave the Pistons with Knight/Middleton who were good enough trade assets to secure Jennings, and some remaining space to take back a bigger contract next year.
       
      He isn’t saying Monroe takes 10mil a year he is saying for future cap purposes Monroe counts as 10mil a year until… “his first-year salary would become his new cap number”

    • Aug 8, 201312:50 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Huddy’s responses are correct. I’ll try to cover the points he didn’t address.

      Keeping Knight, Middleton, and Slava would mean that they didn’t have a roster spot for Jennings so they either would’ve had to cut or quickly trade one or more of them. The quickness being key because it means they would have had a tough time getting full value back.
       
      I don’t see why moving quickly would have a significant effect.

      If they did trade them, they would have had to take back more than 3 million in salary

      There is a limit on how much salary a team can receive in a trade. There is no floor. The Pistons could trade them while taking back $0 in salary.

      - the pistons might not have been able to sign Siva (not the biggest deal in the world, but still)

      Correct on both counts

      the Pistons would not have had CV’s expiring contract to use as trade bait by the deadline. Not sure if they’ll be able to use it, or if they should use it. But we should wait and see before assuming anything.
       
      We know Knight, Kravtsov and Middleton collectively have a trade value of Brandon Jennings. I doubt Villanueva’s trade value will be that high by the deadline.

      And, as we’ve seen with Dumars, its not clear that having the ability to sign a player to max contract is necessarily a good thing. Who would they use it on?

      Cap space to sign on a max player doesn’t have to be used on a single player. I just used that term to provide perspective. If you don’t want cap space because you don’t trust Dumars to use it correctly, there’s no point to any of this discussion.

      And how would that affect their ability to extend Drummond when it comes time? 

      That is a valid concern, but his increased salary wouldn’t be used until 2016-17. Still plenty of time to maneuver for that.

  • Aug 8, 201310:41 am
    by Oracle

    Reply

    I’m not worried about not being able to sign another max contract, because I highly doubt any max contract worthy player would sign here anyway.  We can still acquire one through a trade of our expiring contracts that we haven’t amnestied, or can let them go and get another solid starter for 9 million next year.

    • Aug 8, 201312:22 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It is always worthwhile to have the option. Who knows if a solid starter who fits the Pistons will be available for $9M next year. Since you’re saying that the Pistons wouldn’t get a guy who is worth somewhere near the max, who do you propose they grab for $9M?

  • Aug 8, 201311:22 am
    by DasMark

    Reply

    Judging the outcome of next year’s free agency period at this point is asinine. 

    If Detroit had 15+ million in cap space next summer, who are they seriously going to get? LeBron James? Melo? Bosh? Give me a break. That was never going to happen anyways.

    Take a look at the free agents for next season, and please name me three players who are better than Josh Smith that would potentially want to come to Detroit.

    Brandon Jennings certainly isn’t the complete PG all Pistons fans want. But, that’s why he’s making less money than Rodney Stuckey.  

    • Aug 8, 201312:24 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Wait, what does Smith have to do with this? There are a lot of better FAs next summer than Jennings. That is what is being discussed. I still like the Jennings trade, but it definitely does have a downside.

      • Aug 8, 201312:37 pm
        by DasMark

        Reply

        It’s not “downside”, it’s a trade-off. You can’t win games with cap space. 

        • Aug 8, 20131:30 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          A trade-off is, by definition, a connected upside and  downside.

  • Aug 8, 201311:31 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    I expect that if the pistons had amnestied CV and tried to sign Jennings outright, they would have had to offer substantially more $ to get his signature. This contract appears to have been capped by the CBA based on how much traded in the contracts traded for him. Thav, and the delay in offers for him, combined to give the pistons a lot of leverage in salary negotiations that would not have existed, had they had plentiful cap space available with which to make an offer.

    besides which- if they’d had additional cap space next summer, and BK still sucked as a point guard, they’d just have had to spend it on a point guard. Now they already have one and can look at other holes with the $ that is left.

    • Aug 8, 201311:38 am
      by Rich

      Reply

      And if we’re looking at it from a cap space position, amnestying CV and outright signing Jennings without giving up Knight would have meant LESS cap space next summer, even if Jenning’s contract had been the same in that setting.

      The Pistons probably did chose CV over Knight.  Because CV’s expiring contract is a much, much better asset than the league’s worst starting point guard. 

      • Aug 8, 201312:34 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “CV’s expiring contract is a much, much better asset than the league’s worst starting point guard”

        1) I maintain that Knight is better than Chalmers.

        2) How in the world is CV’s expiring deal a better asset? What do you expect to get for it? It’s still a liability, it’s just not a very big one. So yeah, if you swap it for a bad contract, someone will throw in a sweetener. That’s not because an expiring deal is so valuable. It’s because the bad contract is an even bigger liability. But even if your argument had merit, the Pistons still have Stuckey’s expiring deal.

        3) Give me one example in all of NBA history when a team has managed to get assets out of trading multiple $8M+ expiring deals in the same season. Give me one example of a trade (that could actually happen) in which Villanueva brings back an asset without being attached to an even greater liability.

        4) Technically, keeping Knight while amnestying CV to sign Jennings would not have cost the Pistons any cap space. Kravstov and Middleton were expirings and Knight’s next season is a team option. They would have likely picked up that option, but what that should tell you is that Knight is an asset (as opposed to Charlie who is not, which you can tell because if he had another season at team option on the contract after this one, it wouldn’t be picked up even though that would allow the Pistons to have an oh-so-valuable /sarcasm/ expiring contract).

        • Aug 8, 20131:33 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          Your overall point about Knight have more value than Villanueva is absolutely correct. Very much so.

          I am going to quibble with a couple details, though. 

          3. Rasheed Wallace

          4. Knight’s 2014-15 option must be picked up by Oct. 31 of this year.

          • Aug 8, 20131:46 pm
            by tarsier

            3) There wasn’t a single $8M+ expiring deal in the Sheed trade, much less multiple.

            4) I didn’t realize that. Ok, I’ll have to fall back on the assumption that it would be easy to deal Knight for basically nothing. 

          • Aug 8, 20131:57 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            I don’t see much of a practical difference between four $4 million expiring contracts and two $8 million expiring contracts. The Sheed trade might not hit all your exact specifications, but practically, it’s the type of best-case scenario trade for Stuckey and Villanueva we can hope for.

      • Aug 8, 20131:30 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        “And if we’re looking at it from a cap space position, amnestying CV and outright signing Jennings without giving up Knight would have meant LESS cap space next summer, even if Jenning’s contract had been the same in that setting.”

        I’m assuming Knight could always be traded (likely for a draft pick) without taking back 2014-15 salary.

    • Aug 8, 20131:04 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “I expect that if the pistons had amnestied CV and tried to sign Jennings outright, they would have had to offer substantially more $ to get his signature. This contract appears to have been capped by the CBA based on how much traded in the contracts traded for him. Thav, and the delay in offers for him, combined to give the pistons a lot of leverage in salary negotiations that would not have existed, had they had plentiful cap space available with which to make an offer.”

      If the Pistons had amnestied Villanueva, they could have still waited to sign Jennings until now.

      Jennings  agreed to the contract he got in the sign-and-trade. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume he received the maximum allowable salary — though if he didn’t, that immediately discredits your argument. It’s possible he accepted the deal because he valued the Pistons offering their “maximum” amount regardless of what that was, but he still accepted the deal. Rationally, the salary he’ll receive is the only thing that matters, and that wouldn’t change in either scenario. However, I’ll concede the psychological aspect of a team offering the most it could might have played a part.

  • Aug 8, 201311:35 am
    by Rich

    Reply

    This all probably means that the Pistons would be wise to try to work out a mid-season deal involving Stuckey and CV’s expiring plus or minus a couple young pieces (Singler, Jerebko, Mitchell).

    There’s probably a good chance you can get a better player from a team looking to shed salary than you could for 8-9 million on next season’s free agent market. 

  • Aug 8, 201311:41 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Joe D seems willing to trade any player on the roster.  I think Smith, Jennings, and Monroe (in addition to Stuckey and CV) are all possible trades over the next year.  Rondo is out there and Monroe, Smith, Drummond together isn’t a complimentary frontline.  

    If Joe can add a shooting/defending small forward and a top point guard by giving up CV, Stuckey, Jennings and Monroe or Smith, he’s going to do it.  Then it’s a matter of adding quality depth behind a very talented starting line up.  

    The expiring contracts of Stuckey and CV and the overlap of Monroe and Smith at PF make a move likely.  If the move is for a top point guard, Jennings will no longer be needed and could likely be part of the trade.  If the move is for a small forward, Jennings will need to stay here.  If it’s for both, Stuckey, CV, Jennings, and Monroe or Smith are all gone.

    • Aug 8, 201312:47 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      But what small forward? The only decent ones I can think of who could be available are Granger and Deng. Maybe Batum, which would be awesome, but I’m assuming the price tag would be really steep.

  • Aug 8, 201311:46 am
    by hesselle

    Reply

    i don’t think this analysis is 100 percent accurate.  If you take Jennings anticipated salary of 8.1 million, and subtract kinghts 3.5 million for the same year it’s only 4.6 million, not 6 million.  It’s isn’t a huge difference but it isn’t nothing either.

    • Aug 8, 201312:54 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I thought the same thing. I think Dan might be using the wrong number for Knight’s salary next season. Especially since he is assuming that Middleton would not be waived. Jennings doesn’t cost anywhere close to $6M more than Knight+Middleton. And they don’t have any cap holds for not enough players on the roster.

      Picking up the team option on Billups doesn’t seem like a great assumption either, but that wouldn’t change the differential.

      But in my opinion, the mistake Dumars made with regard to next year’s cap space was signing Bynum, not trading for Jennings. 

    • Aug 8, 20131:26 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Your conclusion is correct. I was mistakenly double-counting a contract, and the post is now updated.

      As far as that simple subtraction, there’s also a roster charge, because the Pistons would be one player under the floor of 12. 

      • Aug 8, 20132:52 pm
        by hesselle

        Reply

        I’m aware of that cap charge, but the signing of a free agent would remove that charge as the signing would put them at the floor of 12.  So for functional purposes it is not an issue (although it would be if they were at 10 players instead of 11). 

        • Aug 8, 20132:54 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          The charge is removed only after another player signs.

          • Aug 8, 20133:01 pm
            by hesselle

            Maybe I’m wrong, and I’m only speaking on terms of a straight free agent signing next year, but if they are at 11, and a signing brings them to 12, wouldn’t cap hop hold be “renounced” or ” absorbed” concurrently with that first signing next year.  

          • Aug 8, 20133:12 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            The roster minimum is 13, so the concurrent disappearance of all roster charges and signing of a player only occurs going from 12 to 13. From 11 to 12, one roster charge still remains (and that roster charge is removed concurrently with the addition of a 13th player).

          • Aug 8, 20133:19 pm
            by hesselle

            Gotcha.  For some reason I thought the minimum was 12.   Either way I’m sure this will all change a bit by next summer due to signings, trades etc…  Hopefully dumars can find a way too add another peice with the cap space and other assets he has at his disposal.

  • Aug 8, 201312:02 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    I have a question how you arrived at only 9 mil? Looking at the salaries page, it says they have only 41 mil committed and a 62 mil expected cap. That’s 21 mil in space by my math. Where did the other 12 mil go in your calculation?

    Even if it is somehow only 9 mil in space, that isn’t exactly the end all, be all cap figure anyways. They could easily dump the expiring contracts of Jerebko, Bynum, and Singler, freeing up another 10 mil if they need it for a big FA next year. So its not just 9 mil, its 9 mil + 10 mil in expiring contracts to work with.

     

    • Aug 8, 201312:23 pm
      by RyanK

      Reply

      Jerebko and Bynum’s contracts are not expiring after this season.

      • Aug 8, 20131:05 pm
        by mike

        Reply

        I didn’t say would be expired after this season, I said they will be expiring contracts next summer. Just like we had 17 mil in expiring contracts this summer in Stuckey/CV, we will have about 9 mil in expiring contracts next summer in Jerebko, Bynum, and Singler. 

        • Aug 8, 20131:11 pm
          by mike

          Reply

          We should be able to easily dump all those deals at the start of FA. So it might only be 9 mil right now, but it could easily become 18 mil with just a little maneuvering by Joe. 

          • Aug 8, 20136:42 pm
            by tarsier

            Why would it be easy to dump Jerebko, Bynum and Singler? Anyone who has cap space is looking forward to an exciting FA haul just like Detroit. Someone would take those guys of Dumars’ hands, but definitely not for free.

    • Aug 8, 20131:23 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      The $41M includes Jerebko. But it doesn’t include Monroe because he will be a FA. And his cap hold is over $10M.

      Although, the salaries page does appear to be slightly off. It looks to me like the total without FAs (Stuckey, Villanueva, Monroe) comes out to $41,301,551.

      • Aug 8, 20131:39 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        I have a question how you arrived at only 9 mil? Looking at the salaries page, it says they have only 41 mil committed and a 62 mil expected cap. That’s 21 mil in space by my math. Where did the other 12 mil go in your calculation?

        Monroe’s free-agent amount, a cap hold for having fewer than 12 players and your rounding.
      • Aug 8, 20131:39 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        What appears to be off on the salaries page? Don’t forget about cap holds when the roster dips below 12.

        • Aug 8, 20131:41 pm
          by MIKEYDE248

          Reply

          I didn’t know they dropped below 12.  I thought they were at 16 before the trade.

          • Aug 8, 20131:52 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            This is for next offseason — when I’m assuming they renounce Stuckey, Villanueva and Siva for these estimates.

        • Aug 8, 20131:50 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Ok, I miscounted and saw 12. But you’re right, there would be one cap hold.

        • Aug 8, 20134:35 pm
          by mike

          Reply

          You can’t just assume Monroe is going to have a 10 mil contract next year. He could be traded for one. Second, if his caphold is only predicated on whether they keep Siva or not, don’t you think the Pistons would just keep Siva for only 800k if they could gain an extra 10 mil in capsace by doing so?

          Capholds are nonsense when figuring out the max amount of capspace a team could have. Guaranteed contracts are all that matters.  

          • Aug 8, 20135:33 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            “You can’t just assume Monroe is going to have a 10 mil contract next year. He could be traded for one. Second, if his caphold is only predicated on whether they keep Siva or not, don’t you think the Pistons would just keep Siva for only 800k if they could gain an extra 10 mil in capsace by doing so?”

            Siva has absolutely nothing to do with Monroe’s cap hold. Neither does the contract Monroe will actually receive.

            “Capholds are nonsense when figuring out the max amount of capspace a team could have. Guaranteed contracts are all that matters.”

             No.

          • Aug 8, 20136:45 pm
            by tarsier

            Monroe’s cap hold only ceases to matter when he is re-signed or if the Pistons decide to renounce him (sacrificing all RFA and Bird rights). The former will probably increase his hit to the cap, the latter won’t happen.

          • Aug 8, 20136:46 pm
            by tarsier

            Why on earth would you think that Monroe cap hold is in any way tied to Siva?

          • Aug 8, 201311:25 pm
            by oats

            @ mike. I want to make this a little more clear. The team can give out a contract as high as their cap room when Monroe is on just his cap hold still. Once that money is spent they can then go over the cap to bring back Monroe. So for the purpose of determining how much money they could spend, you need to use the cap hold and not Monroe’s likely salary. So yes, Dan is using the correct figure for the purpose of this discussion. Detroit has the cap space of Monroe on his cap hold until they don’t, which would be what tarsier was saying about it not happening until Monroe is signed or renounced.
             
            As for Monroe possibly being traded, that’s irrelevant to the conversation at hand. This whole thing is about how much they currently project to have next season. Any moves from here on out can change that, but that doesn’t in any way change the fact that this is the current situation.

  • Aug 8, 201312:06 pm
    by FutureMogul

    Reply

    I thought the pistons would have another $16M to spend next year after CV & Stuckey hit FA? Their cap space magically disappears?

    • Aug 8, 20131:55 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Cap space is not equal to the salary of expiring contracts. The Pistons are over the cap, so that $16 million does not all become cap room. When subtracting, some of that goes toward just getting to the cap line.

  • Aug 8, 201312:20 pm
    by Dan Feldman

    Reply

    Post is updated with a slight correction. The initial post did not remove Siva’s contract when calculating actual projected cap room, which increased cap space by about $300,000. I also specified that I project the Pistons would not have waived Middleton if they kept him.

  • Aug 8, 20131:40 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    I really don’t care what the cap space is for the following year, let’s worry about this year first.  If Trader Joe pulls off any more trades this year or next, they could have a completely different set of numbers to look at by then.

    It’s like predicting draft picks for next year or the year after.  We have a whole season or two to worry about it.  This past years draft class was pretty weak, everyone keeps saying this ones going to be really good, but the year hasn’t even been played.  Last year at the beginning of the season it was all about Shabazz and then everyone else and look where he ended up being drafted.

    • Aug 8, 20136:51 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Worrying about cap space next summer is not like predicting draft picks a year out. It is like worrying about whether you have one and what range it might fall in a year out. Heck, I could go ten years out and say that if I am likely to have a top 5 draft pick then, it will probably be really nice, because that is pretty reliable.

      Deciding who to spend said cap space on next summer is a bit more like predicting those draft picks. But the comparison is still lacking because we know who will definitely be a FA next year and who might be a FA next year. And we have a pretty good handle on how valuable they are although a few of them will change those numbers over this coming season). We have so much less data on potential future draftees that those are far less predictable.

      • Aug 9, 20139:08 am
        by MIKEYDE248

        Reply

        The thing I was was trying to point out is that we don’t even know what the team is going to look like at the end of the year, let alone next year.  Why worry about it now.  Look how much the team has changed since last year.  Their numbers could be completely different than they are right now.  For all we know Joe could trade Monroe & Smith between now and then.

        Even if they did only have 9 million in cap space.  How many free agents that will be available for over that amount will want to come play in Detroit?

  • Aug 8, 20135:44 pm
    by tom

    Reply

    I’m glad to have Chauncey back, but it seems to me the smart money is on this being his last year as a player.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here