Framing a roster in today’s NBA is far more intricate than the barstool GM can understand.
Trades and signings within the league's salary restrictions have become too complicated, crushing the clueless proposals of sports talk radio callers:
“No, sir. Rajon Rondo is not going to the Toronto Raptors for Rudy Gay.”
Today’s general managers must navigate the complexities of the current collective bargaining agreement. The 2011 deal introduced the following changes:
- Teams must control spending, as they face much steeper fines for exceeding the luxury tax threshold of $71.7 million.
- Teams that go above the luxury tax will receive only $3 million as their mid-level exception instead of the full $5 million, limiting their ability to add talent to a roster.
- No sign-and-trades are possible for teams that are $4 million over the luxury threshold. There are also stricter salary-matching requirements for teams above the luxury tax line that want to trade.
- All franchises must spend at least 90 percent of the salary cap, creating circumstances in which teams may actually need to sign or trade for players just to raise their salary floor.
All of these rule changes have transformed the methods in which a roster can be built, demanding that GMs control spending and requiring minds that understand law and math as much as basketball.
It's confusing stuff. If the CBA had a logo, it would be of Jerry West shrugging his shoulders.
Luckily, Bleacher Report borrowed the brains of three young and talented NBA GMs: Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors, Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors and Dennis Lindsey of the Utah Jazz.
The trio of decision-makers walked us through the league’s recent offseason.