Earlier today 76ers CEO and Twitter aficionado Adam Aron was a guest of the Mike Missanelli show on 97.5 The Fanatic. Aron was actually brave enough to allow Missanelli to take calls from actual listeners who were then allowed to ask Aron questions on the Sixers
I was lucky enough to get a call in to the show and have a couple questions answered by Aron and Missanelli on the radio.
My questions were aimed at Kwame Brown and the overall cap room of the team.
After the jump, is a transcript of my questions and Aron’s responses as well as significant analysis of the CEO’s answers.
Question 1: Who signed off Kwame’s $3,000,000 Player Option for 2013-2014?
Adam Aron: “Everybody signed off on Kwame Brown. So you can hold anyone and everyone accountable because we only have 14 or 15 players on a NBA roster and I assure you that there are a lot of people in the room when a decision is being made and everybody’s got to sign off.”
Question 2: You continuously talk about the maximum cap room the 76ers are poised to have this offseason. $44.5 million is committed to the cap and the lottery pick projects to be at minimum 2.5 million. That brings the cap number to 47 million with a projected 60 million dollar cap number this offseason. Our team will only have 13 million for a free agent if the team doesn’t resign Andrew Bynum, why do you continue to tell fans of Philadelphia that the team has maximum cap room when that is not true?”
Mike Missanelli: “I think he answered that earlier, when he said the team can release other players to get that cap number.”
Adam Aron: “That was the answer to the cap space question”
What Adam Aron is referring to is the stretch provision, here is what that entails, ” If the player is waived from July 1 to August 31, then his remaining salary is paid over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. ”
Let’s assume that J-Rich, Hawes, Lavoy and Kwame are all stretched.
J-Rich will count 2.56 million against the cap for 5 years through 17-18
Hawes will count 2.16 million against the cap through 15-16
Lavoy will count 1 million against the cap through 15-16
Kwame will count 1 million against the cap through 15-16.
That leaves the 76ers Roster looking like this upcoming season:
6.72 million in Stretched Cap
9.23 million for Jrue Holiday
8.85 million for Thaddeus Young
6.68 million for Evan Turner
1.1 million for Arnett Moultrie
3 million for 2013 Lottery Pick
That leaves the 76ers with 35.58 million committed to the cap. With a projected salary ceiling of 60 million, the team will have 24.42 million to tender free agents this off-season.
Point Guard – Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner
Shooting Guard – Evan Turner
Small Forward – Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young
Power Forward – Thad, Moultrie
Center – NONE
Excluding the lottery pick who will in all likelihood produce very little as a rookie, the team needs players at every single position, with starters needed at Center and SG.
If the 76ers use max cap room, assuming $17,300,000 on a healthy(productive) Andrew Byum ,that leaves 7.12 million to fill up a starter spot at SG and backups at every position. If we assume the team signs a bunch of 1 year deals to fill out the roster; we can expect players like Jordan Crawford, Joel Pryzbilla, Chris Wilcox, Raja Bell to be on the team next year.
The 14-15 team will have 6.72 million committed to the cap under the “Stretch Provision” and Jrue+Thad+BYNUM+Moultrie+13′ Lottery Pick + Stretch taking up $49,200,000 in cap space heading into the 2014-2015 season.
If Evan Turner is not given a qualifying offer, the team will have approximately $12,000,000 for free agents and a Mid Level Exception worth $5,000,000 to complete the team. In all likelihood the 76ers will need a starting Shooting Guard and Small Forward and backups for at least 3 positions.
If Evan Turner is given a qualifying offer, it is worth $8,700,000. ET could take the 1 year deal and be a Unrestricted free agent after the season’s end. The team would only have 3.3 million plus the MLE for free agents. If another team signs ET and his offer is not matched, the team doesn’t lose any cap space. If ET resigns with the 76ers his cap number would be removed from the $12,000,000 figure.
So while Adam Aron is correct in the team having the ability to sign max players this off-season, he is being disingenuous when he insinuates that the team can be a contender after using the “Stretch Provision”. Furthermore, without a pipeline of young, cheap and retainable draft picks, the 76ers are stuck in an NBA CBA No Man’s Land for many years to come. A fringe playoff team is what will become of the 76ers under its current design for years to come unless there is a miracle.
(You can listen to Aron’s entire appearance on 97.5 by clicking here.)