The teams projected to be over the $70,307,000 luxury tax threshold in 2010 include Boston ($77.8 million, assuming Sheed got nothing), Dallas ($84.5 million), Denver $83.8 million), Houston ($73.6 million after the Trevor Ariza/Courtney Lee trade), the L.A. Lakers ($91.9 million before Shannon Brown), Orlando ($92.6 million), Portland ($72.8 million) and Utah ($75.3 million). Some of those teams will never get under the tax threshold, and some of them won't try. But some will, and even those that don't make it will probably pawn off excess salary onto the teams with cap space they're otherwise struggling to use. Here are some such dumps that I'm officially predicting, apart from the ones that I'm not.
- Before yesterday's four way trade that saw them move Trevor Ariza for Courtney Lee, and before the dump of David Andersen onto Toronto, Houston were about $10 million over the luxury tax threshold. After those moves, they're now about $3.2 million over it. They also currently have 16 players, eight of whom are big men, and only two of whom can play point guard. The unguaranteed contracts of Mike Harris and Alexander Johnson are easy enough to cut, yet they save only $1.7 million and are not enough to get Houston under the luxury tax. Cutting those two, as well as trading Chuck Hayes for no returning salary, would achieve this. Yet Hayes has done nothing to deserve to be salary dumped; at $2 million for one season, he represents good value for the amount he contributes. Jeffries's $6.8 million expiring will be harder to dump, but it's possible; pairing him with a pick like above and sending him to Sacramento or Washington, or trading him with sweetener (maybe Jermaine Taylor, who was just made redundant by Lee's arrival) to Minnesota for Sebastian Telfair, are all possibilities.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.