Why Losing Amar'e For Nothing Is No Big Deal

A LOT of people make the argument that the Suns need to “get something” for Amar'e. This is just not true, and for one simple reason:

Cap space is just as good.

Seriously, everyone, repeat after me:

A LOT of Cap space is a good thing.

Go look at this spreadsheet I created: (I took the data from HoopsHype here:

There are three columns: for 2010/11 salaries:

  1. With Amar’e, Hilla nd Frye staying.
  2. Without Amar’e, but with Hill and Frye.
  3. Without Amar’e, Hill, Frye (all three player options),

Below this I have added three cap numbers:

  1. $55,000,000 
  2. $57,000,000 and 
  3. $60,000,000.

Cap space for each is in bold at the bottom of the screen.

And what does this show? That without Amare, Frye and Hill, we’d have only $42.5 million in committed salary. A cap of $55 mil and we’d be $12.45 mill under the cap. Yes, that is right $12,455,000. That buys us, heck, it might buy Joe Johnson back!

A cap of $57 million and we have a near max $14.5 mil. Chris Bosh might enjoy playing with Nash :)

It seems to me that we should not panic, wait to see if Amar’e leaves $17,000,000 on the table, and if he does leaves, hope Frye leaves as well (I’d love to keep Hill, but Frye surely gets a better FA deal than we can gave him), double down and go after Bosh or, if that fails, Boozer / another bigman star. Not many teams will have much cash left at that point, so we might even get two, like Boozer + Tyrus Thomas.

Remember this spreadsheet next time someone says “we need to get something for Amar’e”, and remember: cap space == that “something”.

NB for those who aren't the Salary cap nut I am, the salary cap FAQ here is invaluable:

This states “The roster charge is equal to the rookie minimum salary for each player below 12. The roster charge only applies during the offseason.” Basically. it stops teams having zero players, and spending all the cap on two players, and then signing minimum contract players.

That is why the “cap hold” in the spreadsheet.

NB II Amundson could still be signed AFTER after signing a FA, as his contract would be a minimum contract, and a team can sign as many of those are they like. We could also waive Griffin, and save $300,000 and still sign him later, but that isn't the meat of my point (although every buck helps sign a FA).

NB III We could also do a "sign and trade" for a player like Bosh, and give up a bit of cash, then use the MLE (probably about $5 million) to sign ANOTHER FA, even say Frye for $4 million. That is what Toronto did this year with Hedo. I ask you: Bosh + MLE player or Amar'e / whatever we get in a trade?

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