Ever wonder if, financially speaking, the Hawks could trade Josh Smith for Chris Paul? Or what players they would have to give up to get Kobe Bryant? What about how to create the “Atlanta Heat” and what players it would take to get Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh?
There are a number of rules, regulations, exceptions, and exemptions embedded in the CBA that make certain trades financially feasible based on player salaries, team payrolls and contract restrictions.
I recently discovered ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, a tool that allows you to play GM. You can see what trades are possible based on a team’s payroll and players’ current salaries. The tool also provides the rationale for why a trade is not feasible based on the CBA and what would need to happen to make it work. Some of Â Hollinger’s stats are also incorporated to determine the likely affect of the trade on wins and losses.
So for example, the Hawks could trade Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia for Dwight Howard for an increase in 17 wins.
If the Hawks wanted to get LeBron, Wade and Bosh (but still keep Joe Johnson), they’d have to give up Horford, Smith, Hinrich, Pachulia, and Williams. This would give them +26 wins according to Hollinger’s formula.
However, trading Josh Smith for Chris Paul would not work: the trade would put the Hawks over the salary cap, their incoming salaries are greater than 125% plus $100,000 of their outgoing salaries. The Hawks would need to cut $215,153 from the incoming value to make this trade possible.
Of course, this is all based purely on the contracts and economics rather than an owner or GM’s desires. And it’s all based on the current CBA, for that matter. Who knows what will happen with all the negotiations in the air? Or even if there will be an NBA season next year? But at least I’ve found a new toy to keep myself entertained with the “what-could-be’s”Â in the meantime.