Sorry Clay, it's another LeBron thread.
I previously created a thread about why Boston going after LeBron is insane, but not THAT insane: http://forums.celticsblog.com/index.php?topic=96648.0
In that post I outlined a couple scenarios.
#1 - We just salary dump Horford on a team like Indiana, let Smart walk, and suddenly have about 30 mil in cap space to offer LeBron
#2 - We work out some kind of sign-and-trade where we ship out Horford (or Hayward) and get back LeBron.
I want to expand on that by discussing more elaborate sign-and-trade scenarios. This doesn't have to be limited to LeBron. Paul George or Boogie Cousins, for instance, might be targets. Sign-and-trades are actually an area I don't really have a great grasp of. I want to throw out some ideas and hope others can expand and clarify. Here's some information about the current rules: http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q92
The sign-and-trade rule allows teams to re-sign their own free agents for trading purposes. Under this rule the player is re-signed and immediately traded to another team. This is done by adding a clause to the contract stipulating that the contract is null and void if the trade to the specific team is not completed within 48 hours. A sign-and-trade is treated like a single, atomic transaction, and not two separate transactions between which one party can change its mind -- if the trade is not completed, then the signing is invalidated.
To qualify for a sign-and-trade, all of the following must be true:
- The player must re-sign with his prior team -- a team cannot include another team's free agent in a sign-and-trade.
- The player must finish the preceding season with that team (deals are no longer allowed that sign-and-trade players who are out of the league, such as the sign-and-trade that sent Keith Van Horn from Dallas to New Jersey as part of the Jason Kidd trade in 2008).
- The player cannot be a restricted free agent who has signed an offer sheet with another team (see question number 42).
- The team receiving the player cannot be above the "Apron" (see question number 20) at the conclusion of the trade1, 2. A team above the Apron can receive a player in a sign-and-trade if the trade reduces the team's payroll and the team finishes the trade below the Apron.
- The team cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade if they have used the Taxpayer Mid-Level exception (see question number 25) that season.1
- The trade must be completed prior to the first game of the regular season (sign-and-trades are not allowed once the season begins).
- The player cannot be signed using the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, the Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, or any exception that cannot be used to offer a three-year contract (see question number 25).
Based on my interpretation of those rules, it seems we could actually sign our own free agents and immediately include them in trades as long as the free agent agrees. This doesn't seem to be limited to any particular type of free agent. From what I can tell, Baynes (non-bird rights free agent), Monroe (non-bird rights free agent) and Smart (restricted free agent) could all qualify.
I think with Baynes and Monroe we're limited to how much we can offer it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but in each instance we can only offer them contracts starting at 120% of their prior year salary. That would mean 5.1 million for Baynes and 6 mil for Monroe.
Seems to me, you could offer up Baynes 5 mil + Monroe's 6 mil + Marcus Morris 5.3 mil + Yabu's 2.6 mil + Rozier's 3 mil and get yourself to 22 mil. And since you can take back 125%, you could take back a contract making 27.3 mil.
Of course, the easier route seems to be just agreeing to overpay Marcus Smart as part of a sign-and-trade. Say his market value is 12 mil. Maybe you agree to pay him 20 mil if he signs off on being traded to the Cavs. Then suddenly Smart + Morris gets you to 25 mil and you can take back a contract making 30 mil.
The big wrinkle there might be that both teams need to be below the "apron" in the aftermath of the trade. I think the "apron" is like 126 mil. So for instance... Hayward (31), Horford (29), Kyrie (20), LeBron (30) Tatum (6.7), Brown (5) is already 122 mil. That makes it tricky. But fwiw, if LeBron truly decided "I'm not happy with Durant getting himself a bunch of unearned championships" and decided to join an established great team, he might do what Durant did and take a paycut. Durant was making 25 mil initially.