# Thread: Solving the Lowry conundrum and keeping current core (Vasquez, Patterson)

1. ## Solving the Lowry conundrum and keeping current core (Vasquez, Patterson)

**Back to the drawing board - this doesn't work based on numbers and current roster situation**

DanH wrote:
Sorry to rain on your parade, but this won't work. Let's put aside the fact that Lowry would never agree to a 5 year 36M deal when he could get a 4 year of the same total value...

Your premise is based on Collison's case. It only works that way if it is an extension. If the player is a free agent, the signing bonus is limited to 15% of the total contract value (5.4M, not your 9.8M), and furthermore, is not treated as a bonus under the cap - it's cap hit is spread equally over all the years of the deal. Lowry's cap hit for the contract you describe above (even with the too big bonus) would be as follows:

6.46, 6.79, 7.14, 7.47, 7.81

Now, the Collison case works because a team with cap space can place that signing bonus onto the remaining years of the current contract rather than the extension years. This is because it actually isn't just an extension. If it were, the signing bonus would be limited to 15% of the contract value. Instead, it is deemed as a renegotiation of the existing deal, adding salary to the deal, and the extension adds years to the renegotiated deal.

So OKC had an abundance of cap space that year, and signed Collison to an "extension" of 2.76M per year, but with a signing bonus of 6.52 million. Since they had the cap space, they allocated the entirety of that bonus to their current year's salary cap (by renotiating his current deal to be for 13M instead of 6). That gave him an effective salary of 4.4M per year over the extension, even though their cap hit was 1.6M less.

Applying that case to the Raptors, you can theoretically see potential. It gives the opportunity to offer more for Lowry than his theoretical extension limit would allow, which would solve the UFA risk problem. But for it to work, the Raptors need cap space now. And they are far from that. Currently they have 68M committed. That's about 9.4M over the cap.

Now if they wanted to offer Lowry 36M over 4 years to keep him, I think to agree to a 3 year extension he'd need more than 9M per year to do so. He could probably agree to 30M over 3 years instead of 36 over 4. Maybe that's optimistic, but I'll go with it. So that's 10M per year, which the Raptors cannot offer.

That is, they cannot offer it based on his current salary. 30M over 3 years is a starting salary of 9.3M. That means he would need a salary of 8.65M this year to be eligible for an extension of that value. He currently makes 6.21M - that's a difference of 2.45M. That is the amount of cap space the Raps would need to clear up - see, they don't even need to front load a full signing bonus to be able to keep Lowry, just enough to make re-signing him possible. So, let's take that 2.45M off the total contract, meaning we need only sign him to a 3 year, 27.5 M deal, with a "signing bonus" of 2.5M now. Now if you iterate that a few times, you get an ideal contract extension starting at 8.72M (28.1M over 3 years) with a signing bonus of 1.91 M.

So if the Raps can clear 1.91M in cap space, THIS YEAR, they could do it. So they would need to shed 11.35M in salary before June 30th. Waiving Salmons won't do it as his non-guarantee is for next year, not this year. Waiving Julyan Stone now would free up 0.54M. Longer you wait, the less that frees up, but that's not much anyway. Would have to be a big deal with a team well under the cap, or a deal for a player like Bynum (little late though).

The 76ers and Bucks have loads of cap space. A couple of deals with a couple of those teams, or a few deals with less salary coming back could add up to that 11M. Trading to receive unguaranteed players like CJ Miles would be a good idea as well. Although again you have to waive them immediately to maximize your savings.

This Raptors team is making me a believer. For me and my pretend GM fantasy land, the goal for Toronto is to keep the core the same but also allow flexibility to improve and add. There are currently 3 key members of the Raptors current core contributing significantly to this run who have contracts expiring this season.

First and foremost this offseason, assuming Lowry wants to remain a Raptor, is to resign him. However that is not without warranted concerns. Lowry has been injury plagued and overweight his entire career. This season, a contract year no less, he came in to camp in the best shape of his career (no doubt this is a highly correlated contributing factor to his staying healthy, in my opinion). His attitude has also been unquestionable since the Rudy Gay trade. Conditioning, health, and attitude have all been major question marks in the previous 7 years of his career.

So from the Raptors perspective, how can they protect themselves moving forward while keeping flexibility AT THE SAME TIME, from Lowry's perspective, ensuring Lowry gets what he is looking for? (\$\$\$\$ and a chance to win)

**For the 1,000,000th time offering Lowry an extension is not going to work for his agent. Losing a guaranteed year on his last big pay day? I don't think so.**

It is reasonable to say that Lowry would be looking for \$8-9M per season based on the contracts of other PGs in recent years. Lets take the over and go with \$36M. Now lets assume he believes Toronto are going to be a contender and that he actually wants to stay.

Now lets take a step back in time to November 2010:

Nick entered this season making \$6.75 million in his final year with the Thunder. But after Tuesday night, he'll be making an All-Star level \$13.3 million this year with the Thunder. How is that even legal, in a salary cap sense? Well, as Marc Stein reports, the Oklahoma City GM essentially gave him a \$6.5-plus signing bonus for this season alone. Signing bonuses usually aren't common in the NBA, because you have to fit any level of payoff (right down to free TVs or ducats) underneath the salary cap. You have to report it, and most teams are perpetually over the salary cap with no space left to offer.

The Thunder had that left over salary cap space. And the team thought that that extra cash wasn't going to ease any sort of deal that they liked, and certainly not one that they wanted on their books as the league strives for a more ownership-friendly collective bargaining agreement after this season, so they dumped that cash on Collison now.

....

And while Nick himself will tell you he's not worth what he's making this season on the open market, he's also not going to be worth what he's making from 2011 through 2014. Just \$11 million over that span, usually working for far less than half the average salary, for a well above average player. The Thunder are paying now, so that that they can pay a lot less later. Essentially, they just handed Nick Collison \$6.5 million for the rights to only pay him \$11 million over four years starting in 2011.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/bal...urn=nba-288906
To begin lets look at the total value of the 'proposed' contract: Lowry gets \$36M.... but over 5 years. It would work out to an average annual salary of \$7.2M. To get a total of \$36M from another team, they'd have to be willing to give him \$9M per year. Ideally any team would have the same concerns listed above and his value on the market doesn't equal his value on the court. Hopefully the idea of an extra year of security with 7.5% raises, and the opportunity to help win on the court and off the court with his contract would be incentive.

Crunching the numbers this is what I came up with to fulfill the Collison concept: starting salary of \$4.5M with 7.5% annual raises and \$9.8M signing bonus (total: \$36M over 5 years).

So the Raptors, for 2014-15, will have to field their roster at \$9.8M less than the 2014-15 salary cap which is estimated to be set at \$62.1M. This leaves the Raptors at \$52.3M. How is this done? Looking at current commitments for 2014-15*:

DeRozan \$9.5
Amir \$7
Salmons \$1 (option not picked up - sorry)
Fields \$2.08 (stretched over next 3 years)
Hayes \$5.958
JV \$3.68
Hansbro \$3.33
Camby \$646k (no longer on team)
Ross \$2.79
Stone \$948k
#20 first round pick \$1.2

That is 10 rosters spots and about \$38.132M.

Lowry starts at \$4.5M
Patterson gets 3yr starting at \$3.75M (\$12.1M total)
Vasquez gets 3 yr starting at \$3.75M (\$12.1M total)

That is 13 roster spots and a total of \$50.132M.

Raptors have about \$2.2M to sign two more players (probably their 2nd round picks?) or they could waive Hansbrough and have \$4.4M to sign another player(s) leaving them with the \$9.8M needed to give Lowry the huge lump sum.

*Raptors need to lose Novak.

2014-15 would stay fairly similar to the current core with the exception of adding a 1st round pick.

Moving beyond 2014-15, the Raptors would have about \$34M committed for 2015-16 (DeRozan, 2014 first, Lowry, Patterson, Vasquez, JV, Ross, Fields stretch). Amir would be due for an extension but once that is done there is max money available, say for Love.

If the Raptors wanted to maintain flexibility for 2016 free agency (Durant!) then they could put team options on the contracts of Vasquez and Patterson for year 3. The trade off might be a higher salary for year 1 and 2. The \$2.2-\$4.4M they could have 'extra' in 2014-15 could allow for a higher salary in exchange for the one less guaranteed year.

**Disclosure: Not attempting to say this is what the Raptors are going to do nor am I saying this is the ONLY way. For me this was an exercise in convincing myself there is still ways to improve AND ensuring their immediate future is not tied to Lowry - which still scares the shit out of me. However it should still be noted that the future can look dramatically different between now and February trade deadline should Lowry be traded.**

2. Intriguing.

I think Lowry will be seeking closer to \$10M than \$8M, though. Probably doesn't change the basic premise too much.

3. KHD wrote:
Intriguing.

I think Lowry will be seeking closer to \$10M than \$8M, though. Probably doesn't change the basic premise too much.
I hope the contract year phenomenon lowers what he statistically speaking 'should' get. I don't think GMs are as willing to get stuck with a bad contract as they use to be.

The content of this thread idea came about after the PPS thread was done. For the Raptors to keep the current core and build through the draft (as Ujiri has proclaimed as his intention) then to really become elite they need a go to scorer. The above was just an example of how they can keep the current core (including DeRozan) and have 'organic growth' over the next season and a half to then hit free agency in 2015 or 2016 for a real difference maker (i.e. primary scoring option).

4. Food for thought on a snowy Sunday. A couple of thoughts....that maybe a tad conservative a payout for Lowry if he keeps playing the way he is and if the team actually makes noise in the playoffs. I am thinking of Bledsoe's contract-to-be and if he uses it as a benchmark. Dragic as well has an opt out and will be looking for a new deal but probably less so than EB of course. If I am not mistaken EB is looking to hit abit of a home run. The other point: #20? Makes me want to break down I still wont believe it until it actually happens that MU uses his given spot without trying to move up using one/some of our assets.

5. Interesting post.

Landry and Hayes are really hurting us though!

6. Bendit wrote:
Food for thought on a snowy Sunday. A couple of thoughts....that maybe a tad conservative a payout for Lowry if he keeps playing the way he is and if the team actually makes noise in the playoffs. I am thinking of Bledsoe's contract-to-be and if he uses it as a benchmark. Dragic as well has an opt out and will be looking for a new deal but probably less so than EB of course. If I am not mistaken EB is looking to hit abit of a home run. The other point: #20? Makes me want to break down I still wont believe it until it actually happens that MU uses his given spot without trying to move up using one/some of our assets.
Eric Bledsoe is significantly more valuable than KL.

I think you could look at Jrue Holiday as a fair benchmark for the way KL's been playing.

7. Matt52 wrote:
This Raptors team is making me a believer. For me and my pretend GM fantasy land, the goal for Toronto is to keep the core the same but also allow flexibility to improve and add. There are currently 3 key members of the Raptors current core contributing significantly to this run who have contracts expiring this season.

First and foremost this offseason, assuming Lowry wants to remain a Raptor, is to resign him. However that is not without warranted concerns. Lowry has been injury plagued and overweight his entire career. This season, a contract year no less, he came in to camp in the best shape of his career (no doubt this is a highly correlated contributing factor to his staying healthy, in my opinion). His attitude has also been unquestionable since the Rudy Gay trade. Conditioning, health, and attitude have all been major question marks in the previous 7 years of his career.

So from the Raptors perspective, how can they protect themselves moving forward while keeping flexibility AT THE SAME TIME, from Lowry's perspective, ensuring Lowry gets what he is looking for? (\$\$\$\$ and a chance to win)

**For the 1,000,000th time offering Lowry an extension is not going to work for his agent. Losing a guaranteed year on his last big pay day? I don't think so.**

It is reasonable to say that Lowry would be looking for \$8-9M per season based on the contracts of other PGs in recent years. Lets take the over and go with \$36M. Now lets assume he believes Toronto are going to be a contender and that he actually wants to stay.

Now lets take a step back in time to November 2010:

To begin lets look at the total value of the 'proposed' contract: Lowry gets \$36M.... but over 5 years. It would work out to an average annual salary of \$7.2M. To get a total of \$36M from another team, they'd have to be willing to give him \$9M per year. Ideally any team would have the same concerns listed above and his value on the market doesn't equal his value on the court. Hopefully the idea of an extra year of security with 7.5% raises, and the opportunity to help win on the court and off the court with his contract would be incentive.

Crunching the numbers this is what I came up with to fulfill the Collison concept: starting salary of \$4.5M with 7.5% annual raises and \$9.8M signing bonus (total: \$36M over 5 years).

So the Raptors, for 2014-15, will have to field their roster at \$9.8M less than the 2014-15 salary cap which is estimated to be set at \$62.1M. This leaves the Raptors at \$52.3M. How is this done? Looking at current commitments for 2014-15*:

DeRozan \$9.5
Amir \$7
Salmons \$1 (option not picked up - sorry)
Fields \$2.08 (stretched over next 3 years)
Hayes \$5.958
JV \$3.68
Hansbro \$3.33
Camby \$646k (no longer on team)
Ross \$2.79
Stone \$948k
#20 first round pick \$1.2

That is 10 rosters spots and about \$38.132M.

Lowry starts at \$4.5M
Patterson gets 3yr starting at \$3.75M (\$12.1M total)
Vasquez gets 3 yr starting at \$3.75M (\$12.1M total)

That is 13 roster spots and a total of \$50.132M.

Raptors have about \$2.2M to sign two more players (probably their 2nd round picks?) or they could waive Hansbrough and have \$4.4M to sign another player(s) leaving them with the \$9.8M needed to give Lowry the huge lump sum.

*Raptors need to lose Novak.

2014-15 would stay fairly similar to the current core with the exception of adding a 1st round pick.

Moving beyond 2014-15, the Raptors would have about \$34M committed for 2015-16 (DeRozan, 2014 first, Lowry, Patterson, Vasquez, JV, Ross, Fields stretch). Amir would be due for an extension but once that is done there is max money available, say for Love.

If the Raptors wanted to maintain flexibility for 2016 free agency (Durant!) then they could put team options on the contracts of Vasquez and Patterson for year 3. The trade off might be a higher salary for year 1 and 2. The \$2.2-\$4.4M they could have 'extra' in 2014-15 could allow for a higher salary in exchange for the one less guaranteed year.

**Disclosure: Not attempting to say this is what the Raptors are going to do nor am I saying this is the ONLY way. For me this was an exercise in convincing myself there is still ways to improve AND ensuring their immediate future is not tied to Lowry - which still scares the shit out of me. However it should still be noted that the future can look dramatically different between now and February trade deadline should Lowry be traded.**

Love the thought that went into this Matt. A really intriguing idea. And as far as the numbers go, obviously they can vary a little depending on how MLSE feels about the luxury tax. Looks doable and I think it DOEs provide flexibility going forward, an essential requirement for the Raps if they are to acquire an impact player.

8. stooley wrote:
Eric Bledsoe is significantly more valuable than KL.

I think you could look at Jrue Holiday as a fair benchmark for the way KL's been playing.
Umm no, Lowry is significantly better than Jrue Holiday. Much better turnover rate (3.36 ast/to for Lowry, 2.61 for Jrue), significantly more efficient scoring (58% to 51% TS) on similar volume (1.8 more FGA per game for Jrue, but 2.1 less FTA) and with a similar offensive role (2nd/3rd option depending on the game). Lowry is also a ridiculous +17 in oRTG dRTG (LeBron is +18 on a better team), and I think that about sums it up.

Oh yeah, Lowry is also much more consistent on the defensive side of the ball.

9. I still trade Lowry. He isn't sticking around, regardless of how many games we win. Any time a player says something along the lines of "that's for my agent to figure out" when asked if he'd like to be back that's a big red flag to me.

10. Matt dude, I appreciate all the work you put into your threads man. So well thought out, research done, raises new points, creates discussion. Kudos.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

11. Nosike wrote:
Umm no, Lowry is significantly better than Jrue Holiday. Much better turnover rate (3.36 ast/to for Lowry, 2.61 for Jrue), significantly more efficient scoring (58% to 51% TS) on similar volume (1.8 more FGA per game for Jrue, but 2.1 less FTA) and with a similar offensive role (2nd/3rd option depending on the game). Lowry is also a ridiculous +17 in oRTG dRTG (LeBron is +18 on a better team), and I think that about sums it up.

Oh yeah, Lowry is also much more consistent on the defensive side of the ball.
Given both player's age and the potential red flags with Lowry though, I see similar value in the two players.

12. e_wheazhy_ wrote:
Matt dude, I appreciate all the work you put into your threads man. So well thought out, research done, raises new points, creates discussion. Kudos.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks dude

13. ceez wrote:
I still trade Lowry. He isn't sticking around, regardless of how many games we win. Any time a player says something along the lines of "that's for my agent to figure out" when asked if he'd like to be back that's a big red flag to me.
It really is a tough call.

Should Masai trade him it will be an easy sell to fans should he get anything of value in return. He just needs to whisper: "booooosh"

14. 9m is too much. The last possession of the heat game shows Lowry's problem. At his heart he's not a real point guard. He's been doing ok recently but when push cones to shove he's a selfish hero-wannabe without the skills to back it up.

15. Liking this idea

We really need to move Hayes/Fields, even for anything that's not a worse contract somehow.

16. Wiggins wrote:
9m is too much. The last possession of the heat game shows Lowry's problem. At his heart he's not a real point guard. He's been doing ok recently but when push cones to shove he's a selfish hero-wannabe without the skills to back it up.
So one possession that really wasn't that bad considering lowrys ability to hit that shot makes you come to this conclusion ? We'll thought out....

17. phiLLy wrote:
Liking this idea

We really need to move Hayes/Fields, even for anything that's not a worse contract somehow.
Why? Do we desperately need 10th/11th options all of a sudden? Just hold onto them. They're expirings next year and then they suddenly have value.

18. I'm once again going to suggest that Jeremy Lin is a potential answer for us at PG should we need a replacement starter-level point guard for Lowry. JL is unselfish, an excellent shooter, an increasingly clever passer, a good locker room guy and he's even picking up some defensive skills this year, AND Houston is interested in trading him because of his poison pill contract year coming up, at which we would not even blink.

19. magoon wrote:
I'm once again going to suggest that Jeremy Lin is a potential answer for us at PG should we need a replacement starter-level point guard for Lowry. JL is unselfish, an excellent shooter, an increasingly clever passer, a good locker room guy and he's even picking up some defensive skills this year, AND Houston is interested in trading him because of his poison pill contract year coming up, at which we would not even blink.
If Houston is looking to lose his salary there is Salmons' contract.

20. Would gladly take Lin AND Asik from Houston if they send us a 1st rounder. We have enough expiring contracts to make a deal work, and 2014 free agency isn't particularly important to me.

A deal like that would also make the team a lot better, but I'm not sure whether Houston would be willing to move them just to clear cap space (although they might considering they still need to upgrade at the 4 potentially).

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Last