In the last couple days, we've had a number of members propose potential trades involving Wizards players, and that's great. It's great that we're thinking outside the box, and these type of proposals are great for empowering our community. When readers are responding to reader proposals, it makes me gush, because this is exactly the type of interaction that I was hoping to see when I made the switch to SB Nation.
However, the last thing I want is for you guys to propose offers that have no chance of ever happening. The whole discussion would then be pointless and a waste of energy. If a trade has no chance of happening, it really doesn't pay to talk much about it. There wouldn't really be much separating our community from your stereotypical message board, and it would leave our site open to the type of criticism that I know we don't deserve.
As Scott Jackson likes to say, "This isn't a fantasy league, people," or something like that.
Therefore, I'm just going to lay a couple quick ground rules for potential trade ideas. These are in no way meant to stifle your creative minds, but I want to make sure we're talking about ideas that have some possibility of occuring.
1. Know everyone's salary
A player's salary is as important, if not more important, than his actual ability. For example, while Antawn Jamison is not a bad player by any means, his 16 million dollar salary makes him an undesirable player for any team. This does not mean nobody will trade for him, but it makes it very unlikely.
The NBA salary cap this year stands at about 53 million. It is a soft cap, meaning that there are exceptions (e.g. the Larry Bird rights, the mid-level exception) that allow teams to go over the cap. However, if you're team salary exceeds 65 million, you're in the luxury tax threshold, and you need to pay double for any subsequent moves you make. Currently, the Wizards team salary is around 62 million. As you'll probably soon see, they don't have a lot of good resources for trading.
For a list of everyone's salaries, go here. For a list of just the Wizards' salaries, go here.
If it's confusing, don't worry, I'm not expecting you to get all of it. Frankly, I don't understand many of the rules. If you have a question, just ask me.
2. Make sure the salaries of your proposed trade match up
Basically, this is the only reason you need to have some understanding of the salary rules. Unless you're trading to a team that is far under the cap (like Charlotte), you need to make sure the salaries match up. With any team already over the cap, the salaries have to be within 125 percent of each other. For your basic purposes, just try to make sure the salaries each team is taking on are as close to equal as possible.
3. Use the trade machine
This is the one guideline that absolutely must be followed. Before posting any trade on Bullets Forever, please check with the trade machine to make sure the salaries match up. For example, one deal tossed around in the comments section was trading Jamison and Jarvis Hayes to Seattle for Rashard Lewis. This trade doesn't work, as shown here.
If any trade is posted anywhere that doesn't work with the trade machine in the future, I'm going to delete it. I don't mean this to be a mean or unfair action, and I'm not deleting anything there already because I hadn't made this regulation clear, but I also want to make sure we're discussing trades that can actually happen.
You can also use the Real GM trade tracker, as Jake did. It serves the same purpose.
4. Any separate ideas should go in a new diary or thread
This is really just for organizational purposes.
5. Think about both team's ramifications:
Most of you guys are doing this already, but just keep in mind that both teams need to have some reason for pulling the trigger. A trade like this, for example, would be deleted.
That's pretty much it. Again, I am in no way trying to stunt your creative minds, but I also want to make sure this doesn't get out of hand.
If you have any questions, objections, or additions to these guidelines, let me know. Otherwise, keep thinking up trade ideas!