Most interesting is that like the Lowry and Scola deals, the final year is partially guaranteed, adding more proof to the theory of manufactured assets.
Update at 3:46PM
I was shocked by the figure. I did not expect Miller to command more than $3million annually. With that said, the annual figure is of very little consequence to anyone not named Les. It doesn’t hinder flexibility in the least bit – if you’re over (the tax), you’re over, and the amount by which you are is irrelevant. Remember: it’s length of contract that holds the real significance.
Miller is 34 and still has two years of good basketball left in him if playing limited minutes. If $5million is what it took to fill an area of need, so be it. Again, the Rockets were already in excess of the luxury tax. Once you’re at that point, anything past that is only Les’ concern.
What’s most interesting to me is the possibility that this may signal the team’s mindset. After they struck out on Bosh, I thought the team would play it safe and keep costs down. Instead, Les has given the green light for an all-out spending spree making me wonder whether there’s confidence in the potential for another move. Unless Morey and company just views this team’s chances more optimistically than I do, I don’t think they would have spent so greatly if maintaining the rest of the roster at status quo.
Update 3:46PM: An emailer writes:
but the amount affects them because they would have had cap space next season.
This is true. Before the Lowry and Scola deals, the team stood to have only $25million guaranteed on the books next summer. However, I never thought going that route was ever the plan. Carmelo wasn’t going to come, and while it’s true that having any room is helpful in facilitating sign&trades, I don’t think the hope for that chance was ever deemed worth the sacrifice of assets it would take in the present. It would have been a nice escape route had Yao been deemed irreparable, but they’d be giving up prematurely on this season.
The Brad Miller move signals that the club is going “all-in.” Considering Morey’s comments that the team was not yet capable to contend, and the fact that Brad Miller costs double of what he signed for (due to the tax), you almost have to wonder if another larger deal is in the works. I just don’t know how else Morey could have gotten Les to sign off on such spending. More as it comes.