Cap Backwards: NBA Hostage Alert: Day…?

It appears as though the Carmelo Anthony situation has rendered the NBA trade market much as the Baby Ruth bar did the pool in Caddyshack: no one is diving in until that particular issue is resolved. For a team, like the Rockets, devoid of serious playoff aspirations, the hope and excitement inherent to February 24th’s trade deadline is stymied.

If actual trades are like pieces of peppercorn bacon cooked to the exact moment of chewy crispiness, then trade rumors are the ubiquitous cubes of tofu somehow ingrained in every department of Whole Foods. Rumors are filling but not satiating; they can pique your curiosity but perpetually leave you wanting more. In the end, a poor substitute.

In their best case, rumors provide a nice escalation toward an eventual crescendo – see Steve Francis for Tracy McGrady. So far, the Rockets have been rumored in the pursuit of everyone from Omar Asik of the Bulls to Carmelo. Neither of which appear to have legs, especially the latter.

A safe assumption will be that the Rockets insert themselves in the middle of a blockbuster, or at least a new release on Netflix, to make ends meet between other parties. The Rockets have the most variable combination of assets available – 1st round picks (its own and right to swap with Knicks), young talent (Patterson, Hill, Budinger, Brooks), expiring contracts (Battier/Jeffries), and contracts covered by insurance (Yao).

With nothing really to report beyond conjecture, I highly recommend reading Larry Coon’s piece on ESPN earlier this week. He underscores the futility of trying to project the salary cap ramifications of today’s moves within the unknown parameters of the future Collective Bargaining Agreement (or CBA – which essentially governs how much teams are allowed to spend on player salaries).

Written by Connor Winn, ‘Cap Backwards’ is a discussion column on the NBA’s salary cap and its many intricacies.

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