As the summer nears, fans start concocting all sorts of trade proposals to better their club. And a lot of those trade proposals involve expiring contracts. Fans love to overvalue expiring contracts, because it allows them to justify lopsided trade proposals- Sure, San Antonio would trade Tony Parker, because they’d be getting expiring contracts back!!
The fact of the matter, however, is that expiring contracts are worth less this summer than they have in a long time. A lot less. In fact, you might even say that unless the player will actually contribute to the team, an expiring contract is nearly worthless. There is a very good reason for this: Simple economics.
Teams seem to be a lot less likely to overpay players like they used to. That’s not to say they won’t. One just has to look at the Toronto Raptors to see that, but the fact of the matter is that teams are more stingy than they used to be. This summer, there are an unprecedented 9 teams under the cap. And several of those teams are not going to get the free agents they want, so very well might remain under the cap next season.
So obviously with 9 teams under the cap, that leaves a lot fewer teams looking for expiring contracts. But that leaves 20 more potential trading partners who might want your expiring contracts, right? Well, no. You see, there are actually more teams set to be under the cap NEXT summer. Which teams? Well, it’s actually a lot easier to list the teams that will NOT be under the cap this summer or next summer.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic.
Yes, that’s right, only two teams will not be under the cap either this summer or next summer. Now obviously many of those teams will not end up being under the cap because they will be signing extensions with players, or picking up options, but the fact is there will be A LOT of expiring contracts out there. Tons! And many of those contracts will be for players with a lot more talent and potential than guys like Reggie Evans or Marcus Banks. If you’ve got a choice to take $4 million in expiring contracts for a player who will actually play, and one who’s going to sit on the bench, which one do you think is going to be chosen?
Now whether this has anything to do with the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations, the fact that teams have less money to spend, or they are simply learning from their mistakes, you’re simply not seeing these outrageous deals that you used to. Of the top 25 salaried players this past season, 17 will see their contracts expire either this summer or next.
So before you start thinking that teams are going to start falling over themselves for the expiring contracts on your team, think again. Because, right now, 29 other fanbases are thinking the same thing.