Monday, May 26, 2008

The sun begins to set on the Eric Snow era

Early retirement:
The Cavs have already started the paperwork with the league office on getting Eric Snow approved for disability retirement. There are lots of hoops to jump through, but Snow says that his left knee is bone-on-bone, and that he's probably done.

If all the proper parties sign off, Snow's $7.3 million could be taken off the Cavs' books for luxury-tax purposes.

It is also possible that the NBA could grant the Cavs an exception of up to half of Snow's salary ($3.7 million) to use to sign another player or to use in a trade.

I'm torn on this. Snow has been a model citizen here and it's been known for awhile that he's looking to be a NBA head coach once he retires. If he has no physical tools left, it would make sense to start that process early.

However, Snow has a $7.3 million expiring contract, which could be very useful over the coming 7 months. Snow hasn't been useful on the basketball court for 3 years and now when his contract becomes a help rather than a hindrance, the Cavs won't be able to cash in.

True, the Cavs could get some kind of exception to help with free agents, but they aren't really getting capspace, they're saving luxury tax money. Now, if they can pair that $3.7 million exception with their mid-level exception (around $5.5 mil) and throw that $9 million at a FA, then that's a whole different story.

I mean, I wish Snow all the best, but the Cavs are losing a valuable trading chip at the worst time. They still have a lot of options and a lot of expiring deals, but still.


graham said...

I wonder if they could throw that 9 million (or some of it) at Jose Calderon. He's restricted and I don't know how much he'll earn on the market, but it's something to think about.

Erik said...

Yes, they're losing $7.3 million in expiring money to trade, but maybe paring down the luxury tax figure will allow Gilbert to take on more salary this summer.

It's not only about the deals Ferry can make. It's about the money Gilbert can spend with a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax above the salary cap. Though Gilbert should be more than willing to open his pocketbook as wide as he can to put a championship team around LeBron, he also has to be sensible about it.

If they thought keeping Snow around as pre-retirement trade bait a la Keith Van Horn was the better route, I'm sure that's what the Cavs brass would be doing.

Graham: I would love to get Calderon. But I don't think Toronto will part with him, especially with T.J. Ford's long history of injuries.

graham said...

Ben's very last paragraph really sums it up. I fail to see how taking his salary off the books helps anyone except Gilbert's pocketbook.

Erik, does cutting down the luxury cap now, really help later? From my understanding they aren't going to get under it anyhow, so if they add back on to it this summer, it'll be just the same except Cavs wouldn't have that expiring contract (the trading chip). And that's not a rhetorical question - I definitely could be missing something.

I think Cavs just are unlucky. They had Snow's awful contract, put up with it, and then his knee went out, and teams have to show the league office a guy is capable of playing - which now Snow simply cannot.

It's just awful timing, and hopefully they can use some of it as a trade exception. But at first glance, you just keep thinking...."W.T.F."

btw, Cavs would have to outbid Toronto since Calderon is a RFA- highly unlikely but possible. I have no idea what his market value will be.

Ben said...

part of me would like to see them throw a lot of money at Hawks PF Josh Smith and see if Atlanta matches. I think he'd be a GREAT fit for the Cavs and LeBron.

graham said...

I'd love Smith too, but I don't see how they can do that given their cap situation. I thought b/c Calderon might make less on the market it would be plausible, but admittedly its not a realistic option.

Windhorst's latest blog pretty much shoots down every possibility thats been raised for signing a free agent, at least before the season starts.

Erik said...


I don't know if the Cavs are unlucky with regard to Snow, because they're under no obligation to buy him out. If they wanted to use him as expiring money to trade, they could do it and let his new team buy him out.

There must be more to it than simply losing Snow's expiring contract to trade, because I don't think Danny Ferry wouldn't willingly part with more than $7 million in tradeable contract money if there wasn't an alternative benefit.