2011 NBA Free Agency: Allan Houston Rule - Atlantic Division
One of the topics expected to be discussed during the pending NBA lockout is the possible revival of The Allan Houston Rule. When a new CBA was agreed upon in 2005, it allowed NBA teams a one-time opportunity to waive a player and not have his contract count against the luxury tax. The released player becomes a free agent but his salary still gets paid and counts against his former team's salary cap. Ironically enough, Allan Houston was not a victim of The Allan Houston Rule. The Knicks instead decided to waive Jerome Williams.
If the new CBA once again invokes this clause, most teams will probably take advantage since it would save them possibly tens of millions of dollars. To keep up with the times, we will change the name of this from "The Allan Houston Rule" to the "Rashard Arenas Rule" since Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas easily have the two worst contracts in the league. Allow me to break down each team and who would end up being the casualties of this rule. I'll start with the Southeast Division.
Easy one here. Rasheed Wallace is still counting against $6.8 million in the cap despite retiring last offseason. With the Celtics well over the cap and paying the luxury tax, using this clause on Wallace would save Boston almost $14 million next season.
New Jersey Nets:
I remember thinking last summer, "What the hell are the Nets doing throwing all this money at Travis Outlaw?" A year later and I'm still thinking the same thing. The Nets are under the cap and not in jeopardy of reaching the luxury tax but getting rid of Outlaw's remaining 3-year, $21 million would be a precursor to the team eventually getting to that luxury tax number especially with Kris Humphries, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams due big contracts within the next year. If not Outlaw, then Johan Petro (another head scratching signing last offseason) could be let go since he is scheduled to make $6.75 million over the next two seasons.
New York Knicks:
The Knicks have done a remarkable job of erasing all of Isiah Thomas' mistakes and shedding those terrible contracts off their cap. Renaldo Balkman would be the only real possible victim for New York and he is only due around $3.3 million the next two seasons.
Philly would probably consider dumping Elton Brand and the remaining $35.2 million he is owed during the next two years. That would leave the Sixers without a starting power forward though. More than likely, Andres Nocioni would be released. He is guaranteed $6.65 million next season which is a lot to pay someone who fell out favor late in the season.
The Raptors aren't in real danger of hitting the luxury tax but still might be inclined to dump Jose Calderon who will make almost $20 million over the next two seasons. I would want to get rid of Amir Johnson's 4-year, $25 million but Toronto seems to like him. Linas Kleiza could also be an option since he is scheduled to make $4.6 in each of the next three seasons.
@jsemmens I've been to the Big Board in the past, but it's still an inefficient way of going about a mock. Not to mention, reports and the people writing them change, no? I come to Walt's site because I used to like his insight on every player. Now, it's simply team needs and a very limited amount of actual analysis. You definitely need SOME amount of explanation behind a pick with regards to team need, but you need much more of the player evaluation angle. Any dummy can write why a particular team "needs" a specific position; it takes a pretty good eye to understand what player needs to fill it. Again, just my 2 cents.
@dawg66 I see where you're coming from. I really do. But I'm sure as a Browns fan you can understand, they have needs EVERYWHERE. You aren't gonna win a super bowl unless you have a QB. Case in point pretty much every super bowl winning quarterback ever. Second, yes you have Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman. Terrelle Pryor is a slot receiver which is gonna get you nowhere unless you play for New England. Corey Coleman has yet to prove a damn thing. Mike Williams, however, just took down Alabama pretty much BY HIMSELF. It's the right range for him and I'm positive Huge Jackson wouldn't pass over him at this point, meaning pre-combine and interviews.
Here's my mock based on team need, prospect value and prevailing opinion as well as some ideas of my own. Please let me know about the team(s) that you follow more closely, and any picks that you agree or disagree with. Please comment, and feel free to rate.