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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

NBA Fans: Have Some Fun with These Two Websites

It's trading season in the NBA right now, and because of the salary cap when you move players you have to match up salaries to make sure the trade fits in under the salary cap. That's why you see five-for-two trades, trades that involve four teams, players whose popularity is measured sometimes not because of their ability but because of the remaining length of their contract (short) and the cap number it takes up (large). Translated, if you're Jamal Mashburn and you won't play again, you're popular right now because your $16 million or so salary counts against the 76ers' cap, and a team can acquire you simply to free up cap space for the free-agent market next year. Got all that?

Well, there are two websites that can help you measure the NBA trade market right now and play general manager while you're at it. First, there's the great HoopsHype, which is a must read in NBA front offices and which gives you tons of information regarding NBA trade talks. Start there to learn which teams are actually contemplating making moves. Second, there's's Trade Machine, which lets you plug in players into trade scenarios (it also lists their salaries) and tells you whether the trade will work.

So, if you want Steve Francis, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, Marko Jaric or anyone else, fiddle with the Trade Machine and figure out what it will take to get the deal done. Remember, the team you trade with might take on a large contract with zero years left in order to clear cap room for next year. It's happened before, and it will happen again.

Have fun!


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