If the NBA Playoffs started today, the Western Conference would send the following teams:
The New Orleans Pelicans are the third youngest team of that group with an average age of 27.2 years old. They are in position to hold onto 6th in the West and make a playoff run. But, with the season-ending injury to C DeMarcus Cousins and C Alexis Ajinca, the Pelicans have been in need of a capable center and preferably one with at least 7+ years of experience like Cousins and Ajinca.
Having signed C Emeka Okafor to back-to-back 10 day contracts, the Pelicans faced a decision because the CBA allows for a team to only sign the same player to a 10-Day contract twice during the same season. Thus, the Pelicans turned to signing Okafor to a rest-of-season contract, as they are beneath the luxury tax and had an open roster spot with the 2/10/18 waiving of Rashad Vaughn after the trade with Brooklyn. The contract for Okafor is as follows:
10+ YOS Min Annual Salary * (Days on NOLA/Total Days in Season) = Amount of NOLA Contract
$2,328,652 * (45/180) = $582,163
10+ Year Veteran’s Minimum Contract: $2,328,652
2 Year Veteran’s Minimum Contract: $1,471,382
Difference Between the Two: $857,270
Diff. b/w 10+ and 2 YOS Min * (Days on NOLA/Total Days in Season) = NBA Vet. Reimbursement
$857,270 * (45/180) = $214,317
The cap hit for the Pelicans is the value of the prorated contract less the value of the reimbursement. This is reflected as follows:
Amount of NOLA Contract – NBA Vet. Reimbursement = ’17-’18 Cap Hit for Pelicans on Okafor
$582,163 – $214,317 = $367,836
Thus, the signing of C Emeka Okafor fills the following requirements:
Because this is a rest-of-season contract, the Pelicans can ride Okafor through the end of the season and playoffs, and then be under no obligation to bring him back next year. Cousins is not under contract next year as an unrestricted free agent, and Ajinca is owed $5,285,394 in 2018-2019. (NBA Salary Cap Spreadsheet by Kevin Smith)
*180 days used for a standard NBA season. Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) uses 177 days.
*02/26/28 @ 10:45 AM: Subject to later update, as this is the projected contract for Okafor. Because the details have yet to be announced, he could have an increased contract due to availability at the Mid-Level Exception.
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I'm Jake, a recent graduate of Duke University pursuing a career in collegiate or professional basketball operations.
Cap #s 2018 - 2019
Salary Cap: $101.869M
Lux. Tax: $123.733M
Tax Apron: $129.827M
Tax Floor: $91.682M
Room MLE: $4.45M