*Update to the update*
A little while back I wrote a piece that pondered whether bringing Matt Bonner back was worth it if it meant paying the luxury tax. As fans, I guess we shouldn’t care about whether or not the Spurs pay the tax; but as a realist I can’t help but keep that in my head. What I always come back to is the knowledge that Spurs have almost left San Antonio at least twice since I became a die-hard fan, and money always played a big part in those situations.
Like it or not, there’s just not the capital in the region to make up the difference between paying the tax and getting a rebate from the League; Los Angeles and New York can weather that, but not San Antonio. Besides, the Spurs have shown that you can be a contender without paying a huge tax bill and vice-versa for the New York Knicks as of late.
As we wait with bated breath news on the Richard Jefferson front, I thought it would be worthwhile to see just what kind of room the Spurs have to work with after signing Tiago and, go figure, Matt Bonner. (I’ll try to be more concise than last time). Now it may or may not be a line in the sand that the Spurs cannot or will not cross this season, but I am going to assume that $70.3 million is the magic number. Furthermore, I’ve penciled Matt Bonner in for $4 million since I haven’t seen a breakdown of his new contract anywhere as of yet. What that means is that the Spurs have between $8.79 and $11.93 million with which to work under the tax line depending on the status of Hairston, Temple, Gee, and Jerrells.
Here’s my best guess what happens to that wedge of the pie.
- Hairston and Temple make the roster
- James Anderson is signed to 100% of rookie scale
- Another player is signed into the MLE
- RJ resigns for 4 years $31.5 million with ½ of the last season unguaranteed ($6.75 mil to start)
If all of that happens, the Spurs salary projects at $70.24 million for 13 players, leaving them room to sign a few 10 day contracts during the season if needed, the full BAE to work with if a player too good to pass up becomes available, and two open roster spots.
If they stay disciplined and manage to hold this figure, come next summer they could be getting a check worth anywhere from $2 to $5 million (based on past history). Should the lock-out come to pass, that small amount of financial relief just might give Peter Holt the wiggle room to wait the Players Union out.