December 22, 2002
Throw in a large order of fries and you've got a deal

This, from Jonathan Feigen's NBA notebook, is exactly what's wrong with salary caps, in a nutshell:

Though he has not played this season and likely will never play again, the Raptors are shopping Hakeem Olajuwon.

There does not seem to be a market for a player who already has announced his retirement, but undaunted, Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald has spoken to teams around the NBA about trading Olajuwon's contract.

Neither Olajuwon nor the Raptors have officially filed retirement papers with the league, and Olajuwon remains on the Raptors' injured list. Grunwald has kept Olajuwon's contract active since the Raptors are going to have to pay him anyway.

Grunwald is searching for a team desperate for salary-cap room in the summer of 2004 that might be willing to trade a serviceable player who is under contract for longer than Olajuwon, who is due $6 million in each of the next two seasons.

"There's some talk, nothing imminent, but it's a concept teams may want to explore," Grunwald said.

Trading a live body for a retired player so you can free up cap space next year. Only in the NBA.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 22, 2002 to Other sports | TrackBack

I'm certainly not saying that all of the non-USA soccer leagues are transparent in their business practices, but after the Florida Marlins fire sale after winning the WS in 1997, I couldn't help but think a good solution to this behavior is what happens in most professional soccer leagues: relegation and promotion.

Depending upon the particular league, all teams run the risk of relegation or can appreciate the rewards of promotion. In England, for example, the top league is the Premier League (EPL), the next league is the 1st Division, etc. The three (or four, I'm not sure of the exact number) teams that finish last in the EPL are relegated to the 1st Division and the same number of teams that at the top of the 1st Division are promoted. The teams that get relegated lose out on a lot of revenue, especially TV revenue and the opportunity to go into international play like the UEFA Cup (unless they win one of their cup competitions) and, very often they lose some of their top players.

If the Marlins had faced the risk of becoming a Triple A team and say Indianapolis had become a major league team, I doubt if Wayne Huizenga would have been so willing to cut his payroll.

Posted by: Randy Paul on December 22, 2002 5:47 PM