The new CBA that came about after the 2011 lockout has changed a few things with regards to how sign and trades are done. We take a look at these changes and how they impact the 76ers likelihood to sign and trade Andrew Bynum.
The new collective bargaining agreement that emerged in December 2011 after a 161 day lockout changed a number of rules on how sign and trades work.
Here's a summary of the new rules:
Sign and trade contracts are reduced to a maximum of 4 years, with 4.5% percent raises. These are the years and raises used for non-bird players. In the past CBA, you could give the player maximum raises for maximum years if you had their bird rights, which would be 7.5% raises over 5 years in the current CBA.
Teams more than $4 million above the luxury tax cannot receive players in a sign and trade deal. If a team acquires a player in a sign and trade deal, then the team cannot go $4 million or more above the luxury tax for the remainder of the salary cap year. There were previously no restrictions.
There are also some changes to how Base Year Compensation is applied, but these are not applicable in the Andrew Bynum Situation, so I'll skip those for now.
In prior CBA's, the player had two major incentives to work with his previous team. The first was to be able to get the longer term contract and higher raises afforded to free agents with Bird rights. In this case, that would mean a 5 year deal with 7.5% raises. That is no longer possible, as sign and trade deals are restricted to 4 years in length at 4.5% raises, essentially removing the this incentive for players to work out a sign-and-trade.
The other major reason players would pursue a sign and trade was to go to a team that didn't have enough salary cap space to sign them outright. This incentive still exists, although it is restricted. In the current CBA, teams acquiring a player in a sign-and-trade deal cannot go more than $4 million over the luxury tax limit, either as the result of the trade or at any point during the remainder of the salary cap season.
To be fair, this situation didn't happen all that frequently in the past, although it did when the Mavericks acquired Shawn Marion, but it is yet another rule that would limit the possibilities available to the 76ers. With the luxury tax projected to be at $71.6 million, this all but rules out the Nets, Heat, Lakers, and Orlando as possibilities.
Where does this leave the 76ers? It takes them out of the running for teams that have the salary cap space to sign Andrew Bynum outright, as a team like the Dallas Mavericks now has no incentive to work with the 76ers. Although, to be honest, Bynum likely isn't going to have the demand to have drawn out that 5th year or maximum raises even if he were still allowed to get them in sign-and-trade deals.
However, if a team like Portland decides to pursue Andrew Bynum, the 76ers could enter the picture, as after the Thomas Robinson trade the Trailblazers do not have much cap space to pursue Bynum with.
However, there's one big problem here. Sign-and-trade contracts must be for at least 3 years in length. This was the case in the prior CBA as well, but with Bynum's injury history this is a major restriction.
So where does that leave the 76ers? They have to hope that a bidding war erupts for Andrew Bynum's services, that Bynum is able to command at least a 3 year contract, and that the team that wants Bynum the most does not have the salary cap space to sign him outright but is also not set to go more than $4 million over the luxury tax limit after the trade.
It's not impossible, but the odds may not be in Sam Hinkie's favor.
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