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Poll: Ilgauskas Re-Joins Cavs

Posted by Neil Paine on March 24, 2010

As expected, Zydrunas Ilgauskas re-signed with Cleveland yesterday after being sent to (and immediately bought out by) Washington at the trade deadline and sitting out the required 30 days before becoming eligible to sign with another the team that dealt him. Obviously, this was orchestrated a long time ago, and obviously it's an attempt to skirt NBA rules about matching salaries in trades... But is there anything wrong with that? Phil Jackson called it a "sham" and Doc Rivers also spoke out against it, but it happens all the time, and teams are almost open about it at this point. So what do you think should be done about these kinds of situations in the future?


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7 Responses to “Poll: Ilgauskas Re-Joins Cavs”

  1. Gary C Says:

    If they are going to keep it as is, they should be honest about it: give every team a max salary-sized, luxury tax exempt, trade exception for use in-season. Then if Cleveland wants to add Jamison for nothing, circumventing the cap and tax, they can do it honestly, instead of everybody pretending that it was a legitimate trade.

  2. Ricardo Says:

    Is Phil Jackson seriously complaining about this? Even if he's 10000% right, he's the last guy I want to hear from on this.

  3. Trev Says:

    I think 30 days is fine. Thirty days after the trade deadline gives you just 12 games remaining so teams are quite penalized when they want to resign someone they traded away. Part of the problem with changing this rule is that given the impending lockout and the league's economic disparities, allowing rich teams to pick up players willy-nilly is going to be awful for league parity.

  4. ak Says:

    I'm fine with the 30 days as well. Trev says that there's only 12 games remaining, but that depends on the schedule, and the trade doesn't necessarily have to happen at the deadline. But 30 days is still a lot of time for the team to be missing the player, and even bigger for the player sitting out that long. Besides, if a player is bought out, he's a free agent. He should be able to sign with any team he wants to. If even after 30 days he thinks his original team gave the best offer, he should be able to take it.

    Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers are only complaining because the Z trade benefits a title contender. I think another trade happened this season where someone was bought out and returned to his old team, but no one cared because it wasn't an elite team (and also why I don't remember the details). Doc wasn't complaining a few years back when he benefited from a similar deal. And the Pau Gasol trade, though not constructed the same way, was also a trade of talent for financial relief (though now we see it wasn't so one-sided as we thought). As long as players are paid salaries and teams are businesses trying to make money, there will always be trades for financial relief instead of talent. No matter how salary cap rules are changed, teams will always find loopholes to exploit; there's too much money at stake.

  5. Luke Says:

    Either the player shouldn't be able to re-sign with the team that traded him until the next season, or else the team should have to use the player's original salary for luxury tax purposes, even if they're not paying him anywhere near that amount.

  6. MCT Says:

    "...and sitting out the required 30 days before becoming eligible to sign with another team."

    A few clarifications, with some help from Larry Coon's Salary Cap FAQ: the 30-day restriction only applies to signing with the team that traded the player away, and the 30 days is counted from the date of the trade, not the date the player was waived. There is no waiting period to sign with any other team; the player can sign with any team other than his old one as soon as he clears waviers. (The restriction is actually 30 days during the season, but 20 during the offseason. It rarely seems to come up during the offseason, though.)

    The 30-day restriction was added in 2005. Before that, there was no resriction, and players in this situation would sometimes return to their old teams within a few days of being traded, as soon as they cleared waivers. A few examples from that era are Gary Payton in 2004-05 (traded by Celtics to Hawks, waived, immediately returned to Celtics) and Lindsey Hunter in 2003-04 (traded by Pistons to Celtics, waived, immediately returned to Pistons).

    IIRC, this type of thing first started to appear back around the mid 1990s. To Gary's point, it's obviously a product of the salary cap rules around trades. There is no practical reason to include the player in the trade. The team trading the player doesn't really want to trade him, and the team receiving the player isn't particularly interested in acquiring him. But he has to be included to make the salaries match up on both sides of the trade.

  7. Drewg Says:

    Obviously, this was orchestrated a long time ago

    I wouldn't be so sure this was orchestrated. The Cavs, I'm sure, had to believe Z would re-sign with them, but they wouldn't go so far as risk talking about, a la the Mavs. They could have ended up not getting Jamison at all, in that case.