NBA owners played with house money last week and the results were astonishing.
Awash in new TV money, the league upped it’s salary cap from $70 million to $94.1 million for the coming year, and the money was burning a hole in the pockets of the owners.
In the first 96 hours of the free agency period, NBA teams committed close to $3 billion (yep, Billion, with a “B”) toward contracts with free agents. That’s nearly $9,000 a second spent. Every second. For four straight days.
It’s one thing for the Golden State Warriors to give big bucks to come to the bay area, but what about some of the other deals that were made. Timofey Mozgov got $64 mil over for years from the Lakers. Yes, that’s the same Timofey Mozgov who played a total of 25 minutes in the Cavaliers 7 game championship run. But Mozgov’s is not the only contract that raised eyebrows, and tax brackets.
Hassan Whiteside made a mere $980,000 this season. His new deal to stay in Miami: $98 million over 4 years. Undrafted guard, Tyler Johnson, went from the D League to signing a deal with the Heat for $50 million over 4 years. Nicholas Batum got 5 years, $120 million to go to Charlotte. Kent Bazemore pocketed 4 years, $70 million to stay with Atlanta. And on it went.
SB Nation has a full rundown of the lunacy here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2016/6/30/12052290/nba-free-agent-signings-tracker-2016-rumors
Money was flying around like a monopoly game. The spending was like Imelda Marcos buying shoes. At some point you’d think someone would take away the credit card, wouldn’t you?
So when you follow your favorite NBA team in the coming season, you might feel for a guy like Festus Ezeli, who left the Warriors for Portland for the paltry sum of $15 million. Poor guy will only reel in $7.5 mil this season. That’s just $91K per game, or about $5K per minute… which is a little less than what the owners spent in their 4 days shopping spree.
Hope he knows how to stretch a dollar.