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A Minor Dalembert Rumor

Sam Dalembert (Photo by Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Oklahoman has an interesting blurb about a possible trade of Sammy to the Thunder:
Chris Wilcox - Teams likely are interested more in his expiring $6.75 million contract than what he can do for them on the court in the second half. It's unlikely Wilcox alone could bring back much value. But if he's packaged with Smith and, say a draft pick, it could lead to a young quality defensive-minded center such as New Orleans' Tyson Chandler or Philadelphia's Samuel Dalembert.
This seems like pure speculation to me, rather than any kind of inside info coming from sources, but let's run with it for a moment.

Wilcox and Smith are both expiring contracts, so assuming the Sixers would let both walk at the end of the season they'd be under the cap by about $12M this summer. Now, they could only use that cap space if they renounced Andre Miller's bird rights, they traded Miller or if Miller signed somewhere else. If they do not renounce Andre Miller, his cap hold number will be roughly $15M (150% of previous year's salary), and the team will only have the MLE and Bi-annual exceptions to use.

Moving Sammy's albatross of a contract out could give the team the financial flexibility it needs to replace Miller if he walks, but he'd have to walk early in the process and there probably wouldn't be enough cap space to replace Sammy. I'm not sure why OKC would include a draft pick in a deal for Sammy, they're trading two assets for a fairly bad contract, but there you have it.

Of course, that $12M in cap space could also be used in a trade, which would be a very, very big bargaining chip considering the economy and the way so many teams are desperately trying to shed payroll.

Fire away, would you pull the trigger if you were Ed Stefanski and this deal wasn't pure fiction concocted by a writer in Oklahoma?
by Brian on Feb 16 2009
Tags: Basketball | Samuel Dalembert | Sixers | Trade Rumors |