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I like Thad Young, he's been surprisingly good this year. I do need to see a bit more of him, actually.

Most of those "#2" you have on your list that have the biggest money were signed as "#1 guys on their original teams" - Kidd (#1 on NJN when he signed his extension, pre-Carter), Pierce (#1 on the Celtics at time) and Carmelo (pre-Iverson). Not surprisingly, all weren't effective enough as #1's, so their teams had to go and trade for another star player (Carter, KG, Iverson). Gasol also fits in this group, but like Kidd, he got traded.

That's sorta proves the article's point. Yeah, you can sign AI to #1 money, say $15 million a year. But you are still going to need a #1 at some point, and that's going to cost another $15 million.

I left Ben Wallace and Rashard Lewis (the other two guys in the top-5 in your list, in terms of salary) off, because one was signed to be the #1 on a young team (Bulls), and because they had to "lure" him away (as oppose to re-signing your own guy), they paid the premium. Ditto Lewis (who was suppose to be the #1 option in Orlando, and I think he still is).

You're absolutely right, most of the #2's were signed as #1's. But it backs up my point. A lot of people have been saying the Sixers can't afford to pay Iguodala like a #1 if he's only ever going to be a number 2. This list illustrates that every single playoff team is overpaying their #2 with the exception of the Wizards and the Raptors, if you follow that logic.

The next time you put your league pass to use, check out a Sixers' game. Thad has been impressive.

If the Sixers have to overpay Igoudala, fine, do it. If they let him walk then you have to replace your best player which is hard to do, especially when you never want to give someone more money then you think they're worth. Igoudala will probably get Richard Jefferson-type money. The Sixers have really progressed this year, i don't see any way they can let him walk.

You know what, I think you're probably right about Jefferson type money, and I'm completely fine with that. Iguodala brings a whole lot more to the table than Jefferson ever has, and he's also durable, which Jefferson has never been. Good call.

Can they afford to sign Iguodala and Brand or Smith? I don't think they can. Of course, maybe Brand isn't the greatest idea and they should hold out until next year's much more promising free agent class, but even then, once they're committed to paying Iguodala $12M a year, will they be able to afford a superstar? I think you may see a one-year tender.

It depends on the order. If they sign Brand or Josh Smith first, they can give Iguodala a max deal if they want to. It doesn't matter at that point, they can go over the cap to keep their own player. But if they extend Iguodala first, then that money counts against the cap and they wouldn't have room to go out and get a guy like Brand.

Exactly - that's why timing is crucial in salary cap games. Getting under the cap is only important if you are targeting a specific player or two (in this case Brand, who may not opt out, and Smith).

As for paying Richard Jefferson money - yeah, AI is a better player (or potentially better, if he isn't already) than Jefferson. But because Jefferson is overpaid (versus someone like Maggette, who would be a decent add to the team - cheaper, scores and gets to the line effectively), the Nets had to cut ties with one of their Big 3. They couldn't afford to have three players making #1 money (Kidd, Carter, Jefferson), and because they didn't have enough intermediate sized-contracts to make a deal (the rest of the team was really filler material on rookie contracts or low-paid veterans) for a good fourth player, they had to cut ties with one of their big threes.

That's not great cap management. The point of rebuilding is to be able to do it right this time! I think Philly has to keep AI, but if the price becomes too high, it wouldn't be worst move to do a sign and trade if they got back another good player or two. He should be getting paid "borderline All-Star" money, not "franchise" money....

The only way they can afford a sign and trade is if they get something really special back, like Amare.

The Nets had three guys making way too much. If the Sixers pay Iguodala something like $13-$14M/year and sign Brand for a number similar they'll have two guys at that level, then Miller and Dalembert at around $10M then everyone else below $5M/year.

If you look at the teams above closely, a lot of them have another player making as much or more than their #2's. The Suns have Shaq $20M (they aren't exactly a good example to follow right now, though), the Jazz have Kirilenko. There are more examples. $70M for 5 years is a decent number for Iguodala, and it shouldn't hamstring them at all going forward.

Brand needs to come back and produce before this season is over. If he can prove he's healthy, then I think he opts out and the Sixers go after him hard. If he doesn't come back, I don't see him opting out of a guaranteed $16M. He'll probably stay in L.A. and build his value back up.

$70 million over 5 years will hamper the 76ers down the line. Just like Rashard Lewis' contract will hurt the Magic. They are overpaying for a couple of years of respectability with their flexibility. In fact, and argument can be made for the Magic ending up like the 76ers did a few years back - maybe one or two great years (Iverson vs. the Lakers), followed by salary cap hell that results in having to tear the team apart, including the franchise player (Howard). Let's see what they look like in three or four years.

As for the current 76ers... again, AI is a good player. Very good. Borderline All-Star, with potential to be a perennial All-Star. If so, then $14-15 million a year will be worth it. But if he doesn't evolve into a perennial All-Star, and stay a borderline All-Star... than he's just Richard Jefferson again.

I'm not making predictions, I'm just breaking down the situation.

If what you're saying holds true, and I'm not saying it doesn't, then almost every single playoff team is in that situation right now. Some teams are even worse off, notably the Jazz (Kirilenko).

I also don't think Jefferson is a good comparison. Jefferson was never a complete player, and he was never a healthy player. Iguodala does everything, on both sides of the floor, and he never misses a game. If he never progresses from where he's at right now, he'll still be worth the money 5 years down the road. You aren't signing him on what he might become, you're signing him for what he is right now. Any progression is a bonus. If he signs a tender, I have a feeling he gets a max deal the following Summer from someone.

Hollinger has his head in the statbook and is making assumptions from watching 0 games and basing everything on PER which, as you say, can be misleading. He compared Thad to SFs which is misleading since he plays PF a good 65%+ of the time. I see his comparisons as valid.

70 million over 5 years does not sit well with me whatsoever. That is 14 million per year. Andre is a Restricted Free Agent right? Who is going to come out and offer him 14 million? What teams could and would offer that much for Iggy and also be willing to sacrifice the pick(s) to do it?

I don't follow your "sign Brand then Iggy" argument. I always thought you couldn't sign "new" players before you settled your restricted free agents, so I don't know how you spend money on Brand without first settling Iggy's/Lou's contracts. I could surely be wrong on this. I have searched for articles on how this works, but have always been unsuccessful.

Joe reply to Joe on Mar 6 at 18:14

invalid not valid

From my understanding, and I could be wrong about this, the league reserves a certain amount of cap space for a team's free agents. I think the number is $8M for Iguodala and Lou Williams. So that $8M counts against the cap, even though it hasn't been spent. The Sixers will have another $10-$12M on top of that, to go out and get whomever they want, through trade or free agency.

If they make their FA/trade move before re-signing Iguodala and Williams, only that $8M placeholder counts against the cap and they can use all of that available space for the addition, then they can sign Iguodala and Williams for as much as they like, up to the max. If they use the full $10-$12M on the free agent, then anything over the $8M they use to resign Iguodala and Williams would put them over the cap, and possibly approaching the luxury tax number.

That's my understanding of it, I'll try to find an article that breaks it down from someone in the know later tonight.

As for $70M for Iguodala, I'm not saying that should be the starting point, but I'm fine if it takes a number that high to keep him. It may not be a matter of another team driving the price up for him, it might be Andre not settling for less than that, and choosing to play for the one-year tender offer ($3.8M) and become an unrestricted free agent the following year. I don't think it's going to take $70M, and I don't think he's going to wind up playing for the tender offer. Probably 5 years, $60-$65M and he stays in Philly.

This link explains what I was talking about with Iguodala and Williams.

Anderew on Mar 9 at 14:18

I think Boozer was signed as a #1, and he's still a #1. That team was barren when they signed him and Okur the same summer. I don't think Okur was the #1.

Good article. Thaddues is a fun guy to watch. If Philly could unload Willie, you guys would be right back in the thing.

Yeah, the Jazz were a tough call. For my money, Deron Williams is their #1 guy, but you could easily make an argument for Boozer and I wouldn't disagree. They're also a weird case because their #3, Kirilenko, is making more than both of them. Boozer is going to cash in like you wouldn't believe after next season.

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