Fixing the NBA Superteam Problem: Sending GMs Back to 3rd Grade Math

There are 3 inevitabilities in life now: death, taxes, and LeBron James vs. The Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals.  It’s what we all expected last year, what we all expected this year, and what we’re going to expect again next year.  If you thought I made a typo earlier, trust me it’s no error.  It’s not Cleveland vs. GS it’s whatever team LeBron’s on.  However, this article isn’t about LeBron James.  It’s not about Durant and the Warriors.  At least, it’s not about them directly.  There is a huge problem in today’s NBA and it is not the super teams.  We need to address these moron GMs who don’t know basic math.

Today’s NBA appears to be more imbalanced than ever.  Most people are quick to blame LeBron or Durant for joining up with their buddies to make super teams, but that’s not a problem.  There’s nothing wrong with players taking advantage of their resources and modern communication abilities.  The problem is that GMs have no idea how to handle money.  They’re like 7 year olds in a candy story.  They’re ready to blow their stack on to the first thing that draws their eye without a single thought.  Don’t just take my word for it, let the numbers talk.

The NBA’s salary cap took a very dramatic hike this year.  The salary cap was at $70 million in the 2015-16 season and jumped to over $94.1 million.  That’s about a 34.4% increase.  This calculation is apparently sorcery to most GMs so I’ll outline how percentages work for these slow fools.  You can calculate the percent increase by taking the difference (24.1 million) and dividing that by the current year (in this case it was 70 million).  I apologize for troubling most of you with 3rd grade algebra but this apparently has gone over the heads of most of these idiotic talking heads.

It’s really embarrassing that I have to beat a dead horse here, but GMs clearly don’t know how percentages work.  If the price of a candy bar increase from $1.00 to $1.35, you pay $1.35 for it.  You don’t say screw it and pay $3 for that candy bar.  That’s not how things work.  Wes Wilcox (former ATL), Ernie Grunfeld (WSH), Chris Wallace (MEM), Donnie Nelson (DAL), David Wohl (LAC), Rich Cho (CHA) and above all, Sam Presti (OKC) & Neil Olshey (POR) YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THINGS WORK!!!!!!  AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!  I can’t even begin to describe how much your stupidity hurts my brain.

There are certain franchises whose owners don’t care about luxury tax (aka Dan Gilbert) so you can pretty much pay whatever salary you want to players.  Most teams have some kind of restriction.  They can still put together championship caliber rosters, they just can’t be complete idiots.  The decisions below are the reasons why Cleveland and Golden State have such easy paths to the playoffs and won’t be challenged (outside of the Spurs and possibly the Celtics).

The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the most consistent teams in the NBA over the last decade.  They have the second longest active playoff streak behind the Spurs and always seem to have 3 talented players.  They started out this streak with Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith.  Smith eventually became Paul Millsap, Johnson became Jeff Teague, and Teague & Horford became Dennis Shroder and Dwight Howard this year.  Instead of using his extra cap space on another all-star caliber player, Wes Wilcox decided to give Kent Bazemore (7.4 ppg, 42.3 FG%, 2.8 rpg) 16.9 million in the 17-18 season, 18.1 mil the next year, and a player option for 19.3 mil the next year.  A guy who would be on the bench for most teams is making 18 million a year over the next 3 years.  This is why the Hawks can’t contend with Cleveland.

Chris Wallace is just as bad.  Wallace’s team could’ve actually contended for the title this year if he had some common sense.  Most people will get on him for the Mike Conley contract, but at least Conley makes his teammates better and was clutch this postseason (24.7 ppg, 48.5 FG%, 7 apg).  The real problem is Chandler Parsons.  Parsons is making more than Marc Gasol this year and will make more than him next year (16-17 = 22.1mil, 17-18 = 23.1mil, 18-19 =24.1 mil, and 19-20 = 25.6 mil).  Normally you get players like Parsons at a discount when they’re coming off a down year.  Wallace decided to pay an uber premium despite being one player away from a title contender.  The trio of Conley-Gasol-Randolph is pretty good.  Imagine what they’d be able to do with another all-star caliber player or a superstar like KD?

Taking the cake though are Sam Presti and Neil Oshey.  While the other GMs on this list only had one stupid contract, these two decided to go the extra mile and screw their teams over with 2 horrendous contracts.  Presti has 43.5 million tied up in 17-18 on Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo.  This total increases to 45.2 million in 18-19 46.8 million in 19-20 and 48.5 million in 20-21.  Thunder fans can say goodbye to Russell Westbrook after next year since there is no way on earth he’s going to want to play with this nonsense.  Oshey decided to spend his money on 2 perennial backups: Evan Turner & Allen Crabbe.  These two superstars average a COMBINED: 18.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.7 apg aka a bad LeBron James game.  Their salaries add up to 35.6 mil, 37.2 mil, and 37.1 mil over the next 4 years meaning that Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum will be rendered useless for the rest of their 20s.

In short, these NBA GMs suck.  They need to go back to 3rd grade math since this nonsense is inexcusable.  Gar/Pax, you might be feeling lonely since I didn’t include you guys.  You are an entirely different breed of stupid.  FIRE FRED HOIBERG!!!  Once again FIRE FRED HOIBERG!!!!!  I’m not sure if you know how to fix the Bulls or not, but the answer is simple: FIRE FRED HOIBERG!!!!!!!!!  Thanks for your time everyone and enjoy the rest of your day.

By: Milap Mehta

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