Salaries, Depth, and the 10-20-15 Rule

Happy Tuesday. Sure it's an Amundson-less Tuesday, but hey, those Amundson poems were getting tougher and tougher to write. I mean, outside of "Almonds, son," it's not a very rhymey name.  

Player Dollars (in millions)
Chris Paul 14.9
Peja Stojakovic 14.3
Emeka Okafor 11.9 + 1.25 = 13.2
David West 8.3
Trevor Ariza 6.3
Darius Songaila 4.8
Marco Belinelli 2.4
Craig Brackins 1.1
Quincy Pondexter 0.9
Aaron Gray 0.8
Marcus Thornton 0.8
Mustafa Shakur 0.8
Free Agent #3 ---
Free Agent #4 ---
Free Agent #5 ---
Hornets Total
68, 444, 938
Salary Cap
58, 044, 000
Luxury Tax
70, 307, 000

There's the official At the Hive payroll projection. I've got Shakur and Gray marked at the minimum, though Shakur could be left off the roster entirely, come October. As you can also see, I've added in Emeka Okafor's expected performance bonus. There are still questions on that one too- I'm not sure if the entire amount is added to the cap, but I've kept it that way for now. 

Either way, yesterday's reports indicated that New Orleans didn't want to offer Lou Amundson more than $1.9 million. Adding that to total would result in a figure dangerously close to the $70,307,000 luxury. As it stands now, the Hornets can only afford to hand out minimum deals in the absence of a future Songaila deal.

The depth chart:

C. Paul

M. Thornton

T. Ariza

D. West

E. Okafor


M. Belinelli

P. Stojakovic

D. Songaila

A. Gray

Mustafa Shakur


Q. Pondexter

C. Brackins



I still can't envision New Orleans starting the year with Shakur/Belinelli/Thornton as Chris Paul's primary backups. I guess it's possible, but it's still more likely that a player like Earl Watson is offered the minimum. The roadblock Lou Amundson might have posed to Craig Brackins' development is also pretty clear. 

Continuing with the odds and ends, I want to toss out a note about the rebounding slash system. I've been using it a lot recently, and it essentially goes thusly: Offensive Rebounding % / Defensive Rebounding % / Total Rebounding %. As we've discussed a few times, rebounding percentage (offensive, defensive, or total) is one of the most consistent player statistics in the NBA. It's different from raw rebounding in that it adjusts for pace and total available rebounds (so it can account for games where the opponent might miss a ridiculous amount of shots, creating numerous extra rebound chances). 

So, for example, Lou Amundson's slash line from last year was 13/20/17, while Darius Songaila's was 5/15/10. It's a great way of comparing rebounders, since rebounding percentage stays very consistent regardless of team role or minutes played.

I haven't sorted through the numbers to get an exact definition of league average, but we can eyeball it at 5/13/9. Keep in mind, that's league average across all positions. Power forward/Center skews to around 10/20/15. And now that I think about it, 10/20/15 is a really easy figure to remember. 

The r-slash on a couple guys we talked about yesterday and a few more (all numbers career unless stated otherwise)

Earl Barron: 10/18/14
Josh Boone: 12/20/16
Aaron Gray: 14/21/17 (18/23/20 in 24 games with New Orleans)
David West, '09-'10: 6/18/12 (14/23/18 as a rookie)
Emeka Okafor: 12/25/18 (exactly the same in '09-'10)
Chris Paul: 2/13/8
Kobe Bryant: 4/13/8
Dwight Howard: 12/29/21
Dennis Rodman, 1995: 21/39/30

Yep, that last one is real. Rodman set the single season NBA records for ORB%, DRB%, and TRB% that year. All three marks still stand today. (As an interesting aside, Rodman also posted a hilariously bad 30% turnover rate in '95). See, this is fun! 


Lastly, keep up the great work in the comments section. Great discussions everywhere even with the complete lack of news. Stay rhymey y'all.

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