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Trading Tyson Chandler

The Tyson Chandler to Phoenix trade rumors that started on draft day are simply refusing to die out. I've been hearing vague things from non-Hornet sources, but a poster on HornetsReport (who also posted on draft day that the Hornets had serious interest in Collison) offers far more clarity.

"... [E]xpect these moves in the next 2-3 weeks.

1.) TC for Ben Wallace

Devin might be a part of the deal too although it is not a deal breaker either way but the Hornets have no use for him this year so they want to dump him in the trade. The only reason this trade hasnt gone through yet is because of Phoenix's holdup with the Amare trade. That is their #1 priority right now but both teams want to get the TC for Wallace trade done.

Last I heard... Hornets would love to do something between 3-5 million and he wants at least 8. So if this trade doesnt go down, that is the most likely reason."

I'd heard the same on the buyout hangup, but these concrete numbers are very interesting. It allows us to calculate the financial implications with a good degree of accuracy.

If you remember back to my post from a few days ago, I talked about the cap benefits of moving Antonio Daniels and Rasual Butler. The primary benefit I described was trading them for smaller salaries, via either trade exceptions or to teams under the salary cap. This Tyson Chandler proposal explores a new dimension of saving cap space- a new dimension that could render a Butler trade moot.

The trade would be Chandler straight up for Wallace. Trade Machine still hasn't put through the Shaq-Wallace deal, so I can't link to it. But the math is straight forward. Chandler makes 12,250,000 this year, meaning the incoming player can make a maximum of 15,312,500 (125%) this year. Wallace makes 14,000,000, so the deal works. The mechanism behind a buyout is simple. The Hornets would basically pay Wallace a portion of his 14M salary to sit at home (and retire, as he wants to). The buyout contract is the money that goes into the salary cap calculation.

So to calculate the money saved is equally simple. Take Chandler's salary and subtract the buyout deal the Hornets theoretically agree on. If the Hornets agreed to Wallace's supposedly desired 8 million figure, the Hornets would save 12.25 (Tyson) minus 8 (Wallace) for a total of 4.25 million. Yesterday, we came up with the calculation that the Hornets are going to be approximately 8.5 million dollars over the cap. The goal of any deal involving Chandler is that it should put us under the luxury tax in one fell swoop. Otherwise, it probably wouldn't be worth moving TC in such a sell low situation. So to save 8.5 million in a Wallace buyout, the Hornets would have to get Wallace to agree to a 12.25-8.5=3.75 million dollar buyout. This is exactly in line with the HornetsReport post that said the Hornets seek a buyout in the 3 to 5 million dollar range. The more money they save in a Wallace deal, the more they can spend on free agency.

Those are the financial ramifications, but how about the roster implications? By trading Chandler for Wallace, the Hornets would have two big men on the roster- David West and Hilton Armstrong. Two. They'd be right at the luxury limit, so George Shinn could be wary of using the full midlevel (likely what it will take) to acquire a Marcin Gortat. There would only be 12 players on the roster. Basically, they'd have 2 spots left (Scott doesn't like filling out the 15th player until late in the season). Both would have to be used on big men. The team would be a mess otherwise.

But the HornetsReport post also said that the Hornets still want Jannero Pargo. So a Chandler trade necessitates an Antonio Daniels trade, by default. The only way for the Hornets to clear a roster space to get Pargo is to trade Daniels for a big. That way, they'd use one of the two remaining spots on Pargo and the other on another big. Additionally, moving Daniels could provide salary relief in and of itself (trade exception, etc), if the Hornets choose to go in that direction.

I'll try and do a "Trading Antonio Daniels" post tomorrow, basically looking at where he could be dealt. For now, it's pretty clear that trading Chandler and trading Daniels go hand in hand.