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Tuesday BirdFeed: Omer Asik trade official, Salmons and Order of Operations

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Omer Asik is introduced, playing with the order of operations thanks to Jrue Holiday, and Russ Smith is signed.

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Omer Asik Trade Official

The Pelicans have officially announced the acquisition of Omer Asik and Omri Casspi from the Houston Rockets. This afternoon the Pelicans had a press conference (first scheduled for noon, then 1, then 1:30, and finally kicked off just after 2) to introduce just Omer Asik.

As discussed yesterday, making this trade happen was a result of some pretty nifty salary cap management by Dell Demps. It appears that one national reporter has caught onto the complexity of what Demps accomplished. A positive report on the Pelicans? It is possible!

Order of Operations

Around the same time some interesting information was coming out concerning the Pelicans and the salary cap.

This has some ramifications on what Dell Demps may be able to accomplish, and if New Orleans still has the room exception. You may remember that last year the Pelicans were reportedly offering Greg Oden a $3 Million contract despite not having any cap space due to the moves so far introduced. A similar act of reordering operations could be taking place concerning the John Salmons signing. Let's walk through it.

First, the Pelicans must trade Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson into cap space. To accomplish this the Pelicans renounced their Bird Rights to Al-Farouq Aminu and Jason Smith. In addition, both Brian Roberts and Anthony Morrow signed elsewhere, so their cap holds can be removed. If the Pelicans renounce their Bird Rights to Darius Miller (this does not mean that he cannot be re-signed to a minimum contract) this is the Pelican cap situation.

Pos Age 2014-2015 2015-2016
Eric Gordon SG 26 $14,898,938 $15,514,031
Jrue Holiday PG 24 $9,904,495 $11,095,507
Tyreke Evans SG 25 $11,265,416 $10,734,586
Ryan Anderson PF 26 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Anthony Davis PF/C 21 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Alonzo Gee SF 27 $3,000,000
Austin Rivers PG 22 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
Scotty Hopson $1,450,878
Melvin Ely PF/C 36 $1,316,809
Alexis Ajinca C 26 $981,084
Luke Babbitt SF/PF 25 $981,084
Jeff Withey PF/C 24 $816,482
John Salmons (?) $1,911,234
Total $63,065,000 $56,025,650
Salary Cap $63,065,000 $66,300,000

Notice that at this exact moment the Pelicans have enough cap space to get extremely close (within $88,766) to the reported one year, $2 Million contract that John Salmons signed. The Omer Asik trade is an even trade for salary cap purposes. If Dell Demps orders the transactions as follows, he could still have the room exception available to bring another player on board.

  • Renounces Bird Rights to Al-Farouq Aminu, Jason Smith, and Darius Miller
  • Trades for Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson
  • Signs John Salmons to a 1 year, $1,911,234 contract
  • Trades for Omer Asik and Omri Casspi

At that point the Pelicans, as previously reported, would waive Omri Casspi. New Orleans would continue to have the Room Exception available to bring in another player at a contract beginning at $2.732 Million in this potential scenario.

This is not a report which states the Pelicans have renounced Miller. It is an examination of the options available to Dell Demps. The Pelicans would, hypothetically, have enough roster spots to accomplish all of this and sign someone with the Room Exception, Darius Miller, Russ Smith (see below), and Patric Young. Assuming Miller, Smith, and Young sign to minimum contracts, here is the final product with 15 players (the maximum allowed) under contract.

Pos Age 2014-2015 2015-2016
Eric Gordon SG 26 $14,898,938 $15,514,031
Jrue Holiday PG 24 $9,904,495 $11,095,507
Tyreke Evans SG 25 $11,265,416 $10,734,586
Ryan Anderson PF 26 $8,491,500 $8,500,000
Omer Asik C 28 $8,374,646
Anthony Davis PF/C 21 $5,607,240 $7,070,730
Room Exception $2,732,000 $2,854,940
Austin Rivers PG 22 $2,439,840 $3,110,796
John Salmons SF 35 $1,911,234
Alexis Ajinca C 26 $981,084
Luke Babbitt SF/PF 25 $981,084
Darius Miller SG/SF 24 $915,243
Jeff Withey PF/C 24 $816,482
Russ Smith PG 23 $507,336 $845,059
Patric Young PF/C 23 $507,336 $845,059
Total 25.14 $70,333,874 $60,570,708

Russ Smith Signed

New Orleans also announced the signing of Russ Smith. While terms, as per team policy, were not included in the announcement it is safe to assume his contract is similar to the one Jeff Withey signed last summer. That contract was for the minimum for two years, with the second year only partially guaranteed.

That is it for Tuesday. The Summer Pelicans do not play today and the Summer League "Playoffs" begin on Wednesday. We are inches closer to the long summer months without any real basketball news to discuss.