Last week the Houston Rockets announced that superstar centre Yao Ming was going to be shut down for yet another season due to injury. His inability to stay healthy halted what once looked like one of the most promising young careers in NBA history in its tracks.And now that he’s hurt and done for the year, NBA teams want to trade for him. Sounds crazy right? But with the bizarre way the NBA economic system is currently constructed, a hefty expiring contract like Yao’s, or the atrocious Eddy Curry, becomes a huge trade chip.
Yao is trade bait because of his $17.7 million expiring contract, but his situation is also better for interested teams because they can save $8 million in insurance by acquiring him.
There are lopsided deals in the NBA involving expiring contracts all the time because of the stupid clause that doesn’t allow teams to acquire more than 125% of the salary they trade away.
So instead of just getting promising young players and draft picks for a superstar they can no longer afford, poor teams often have to pick up dead weight expiring contracts to make the deals even.
Some of the teams interested in acquiring Yao evidently hope that he’ll be able to return to NBA stardom after rehab, but many are interested in trading for the big-man just to save money.
Here’s hoping the NBA and NBPA come to their senses during upcoming labour negotiations and get rid of these useless trade regulations.
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