SH Blog: Rondo expects to win NBA title, plans to beat Jeremy Lin “pretty badly”

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Today’s major news might make you very sad: Sasha Vujacic is no longer in a relationship with Maria Sharapova. Actually, most guys are probably happy to hear of this development (or not give a damn). In equally important news, former 90210 stars Jennie Garth and Luke Perry are not dating as previously thought.

Jokes aside, we do have some very interesting material in today’s news, including a slew of noteworthy quotes from Rajon Rondo, an explanation of Dwyane Wade’s beef with Erik Spoelstra during the playoffs, the predictions of Lakers fans and more:

  • Rajon Rondo said plenty of attention-grabbing things in his recent interview with The Standard (via Hoops Hype). My favorite? He expects to beat Jeremy Lin “pretty badly” in the upcoming season: “Boston guard Rajon Rondo said he expects the Celtics to unseat Miami and win the NBA title in the coming season. The NBA’s assist leader last season said he likes Boston’s offseason additions. ”I think because we have a talented group of guys… the additions of Courtney Lee, [Jason] Terry and Jeff Green,” Rondo said. ”We have high expectations every year… I think we got a lot better than last year.” Rondo didn’t talk much about Ray Allen leaving Boston to sign with rivals Miami Heat for less money — except for saying, “he’s fine”. The Celtics guard was somewhat skeptical about the new lineup of another rival team, the L.A. Lakers, who now feature stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Rondo said they’ve done nothing yet and it’s all on paper. The Celtics All-Star also said he expects to beat Jeremy Lin “pretty badly” when Boston meet Lin’s new team, the Houston Rockets, RTHK reports.”
  • Rondo also discussed why he loves basketball fans in the Phillippines, and that he used to play basketball in sandals all the time. Ethan Sherwood Strauss of Bleacher Report has the interview: “B/R: You talked about being interested in the basketball culture in the Philippines. I was wondering: What made you interested in that culture? RR: Just common sense. The fans are crazy there. It’s unbelievable how many Celtic fans are there, how many Rondo fans are there. They bleed basketball. It’s like being home in Boston, but kinda on steroids. Population of about 93 million, and they show a lot of love. A lot of fans understood the game of basketball, and I think they could relate to me because I’m not the biggest guy on the court, but I play with a lot of heart. B/R: I hear that they play in sandals. Did you see any of that? Could you ever see yourself playing in sandals? RR: As I grew up, I played in sandals. I played in flip-flops all the time back in the day. That’s why I didn’t really care about spraining my ankles. When I first started in the NBA, I loved low-cuts. I can play (in them), because I used to grow up playing in flip-flops all the time.”
  • Zach Lowe of SI provided more interesting information, thanks to a system called SportsVU (which you can read about by clicking on the link). Here is the scoop on who is most likely to take a shot after touching the ball at the elbow: “Kobe Bryant (57 percent of touches), Serge Ibaka (61 percent), Leandro Barbosa (!) 55 percent, DeMar DeRozan (!!) 58 percent, Monta Ellis (47 percent) and Mike Dunleavy Jr. (47 percent). Each of those guys touched the ball at the elbow fewer than three times per game, save for Kobe, who got it there a hair more than five times per game in the recorded sample. Ibaka touched the ball at the elbow just 1.16 times per game in 55 recorded games, meaning it’s clear he’s supposed to shoot when he receives it there, mostly in pick-and-pops. Bryant, DeRozan and Ibaka each shot around 41 percent on these attempts, placing near the bottom of the field-goal percentage rankings. Among big men who got the ball at the elbow a lot, the most likely to shoot included: Dirk Nowitzki (40 percent of touches), Amar’e Stoudemire (42 percent), David West (41 percent) and DeMarcus Cousins (45 percent).”
  • From the same Lowe article, Ty Lawson and Andre Miller were ranked among the best point guards that created the best possible shots for teammates when they drove to 10 feet or fewer from the basket from 20 feet or beyond. Jeremy Lin was even better. Brandon Jennings? Not so much: “Andre Miller and Lawson ranked among the half-dozen “best” point guards in the league by this standard, with 67 percent of Miller’s potential assists and 56 percent of Lawson’s leading either to threes or shots at the rim. Only Jeremy Lin (68 percent) had a higher percentage of potential assists fall in those areas, a fact I suspect Houston’s geeky brain trust is already aware of… A point guard who does not fare well by this “potential assists” measure: Brandon Jennings, up for a contract extension before Oct. 31. Only 49 percent of Jennings’ potential dimes led to either layups or threes, a very low number, while 39 percent alone went to long two-point jumpers.”
Ahead of schedule. Cavs heading to CLE Tuesday. Kyrie should be ready for camp Oct. 1. RT @ How is @ coming along?
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Sam Amico
  • Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets

    Ryan Anderson credited Stan Van Gundy for making him the player that he is today, while also admitting that he was a restricted player with the Magic. Here is a piece of his interview with Yannis Koutroupis of Hoops World: “I had an amazing three years with Orlando,” Anderson said. “I learned so much as a player with that team and I’m really, really grateful to have spent those three years being coached by Stan Van Gundy, a guy who really challenged me and made me the player that I am now. Just having him give me the confidence that he did, especially last year. He always had faith in me but he always pushed me really hard, more than any of the other guys really because I think he expected a lot out of me and it’s a good feeling from such a great coach to have that coach have so much faith in you… It was a great city to play for and I feel really blessed to have spent three years in Orlando, but transitioning to New Orleans, I think is a great opportunity for me to go through some change. I think I’m ready to venture out and play a different role and have a little bit more freedom playing in New Orleans. I was restricted a bit in Orlando.”

  • Ira Winderman of South Florida Sun-Sentinel pointed out some notable content from Dwyane Wade’s new book, including an explanation of the infamous heated moment between Wade and Erik Spoelstra during last season’s playoffs: “Wade discusses his confrontation with coach Erik Spoelstra in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers, stressing that a balky knee minimized his coach’s possible intent of the moment. “He might have been trying to see what would happen if he could get me to play mad, which is when I usually play well,” he writes. “But this was me playing frustrated, very different from playing mad.” He writes effusively of the championship contribution of Spoelstra, whom he says, “opened my eyes to new lessons of what being a champion is all about.”
  • Who are the smartest spending teams in the NBA? Kurt Helin of NBC Sports breaks it down with help from businessweek.com: “Bloomberg’s businessweek.com decided to do that kind of study (for all four major sports) but tried to take a big picture view — they looked at the last five years and they gave bonuses for finishing over .500 and winning playoff games and championships. So how did the NBA shake out? Here is their top 10: 1. Lakers 2. Celtics 3. Heat 4. Magic 5. Spurs 6. Thunder 7. Mavericks 8. Hawks 9. Nuggets 10. Bulls. Looks to me that by adding weight to playoff wins you basically made this a “win and you’re at the top” contest. The Lakers have been one of the biggest spenders (because they have the revenue to do it) but to be fair have been smart about it and won titles. Boston and Miami much the same, and Dallas has been the biggest spender of them all up until last season.”
  • Mike Bibby is unlikely to be re-signed by the Knicks, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York: “A source close to Knicks unrestricted free agent Mike Bibby told ESPNNewYork.com that it’s unlikely the veteran point guard will return to New York. ”We do expect a need for him [with a team] once camp starts or just before,” the source said, “but we don’t think it’s going to be with the Knicks.” The Knicks can afford to re-sign Bibby because he’s open to the veteran’s minimum, which is what he made last season. But the team now has four point guards on the roster:Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Chris Smith, J.R. Smith’s younger brother. (Chris’ contract, for now, is only for training camp.)”
  • The Knicks’ uniforms will have a slightly different look for the upcoming season, according to Marc Berman of New York Post: “Months after the Brooklyn Nets’ new black-and-white hip color scheme and uniforms have gained popularity, the Knicks have made alterations to both their home and away uniforms. Their new jerseys will be unveiled next Thursday, a club official said. Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler will model the new jerseys, though one person familiar with the situation said the change is “not major.’’ The last time the Knicks had significant uniform alterations was 2001, when a thick bands of blue on the sides were removed. The Knicks’ color scheme has been orange, blue and white — the city’s official colors — except for 1979-83 when red was added. The change is also an attempt to sell more jerseys but their leading jersey-seller last year, Jeremy Lin, is now with the Rockets.”
  • Lakers fans are obviously expecting big things from their super team for the upcoming season. In fact, 87 percent majority of fans believe the Lakers will win the championship, from Mark Medina of Los Angeles Times: “At a time of skepticism over our nation’s future, here’s one thing leaving Laker fans optimistic. The purple and gold will win the 2013 NBA championship. Based on a series of poll questions, there’s very little sapping the enthusiasm of Laker fans. There’s an 87% majority of fans who say the Lakers’ title chances are already a foregone conclusion. A 38% plurality simply gush over the Lakers’ overwhelming talent in the Lakers’ Fantastic 5 starting lineup. Even 50% believe the Lakers will collect 64 to 72 wins, meaning many expect the purple and gold at least to be within striking distance of matching the Chicago Bulls’ 72-win record set in the 1995-96 season.”
  • Sasha Vujacic has broken up with the uber-popular tennis star Maria Sharapova, according to Deadspin: “Did you remember Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic were dating? Neither did we. But somehow they were together for two years and were all set to get married in November. Well, Sharapova shot down the marriage rumors a few days ago and didn’t tell us why. And now Vujacic tells La Gazzetta dello Sport that the relationship is off, and it’s been that way for three months. This helps explain why Sharapova left him out of her victory speech after winning the French Open in June (Vujacic was in Turkey, where he’s still playing).

Don Nelson wishes he could coach Rubio and Love 

Blake Griffin’s knee ready for action


Tweet of the Night: Shane Battier

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Yao Ming RT @: @ Best player you played with other than lebron and dwade
@ShaneBattier
Shane Battier

This is somewhat of an interesting answer. Most would logically think that Yao Ming was the best player Shane Battier played with in his career (assuming Tracy McGrady was too fragile to consider by the time Battier joined the Rockets), but lets not forget that Battier also played with Pau Gasol in his first five seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Grizzlies were swept out of the first round every time they made the playoffs (three times to be exact) during their time together as teammates. It could also be that by the time Battier joined the Rockets, Yao was playing the best basketball of his career, topping out at 25 points and 9.4 rebounds in the 2006-2007 season.

If you compare the careers of the two players, though, the numbers are awfully close – both hovered around 19 points on 52 percent shooting, nine rebounds and close to two blocks. Yao may have had the edge in scoring, but he was never the type of facilitator that Gasol was, nor did he have the same level of mobility on the defensive end. Yao certainly had more presence and star power than Gasol, but was he the clear-cut better player? Probably so in his healthy state, but it’s still debatable, given where both players’ careers have ended up.

Here is a comparison of how they fared against each other in 23 career games.

Nate Robinson surprised by his rank on ESPN

Deron Williams plays one-on-one with a fan 


SH Blog: Don Nelson to join Hall of Fame, wishes he could have coached Rubio and Love

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As we slowly prepare ourselves for an exciting upcoming season, it’s good to have an idea of who is still left on the market and what teams can go after them. Who still has enough cap room or trade exceptions to land a player of relevance? Moke Hamilton has all the details on the subject.

On to today’s news, soon-to-be Hall of Famer Don Nelson had plenty to say about a wide range of topics, including his former player Monta Ellis. You’ll also find out how the Knicks can open up their terrible offense this season, along with plenty of entertaining videos below (you may want to plug your ears when Charles Barkley tries to sing):

  • Don Nelson discussed his joy of joining the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, among other things with Laurence Scott of Warriors TV in this video.
  • Nelson also spoke in detail about how Monta Ellis was not ready to handle the duties of a point guard when he was a younger player, from Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area: “I really like what they’ve done. As much as I love Monta I thought he was – just because of his size and not his ability, a 6-3 two guard – it’s very hard to win with a small two guards in our league. When I first had him, I tried to get him to think more like a point guard – if he could ever be a point guard. “He did have the ability to pass. He does have that. He’s doing more of that now. But you know, a player has to be willing to see that and to do those things. His approach when he was younger was a like a lot of guys. He’s not ready to do that. So he was going to be what he was. But now he’s more of an all-around player than I’ve seen out of him. “He is passing more and seeing players. He’s a good teammate now. When he was young he was just … he thought he was so dominant that he could do all these things that we witnessed that he can do. He can get you 35 (points) in a game and that’s what he wanted to do. Now that he’s maturing, he’s a better basketball player.”
  • Don NelsonOne more thing of note about Nelson: he hates isolation plays and wishes he could have coached Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, from Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee: “He despises the isolation game he once so effectively exploited; considers the European system of cutting, movement and passing as more appealing that the modern NBA diet of dribble-heavy, one-on-one play; regards his close friend, Gregg Popovich, as the league’s premier coach; and admits that he desperately wanted the Minnesota Timberwolves job that went to Rick Adelman – “I would love to have coached Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love” – but insists his career victory total will stay at 1,335.”
  • Zach Lowe of SI (soon to be Grantland) explained how some newly acquired statistics on Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire could open up the Knicks’ offense. Here’s a bit of a scoop on Anthony: “Of all players who drove the ball at least 40 times in camera-recorded games last season, Anthony proved to be the most efficient of anyone in the league. The Knicks scored 1.66 points per possession on trips that included an Anthony drive (from 20 feet out to 10 feet in) at any point in the possession. Anthony shot the ball on 55 percent of those drives (53 total, in 17 recorded games), a pretty normal figure for a top player at any position. He drew fouls on 25 percent of his drives, one of the half-dozen highest numbers in the sample of 91 players that STATS sent along. (Among players who piled up more than a token number of drives, only James Harden drew fouls more often.) Anthony shot a hair better than 60 percent from the floor on driving attempts. But here’s the thing: Despite all those touches and more isolation plays than any player in the entire league (as a share of his total possessions, per Synergy Sports), Anthony only pulled off only 3.1 drives per game in the sample size. That mark was equivalent to the numbers for Chandler Parsons and Luol Deng, a bit below those for Kevin Durant (3.6) and Paul Pierce (3.7) and about half to one-third of the number that most point guards recorded.”
  • Gregg Popovich believes Kawhi Leonard is the future of the Spurs, from NBA.com: “GP: I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.”
Free agent F Josh Howard, a Winston Salem native, has been working out with Charlotte this week, sources tell Y! CHI, NY amongst interested.
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Good Morning everyone. Just wanted to share some good news. I will be plays for Panathinaikos, a Great team in Greece!
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  • Shaquille O’Neal wants to bring an NBA team to his hometown in Newark, New Jersey. Didn’t we just finish removing a team from there? Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger has the story: “Shaquille O’Neal, never shy to re-brand himself in the moment, didn’t hesitate to think of a new nickname to dub himself if the former perennial NBA All-Star can accomplish the latest goal he has in mind. “The black Ray Chambers,” he said. Chambers, a billionaire philanthropist, co-owner of the Devils and a former Nets owner, helped move the Devils to Newark. O’Neal, a native of the city, wants to deliver a professional team as well. “Yes, still working on it, still having conversations and still doing certain things to help beautify this city,” O’Neal said. “When the time is right, we’ll have a party. I don’t want to say things that are out of pretext or context. There’s things going on, we’re working on it, trust me. We’re working on it every day.”
  • Charles Barkley’s ability to sing rivals his ability to swing a golf club, as you will see in this video. Lucky for him, Boyz II Men come to the rescue.
  • Stephon Marbury has been sued in Richmond (via Slam), according to Aaron Kremer of Richmond BizSense: “A former star Georgia Tech point guard and NBA All-Star was sued in Richmond Circuit Court last week for defaulting on a loan on investment properties that included a commercial building in Petersburg. U.S. Bank, which is servicing a bundle of loans originally owned by Wachovia, sued Stephon Marbury and several of his investment entities — one of which is called Starbury GSA — for $3 million. Marbury’s nickname as a high school phenomenon was “Starbury.” The suit contends that, through the entities, Marbury bought industrial and office properties across the county, including one on Poplar Drive in Petersburg that was leased to the US.”
  • If you’d like the breakdown of a short list of noteworthy free agents for 2013, Kurt Helin of NBC Sports has it. Here is what he said about Chris Paul and Dwight Howard: “Chris Paul: The Clippers are doing everything in their power to keep him, to the point that CAA seems to run this team at points. They brought back Chauncey Billups for him, they have taken the young core and turned it into Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe with veterans like Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill. The “grow with the youth” plan is out. The smart money is that Paul re-signs with the Clippers. But he could look around the West, see the Lakers and Thunder, and decide the Clippers are not where he can win. And remember, Donald Sterling still owns his team so the potential for him to screw it up exists. Dwight Howard: He has to be on the list as an unrestricted FA, but there is little or no chance the Lakers do not re-sign him. He will want that. After his public relations disaster the past year, he doesn’t want to start the free agency public process up again.”
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie believes Mike Miller still has a trick up his sleeve, and it has nothing to do with his stroke: “Forget the idea of Mike Miller, designated shooter. The guy can still stroke, but on a team that just added Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, that sort of spacing isn’t as paramount any more. Nah, forget the bombs. Please welcome, if his body is up to it, the idea of Mike Miller the point forward. The designated passer. The skip guy. The extra dish after that up fake and drive that drove us so batty when Mike was passing up good looks from long range in Minnesota. The things that Allen and Lewis can’t do. Returning from debilitating injuries to try and line up at pressurized 25-footer after sitting on the bench stiffening up for 30 minutes of real time is a tough gig for one of the greats — and Miller, that 40 percent career shooter from long range, is one of the greats. Doesn’t matter. The new guys have one trick, you have two. Use the second trick to set up the other guy’s one trick.”

Blake Griffin’s knee ready for action

Rajon Rondo wants to be the best Celtics PG of all time 


Tweet of the Day: Nate Robinson

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Wow RT @: This ESPN rank is crazy. Steve Blake (5.2ppg, 3.3apg) is 239th and @ (11.2ppg and 4.5apg) 276th. #Underrated
@nate_robinson
Nate Robinson

Chicago Bulls point guard Nate Robinson learned something that was, at the very least, a surprise to him: Steve Blake is ranked higher than him by a gap of 37 players on ESPN. It should be a surprise because if we are looking at this from a production standpoint from the previous season, it’s not even close. Robinson was unquestionably the superior player based on performance. Both guards played just over 23 minutes per game, and here is a comparison of what they did with those minutes:

Nate Robinson averaged 11.2 points on 42.4 percent field goal, 83.2 percent free throw shooting, 36.5 percent shooting on 3-pointers, two rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 turnovers and 1.2 steals.

Steve Blake averaged 5.2 points on 37.7 percent shooting, 77.8 percent free throw shooting, 33.5 percent shooting on 3-pointers, 1.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.4 turnovers and 0.7 steals.

Presumably, other factors – leadership, maturity, defense, etc – were involved in coming up with these ranks. However, it’s difficult to see where exactly Blake holds such a strong advantage over Robinson, even if it’s a simple projection for the upcoming season. If you have an answer, please do chime in.

Deron Williams plays one-on-one with a fan 

Dwyane Wade does Q and A session


Hamilton: NBA Teams With Cap and Trade Exceptions

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As August ends and calendars are flipped to September, it dawns on you: NBA training camps will open in a few weeks.

Although the Summer of 2012 will ultimately be remembered for when the Los Angeles Lakers somehow managed to acquire two of the top prizes on the market, there are still quite a few free agents that could ultimately be the difference between your favorite team making a trip to the postseason or anxiously awaiting the results of the draft lottery.

My respective five best available players are Leandro Barbosa, Andray Blatche, Kenyon Martin, Lou Amundson and Mickael Pietrus.  And scores of others – including Matt Barnes, Rasual Butler and Josh Childress – are worthy role players.

As we draw closer to camp, taking note of which teams still have their midlevel, room, and biannual exceptions is a worthwhile endeavor. And to a lesser extent, the same can be said of traded player exceptions. Any of these four exceptions are assets that can ultimately result in the acquisition of a player who can help.

Just ask the Los Angeles Lakers, who used a traded player exception to acquire Steve Nash.

At this point, a surprising number of teams still have available money to spend. Here’s a full account.

Non-Taxpayer Midlevel Exception ($5 million)wizards small logo

This offseason was the first full one in which there were two midlevel exceptions. Entering this offseason, if a team had less than about $70 million in guaranteed salaries committed for 2012-2013, it was granted a $5 million midlevel exception. As usual, the exception can be used to sign one player or it can be split among multiple players. As of today, the only team in the league that has the entire $5 million exception available is the Washington Wizards. Each of the other teams that entered this offseason with the $5 million exception have used a portion of it.

The Milwaukee Bucks ($4.35M), Orlando Magic ($4.21M), Denver Nuggets ($3.33M), and Oklahoma City Thunder ($3.33M) have more than half of the exception remaining. The Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz each have approximately $2.5 million remaining, while the Memphis Grizzlies have $2 million.

Clearly, the Wizards, Bucks and Magic – and to a lesser extent, the Nuggets and Thunder – have the best chance of landing one of the best remaining players. Of those teams, the Thunder are the only one who can offer a shot at competing for a title. However, after recently signing Serge Ibaka to a rich extension, the prevailing thought seems to be that the Thunder will try to curb their spending. That seems especially probable considering that last season’s Sixth Man Award winner, James Harden, is entering the final year of his rookie-scale deal.

Taxpayer Midlevel Exception ($3.09 million)

Teams that entered the offseason with about $70 million or more committed in guaranteed salaries for 2012-2013 were allowed a smaller version of the midlevel exception. The Miami Heat used their taxpayer exception to sign Ray Allen, while the Los Angeles Lakers used approximately half of their exception to sign Jodie Meeks. As of now, the Lakers ($1.4 million) are the only team that has a portion of its taxpayer midlevel exception remaining.

However, after their busy offseason, the Lakers’ 2012-2013 payroll now sits at $100.7 million. This season, its projected starting lineup will earn a whopping $82.5 million. Maybe (just maybe), they’re finally finished spending.

Room Exception ($2.575 million)pacers small logo

The new “room” exception is a salary exception that allows a team to spend all of its room under the salary cap, and then, once at the cap, exceed it using the room exception. In other words, a team that entered the offseason with $8 million under the cap could sign a free-agent for $8 million, and then have the ability to spend an additional $2.575 million using this exception.

Ten teams still have the full exception available. They are the Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings.

Of the teams listed here, it’s probably safe to assume that the Indiana Pacers would be the most desirable destination, perhaps with the Philadelphia 76ers a close second.

Still, it’s worth noting that there’s nothing to say that teams have to spend this money, and we should expect to see some frugality with the new luxury tax era on the horizon.

Biannual Exception ($1.957 million)spurs small logo

The biannual exception is a familiar friend, though the rules that govern it were changed since the enactment of the 2011 CBA. It was only made available to teams who entered this offseason with less than about $72 million in guaranteed salaries committed for 2012-2013. It also is not available to any team that uses the room exception.

At slightly less than $2 million, the biannual exception doesn’t seem like much money when compared to the midlevel and room exceptions. But the minimum salary for a 10-year veteran is $1.35M, so that means that a veteran being paid with the biannual exception (as opposed to the minimum salary) stands to be paid 45 percent higher. That could make a difference with a veteran free-agent such as Chris Andersen, Rasual Butler or Derek Fisher.

Currently, 11 teams can use the biannual exception if they choose. They are the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

Traded Player Exceptions

A traded player exception (TPE) is a bit different than the other salary exceptions. The other exceptions can be used to sign free agents, but a TPE may only be used to acquire a player via trade. Despite this limitation, a TPE is a very valuable asset because it allows additional flexibility in deal-making. Under normal circumstances, if two teams are over the cap and wish to execute a trade, the salaries being sent and received must within a certain range in order for the trade to be allowable under the league’s CBA. By using the TPE, teams – under certain circumstances – may execute trades that otherwise could not have occurred.

A traded player exception is most commonly created when a team on one end of a deal trades a player to team that is under the salary cap. The Orlando Magic ($17.816M) currently own the biggest trade exception in league history after consummating their deal for Dwight Howard.

The Denver Nuggets ($13M, via Nene), Chicago Bulls ($5M, via Kyle Korver), and the Golden State Warriors ($3.3M via Ekpe Udoh) also have noteworthy trade exceptions.

Ultimately, this type of exception allows the team to execute a trade in which it accepts salary in return without trading any away. As always, there are rules and caveats (and expiration dates) that govern the exception. Nonetheless, the major point remains: a TPE is an asset that can help facilitate player movement and help a team build itself into a contender.

The 2012-2013 season is right around the corner. But until it actually begins, rest assured that some of these teams will spend some of their available money if they feel it will improve their chances of competing.

Moke Hamilton is a Senior NBA Columnist for SheridanHoops.comFollow him on Twitter.