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The Danger with Cap Space

December 12, 2011

NENECAP

So he’s probably one of the thickest non-North American figures you see. He also is included in one of the rather-elite group of one-named wonders like “cher”, “sting”, “elvis”, “madonna”, “ellen” and “prince”. The exception, however, those celebrities are worth billions combined in net worth and have changed the world in 1 way or another. “Nene” in this case, is more like an aberration coz I wonder why he deserves such a name.

Maybner Hilario – I bet most of you don’t know that – is his real name. He is 29yo, 250lbs and is measured at an inch shy of 7-feet. He is tough, he is heavy and the guy has skills. But he’s neither Dwight Howard on defense or is he Zach Randolph on offense. In fact, he’s neither. He is just a talented big man who has a power move here or there, and is one of the very rare breeds in the league you call “center” nowadays. But what is he really worth?

2 summers ago, the Portland Trail Blazers decided to shell out some $63M over 5 years on someone that was instrumental to the Orlando Magic’s success in the playoffs. The Magic finished the runner up, managing to win 1 game (almost 2 if Courtney Lee’s alley-oop-lay-in went in) against the LA Lakers. Hidayet Turkoglu, also a 1-name wonder in a sense, more famously known as “Hedo” all over the league, took what was the Blazers’ offer.

Why exactly did the Blazers offer that? They sure didn’t need a tweener forward at that time… I was told, that at that time, the Blazers felt they should pay someone for what would be their final year of having cap space for a long time. Better snag someone for overpaid money rather than sit on your cap space and not give yourself a chance to improve.

With all the bad luck surrounding the organization lately, namely the Roy forced medical retirement and the countless of Oden “setbacks” the Blazers pulled 1 rabbit out of the hat because Hedo ultimately cancelled his Portland signing and decided to sign with Toronto instead! And the rest as they say, is history. Its not hard to imagine that such an awful contract would still be tradeable more times than Dwight Howard. In fact, for you out there with short-term memory, Hedo was traded from Toronto to Phoenix, then subsequently from Phoenix to Orlando. Asked why Orlando’s Otis Smith did the unthinkable? The best answer we could come up was “better the devil you know…”

So assuming it was, for the life of me, yet an addition to the Blazers’ string of bad luck, the team would’ve been stuck with such a player (whom they didn’t really need at that time) on a monster contract, declining and succumbing to father time JUST BECAUSE THEY HAD CAP SPACE.

And so I lead you back to the present time where the Brazilian 1-named-1-testicled wonder called “Nene” is about to get paid a rich $69M contract over 4 years. He will be receiving something like 15M as his starting salary, and during the ripe young age of 32, will be paid somewhere around 21-22M.

US dollars and not Brazilian Real people.

Does Houston or New Jersey really do this? Really?

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