UPDATED: Monta Ellis contract temporarily voided by NBA

Zach Lowe from Grantland with the reporting:

So, no real cause for concern, Monta Ellis will still be an Indiana Pacer, but it is a little embarrassing that the Pacers cap team managed to screw this up. Let’s try and take a rough look at why this may have happened:

After David West declined his option and the Pacers traded away Roy Hibbert without taking back any salary from the Lakers, the Pacers had nearly $37 million in salary for 7 players. With the salary cap at $70 million this season, the Pacers have $33 million remaining.

Here’s a rundown of the Pacers off-season moves and their estimated dollar amounts:

Signed Monta Ellis to a 4-year deal that will pay him $10.3 million his first season.

Re-signed Rodney Stuckey to a 3-year deal that will pay him around $7 million this year.

Traded Damo Rudez for Chase Budinger, who will be paid $5 million this season. ($3.7 million more than Damo.)

Signed Jordan Hill to a 1-year contract worth $5 million.

Signed Myles Turner to his rookie contract that according the league’s rookie scale will be very close to $2 million.

Signed Joe Young to a 4-year contract that will pay him around $1 million in year one.

Re-signed Lavoy Allen to a 3-year deal that will pay him around $4 million per season.

So, if we add up all these estimates up: we have an increase of $33 million to the Pacers salary which is exactly at the salary cap of $70 million total. Since there was an issue with the cap, we can assume that my estimates were short of the actual total and the Pacers currently have a total salary of just over $70 million with a roster of 13 players.

Because of various, strange, complicated rules of the NBA Salary Cap, these same transactions would be no problem as long as they are put in a different order then however the Pacers filed them into the NBA.

I’m not completely clear on all of these rules, but from my understanding (or I could be completely wrong about all of this) the Pacers needed to file the Lavoy Allen contract last. I believe that as long as that move is the last one; the team is fine within the rules of the cap. This is because Allen’s contract last season gave him a cap hold of only $1 million (which is much lower than his new salary starting next season) and the Pacers are allowed to go over the salary cap line to sign him because the team hold’s his Bird Rights (another complicated matter for another time.) So the Pacers would be at about $67 million after completing all of those other transactions before signing Allen’s contract, and then would go over that cap line within the rules due to holding his Bird Rights.



So, my guess is that the second column in the contracts that the Pacers used for their free agents since they go over $70M (my estimates ended up being fairly close!) without Lavoy Allen’s cap hold. That would cause the issue of Ellis’ contract being temporarily voided if they didn’t wait to sign Allen last.

Another Update from Tim Donahue of 8 points, 9 seconds:

ANOTHER UPDATE: This time from Scott Agness from Vigilant Sports saying that it’s all been resolved and Ellis is officially a Pacer:

Thanks, for sticking through that salary cap talk. Here’s your reward: A video of new Pacer, Monta Ellis, explaining that he has it all.


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