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One on one: Bucks overpay for Greivis Vasquez?


One on one: Bucks overpay for Greivis Vasquez?

The start of the 2015-16 season remains several weeks away, which means there is time for reflection on what the Washington Wizards accomplished and a chance to look at the NBA road ahead. For the next couple of weeks, CSNwashington.com Insider J. Michael and Wizards correspondent Ben Standig will examine various issues and answer questions as the Wizards move toward a possible third straight playoff appearance.

Seeing as we recently talked about a former Georgetown star, we must provide equal time for an ex-Maryland standout. ... The Bucks gave up a first round pick for Greivis Vasquez. Good move or overpay?

J. Michael: Both. Vasquez didn’t have a great season in Toronto, because the Raptors had too much redundancy with Lou Williams coming off the bench with him. Williams, who won 6th Man of the Year in his only season there but only helped them win one more game (49),  eroded Vasquez’s output.

I thought Vasquez’s value on the market would take a hit because of that, and my initial thought was that giving up a first-round pick probably was more than was necessary. However, look at the Bucks’ roster now with Greg Monroe. This is a possible top-four seed that can advance out of the first round of the playoffs and maybe deeper because the East is wide open.

If so, that first-round pick might come later which makes shipping that pick more digestible. No doubt, the Raptors got great value for Vasquez. The Bucks enhanced their bench and have a guard who can start if needed and get buckets. This is a rare case where everyone wins.  

Ben Standig: There is no fun in agreeing with J. Michael, but that's the case in this instance. Well, almost. 

Vasquez's energy and sky high confidence will help a team loaded with kids including Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo navigate the grind of an 82-game regular season. He provides coach Jason Kidd with a viable point guard and 3-point shooting threat on those nights Michael Carter-WIlliams proves ineffective. His backcourt size means Milwaukee can play big all over the court. Combined with Greg Monroe, another newly added veteran, Vasquez shows the Bucks are serious about contending this upcoming season. With the uncertainty in the East behind the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, this isn't a bad year to be bold.

The thing is, this might be Vasquez's only season in Milwaukee. He's entering the final year of a contract that pays him $6.6 million for the 2015-16 campaign. Maybe his presence helps push Milwaukee into the East's top-4. Maybe not. In some order (to be determined) I've got the Cavaliers, Bulls, Wizards, Hawks, Heat and Raptors ahead of the Bucks with the Hornets, Celtics and Pacers improving since last year. Even if Milwaukee makes some level of leap, how deep do they need to go in the postseason to justify giving up a 2017 protected first round pick (and a second rounder in 2015) for one season of Vasquez? 

There is legitimate justification available for the trade. Folks might feel differently next April if the Bucks are bounced in the first round -- or don't make the playoffs at all.

RELATED: Wizards' Dudley updates injury status

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

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Elena Delle Donne the favorite to win WNBA MVP, according to league GMs

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne is one of the best players in the WNBA, and thus is always in the discussion for MVP honors. 

And heading into the 2019 season, league GMs give her the best chance of anyone to actually hoist the trophy when it's all said and done. 

In a WNBA.com survey of general managers, 42 percent picked Delle Donne to win MVP in 2019. Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury had the second-most votes at 25 percent, followed by A’ja Wilson of Las Vegas Aces at 17 percent then Las Vegas' Liz Cambage and Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun at eight percent. 

Delle Donne won her first and only WNBA MVP award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky when she averaged a career-high 23.4 points per game. And with the Mystics set to make another run at the WNBA title (58 percent of GMs predicted Washington to have the most regular season wins in the Eastern Conference), she has a great opportunity to get her second this season. 


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Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

Explained: What is an NBA supermax contract and how does it work?

As All-NBA teams are announced and franchises have to make decisions about contract extensions, fans will see the term "supermax contract" thrown around a lot. 

Here's a quick primer with everything you need to know about the NBA's most lucrative player deals. 

What is a supermax contract?

Officially known as the "Designated Veteran Player Extension," this rule allows teams to re-sign qualified players to maximum five-year contracts worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap with eight percent escalation in each subsequent year.

The length of the supermax deal depends on the player's years of NBA experience and years remaining on his current contract. 

  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has two years left on his contract is eligible for a four-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified player who has completed seven or eight years of service and has one year left on his contract is eligible for a five-year supermax (keeping the player with the same team for a total of six seasons)
  • A qualified free agent who has completed eight or nine years of service is eligible for a five-year supermax 

Furthermore, teams cannot trade a supermax player for the first year after he signs the contract.  

How much is a supermax contract worth?

Valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each subsequent year, these deals are mammoth money.

For example, the Wizards signed John Wall to a four-year supermax in the summer of 2017 when he had two years left on his contract. The supermax money begins in 2019-20 and pays Wall $38.15 million that year. With annual escalations, his supermax is worth $170.912 million over the four-year lifetime of the deal. 

According to a report by Yahoo's Chris Haynes, Damian Lillard—who has two years remaining on his current deal with the Trail Blazers and is expected to be named to an All-NBA team—will be offered a four-year supermax extension worth roughly $191 million this summer. 

Who is eligible to sign a supermax contract?

Very few players qualify for a supermax contract. First, only a player that has (or will have) completed eight years of NBA service by the end of his current contract is eligible to sign a supermax deal, which can only be offered by the team that drafted him or traded for his rookie contract. 

Then, a player must meet one of the following three criteria.

  • Be named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season or both seasons before it
  • OR, be named NBA MVP in any of the three previous seasons

Which players have received supermax contracts?

  • Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors
  • James Harden - Houston Rockets
  • Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
  • John Wall - Washington Wizards

Who could receive a supermax contract this summer?

Anthony Davis is already eligible for a supermax offer from the Pelicans. And depending on the All-NBA, DPOY and MVP selections, the following players also could receive supermax offers:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo - Milwaukee Bucks
  • Damian Lillard - Portland Trail Blazers
  • Klay Thompson - Golden State Warriors
  • Kemba Walker - Charlotte Hornets
  • Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
  • Bradley Beal - Washington Wizards 

What are the drawbacks to supermax deals?

The supermax contract was designed to help teams retain their players by allowing them to offer significantly more money than the competition; however, teams that offer such contracts are squeezing themselves in terms of salary cap room to fill out their rosters. 

No franchise can carry more than two supermax players at 35 percent of the cap each. Functionally, though, it's difficult for a team to have more than one.

Two supermax players would account for 70 percent of a team's salary in any given year, leaving the club virtually unable to sign a competitive supporting cast.