The Stretch Provision and Omer Asik

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Published: July 3, 2017

As free agency started for the New Orleans Pelicans, there have been two questions I’ve heard most prominently. For what amount will Jrue Holiday sign? And should the Pelicans stretch Omer Asik. The former we now know the answer to. But that latter is where confusion sets in.

The Numbers

Omer Asik is due around $25 million over the next 3 seasons. The stretch provision does exactly what it sounds like: it allows a team to stretch a money over a longer period of years to reduce the cap hit. You take double the number of remaining years and add one to it. So, in Asik’s case, it would be $25 million over seven years. That equates to a cap hit of around 3.6 million per season. About 7 million less than his cap hit for this year. That’s a good way to save some money and potentially add some flexibility.

Additionally, the Pelicans could buy out Asik’s contract for less than the 25 million and stretch that amount over 7 years reducing the future cap hit even further.

But that doesn’t matter just yet because…

The Pelicans Salary Cap

I’m going to simplify this some. Basically, after the Jrue Holiday contract, the Pelicans are at 108.5 million in salary. The cap is 99 million. So the Pelicans are operating over it. If you factor in the full Mid Level Exception of 8.4 million being used on one or multiple players, the Pelicans are at 116.9 million. The Luxury Tax line is 119.266 million. So the Pelicans are getting right up close to it.

The Pelicans will not pay the Luxury Tax unless they feel they are a championship contender. But hitting the Luxury Tax line and going into it during the offseason is okay. The Luxury Tax is computed on the last day of the season. So even if they start next year operating in it, that doesn’t mean they will stay there and have to pay.

So, as it stands now, operating as an above the cap team, the Pelicans have the Mid Level Exception of 8.4 million, the Bi Annual Exception of 3.29 million, and a Traded Player Exception of 3.517 and 2.09 million to absorb contracts in a trade.

What Stretching Asik Does

If the Pelicans, with their cap sheet today were to stretch Omer Asik they would save around 7 million.

And they would be able to use the Mid Level Exception of 8.4 million, the Bi Annual Exception of 3.29 million, and a Traded Player Exception of 3.517 and 2.09 million to absorb contracts in a trade.

I pretty much copied and pasted the above sentence.

Because they are an over the cap team, stretching Asik doesn’t open up any available avenues to operate in free agency.

There just isn’t any point in doing it right now. Near the trade deadline, if the Pelicans are in the Luxury Tax? Then absolutely they will look to get under, and stretching Asik may be the best way to do that.

But right now the Pelicans want to keep all options open as Dell Demps looks to improve this team, and stretching Asik doesn’t change a thing.

Keep Asik on the books for the time being, and use the approach of Buy Now, Dump Later.

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