October 4, 2008 12:05 AM
Tinsley deal wouldn't be attractive economically
By Chris Tomasson
Rocky Mountain News
Yes, character issues have to come into play. But what could be the ultimate reason the Nuggets apparently won't acquire banished Indiana point guard Jamaal Tinsley for guard Chucky Atkins and center Steven Hunter?
Money, of course.
The Nuggets last summer gave away center Marcus Camby and his $10 million salary-cap number to the Clippers for next to nothing to avoid luxury-tax hell. Do they really want to risk eventually putting themselves back to where they were?
The New York Post reported Friday the Nuggets would acquire Tinsley pending the point guard passing a physical. The story was refuted by Nuggets coach George Karl and Hunter's agent, Mark Bartelstein, although a source did tell the Indianapolis Star there remains a "possibility'' of the deal going down.
If the Nuggets were to make the trade, they would risk again having serious luxury-tax problems, especially in 2010-11, when Tinsley is making $7.5 million in the final year of his contract and the deals for Hunter and Atkins will have expired. Tinsley is due to make $6.75 million this season and $7.2 million next season.
If the Nuggets were to make the deal, this season pretty much would be a wash since Hunter makes $3.86 million and Atkins $3.24 million (a combined $7.1 million).
Next season, if the Nuggets plan to keep Atkins, it also would be a wash in such a deal were made. Hunter is due $3.7 million and Atkins $3.48 million (a combined $7.18) million. However, Atkins only has $760,000 of his contract guaranteed so the Nuggets would take on an extra $2.74 million if they're planning to let Atkins go and acquired Tinsley.
However, where the Nuggets really could be hurt financially by a Tinsley deal would be 2010-11, when the contracts for Hunter and Atkins will have come off the books.
Consider who's already under contract that season for the Nuggets:
--Carmelo Anthony, $17.15 million.
--Kenyon Martin $16.55 million.
--Nene $11.36 million.
--J.R. Smith, about $6 million.
That's four players making about $51 million. Also consider the Nuggets may have forward Linas Kleiza, who is more likely than not to have a new Denver contract start in 2009-10, making a salary in the neighborhood of Smith's.
If Tinsley's $7.5 million were thrown in that season, the Nuggets could be staring at six players making an amount not all that far from $65 million. And it should be noted none of this considers the possibility, albeit a remote one, that guard Allen Iverson would be on the payroll in 2010-11 at the age of 35.
The Nuggets gave away Camby to regain some financially stability. Do they really want to risk potentially returning to their former state in 2010-11?