Why You Wait to Sign Jon Brockman

Sam Amick noted Sunday that the Kings have not yet signed Jon Brockman, though Brockman's agent believes something will get done by training camp. Some say the Kings are being cheap. But -- whether they mean to or not -- the Kings are actually being smart.

In a brilliant investigation of creative financing in the NBA this weekend, ShamSports discussed some issues the Heat and Magic faced last year.

[T]he Magic signed [journeyman PG Mike] Wilks to an unguaranteed contract for training camp, somewhat expecting him to make the team but absolving themselves of all liability if something better came along. However, during a preseason game on October 16th, Wilks tore his knee up. Badly. He completely tore his ACL, slightly tore his MCL, and badly sprained his meniscus, knocking him out for the season. Because he was under contract to the Magic at the time, the Magic were now liable for his salary until he returned to full health. (That's the rule. Same as any job, really.) And this meant his contract became guaranteed.

This happened with the Heat, too. Players get injured in the offseason all the time. By waiting until late September to sign camp fodder and second-round picks, you can minimize the calendar in terms of contract-guaranteeing injuries. There are a few risks, though.

First, Brockman could get pissed and find a deal in Europe. But it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. Second, if you really do plan on bringing the player in for a year or two, you may want to exert some pressure on his offseason training plan. You're better suited to do that if he's under contract. However, NBA jobs are in such demand that if you tell a kid like Brockman (who honestly doesn't seem to need much outside motivation) to get to this weight by this date, he's going to try to do it, contract or not. If he doesn't, well you probably don't want him in your program anyway.

Again, I'm not sure if this is why Brockman remains unsigned. Truth be told, the Kings do things pretty methodically, and maybe they just haven't gotten around to settling on a dollar amount for Brockman. (Second-round picks are not subject to a preset scale.) But waiting does have its advantages.

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