Amidst the ongoing Jimmy Butler drama, an odd move was made Friday by the Miami Heat. While they have been rumored to be the likely landing spot for the disgruntled star, the Heat have come to an agreement that would appear to take a piece of the table in their negotiations.
Justise Winslow has agreed to a 3 year, $39 million extension with the Miami Heat, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow has agreed to a three-year, $39M extension, league sources tell ESPN. Roc Nation and Heat completed work on rookie extension ahead of Monday’s deadline.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 13, 2018
While at first blush it may seem that Winslow is now destined to remain in Miami for the foreseeable future, the length of the deal actually allows for a different option. Limiting the extension to three years immediately qualifies Winslow for an “extend-and-trade.”
This means that if the seemingly endless trade talks between Miami and the Minnesota Timberwolves are to come to fruition, Winslow could still be a part of the deal — but likely to a different destination.
According to Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ:
“Similar to a sign-and-trade arrangement... a team may sign an eligible player to an extension and immediately trade him to another team. Such an “extend-and-trade” is limited to three seasons, which include any seasons remaining on the player’s current contract.”
Coon’s FAQ goes on to note examples of extend-and-trades, including Kevin Garnett’s move to Boston and the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York. While rare, these types of trades do happen.
The extension also gives Winslow a significant raise from his rookie-scale contract. While not official lingo of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, this is often referred to as a “poison pill” contract — meaning that if traded, Winslow’s salary will be treated as the average of his remaining years for cap balancing purposes.
Coon explains it as follows:
The first is when a team extends a first round draft pick’s rookie scale contract and then trades the player between the date the extension is signed and the date it takes effect. When this happens, the player’s trade value for the receiving team is the average of the salaries in the last year of the rookie scale contract and each year of the extension. The sending team uses the player’s actual salary when calculating their total outgoing salary, and uses the current-year maximum salary in place of the (unknown) maximum salary for a future season, if necessary.
Here’s where the Sacramento Kings could come in.
Since Winslow will now require more matching salary, it suggests that Minnesota is less likely to take him on in a simple two-team trade. However, the “poison pill” aspect of a potential deal would have no ill affect on the ability of the Sacramento Kings to take on Winslow.
While it’s all speculation so far, this appears to be in line with the theory that neither Miami nor Minnesota can really afford Winslow’s pay day. The Heat are over the luxury tax and Minnesota is hard capped already, with a $190 million deal in place for Karl-Anthony Towns starting next year.
Again, here is Coon:
Such a player would be very difficult to trade -- a legal trade can only be accomplished if both teams add additional salary to the transaction, or if they include a third team that is able to absorb excess salary.”
Could the Kings be that third team? It’s hard to say, but we know for certain that Sacramento is the only team in the NBA currently under the salary cap. Could this be how the Kings utilize that space? It’s possible. Is Winslow the answer to the Kings woes at small forward?
For now, I’ll sit back with my tinfoil hat and just say that the timing is interesting.