Tenet #1: The problem
This, of course, wasn’t a Woj bomb that I was expecting but I was relieved to see it nonetheless. We all know how Ryno was not performing up to expectations based off his salary averaging about $20 million per for the next two seasons.
He had slid from starter to deep on the Houston Rockets bench for not only his streaky shooting but for his ineptitude on the defensive end. Yes, he shot at a 38.6 percent clip for 2017-18 as well as averaging about five rebounds per game but that simply was not enough.
For a player getting paid that much, it was like squeezing blood out of turnip to try keep his production levels high. I’m positive it was a painstaking task for Mike D’Antoni and the rest of the coaching staff just to meet that objective as well.
Need more analysis on the Ryan Anderson trade? Take a listen to my guys Robert Land and R.G. Seal who give some honest dish:
The contract itself was an albatross on Morey’s neck and it stymied any type of flexibility the team could have to sign other free agents. If Ryno’s performance had warranted his retention, then this whole point would be moot but that’s not the current reality that we live in.
If Morey could take back the four-year, $80 million deal that he brokered back in the 2016 off season, he’d do so in heartbeat. But times were different just two seasons ago — the NBA had just received a windfall of cash from the new television rights deal that went into effect and Ryno’s contract was sort of a gamble but Morey thought he’d be able to absorb it over time.
Many expected the NBA salary cap to keep ballooning over the time but the exact opposite has happened instead with only modest increases since the exponential one some two seasons ago.
Since the 2015-16 season where the cap was at $70 million, the cap has increased to $94.1M (2016-17), $99.1M (2017-18) and finally $101.9M for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
With teams doing the bulk of their spending sprees at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, this has left few franchises far and in-between that actually have extra cash in the coffers to spend.
Luckily, the Suns do as they’ve continued to hoard it over the past few seasons and have kept spending to a minimum. Even with their additions from the Rockets, their costs remain relatively flat over the next two seasons with a slight bump of about $4 million in spending by acquiring Ryno.
This is why they’re the perfect trade partner for this type of proposal and that problem that had been glaring the Houston Rockets in the face has been solved.