Sign and Trades, Josh Smith and The NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement Explained

by | Aug 15, 2008 | 32 comments

With all that was surrounding Josh Smith and Detroit trying to land him this summer there were a lot of unanswered questions from a fans standpoint. Some Pistons fans wanted to know if the possibility of a sign and trade for Smith was possible with Atlanta for the budding superstar’s services.

Sure we may say we want the deal done, but The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement has the last word. So here is the question, can the Pistons legally pull off a deal with Atlanta for Smith?

Josh Smith Pistons
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Photo/Getty Images

Enter Dave Dial of MLive, who was nice enough to give us a detailed answer to the question.

“When Josh Smith signed that contract with Memphis, it prohibited any sign and trade for Smith. Either by Memphis or Atlanta. When Atlanta matched the offer, that made Smith ineligible to be traded for 90 days from the day he signed the contract, and also gave him one year of veto power on any trade. Meaning that Smith has to consent to any trade the Hawks could work out after the 90 days have passed. The rule is 90 days or December 15th, whichever is later.

Also, Smith automatically became a BYC player when he signed that contract. Which means that since the contract was reported as a 5-year 58 million dollar contract, Smith’s first year salary is 10 million dollars, so his BYC value(50% of the first years salary) is 5 million to the Hawks, but 10 million to any team he is traded to. With the rules regarding trades in the NBA, the receiving team would have to send out at least 7.4 million dollars in contracts(25% + 100k of 10 million), while the Hawks could only take back 6.35 million(25% +100k of 5 million). So there would have to be a third team, or extra players involved.

When the NBA raised the trade rules from 20% + 100k to 25% + 100k, it did make trades involving BYC players easier, but still difficult. Atlanta could add players to increase their outgoing total, but that total would also increase the other teams value, meaning they would have to send out more contracts too. But a trade going something like this could be worked out. Detroit sends Tayshaun Prince(9.5 million) and Amir Johnson(3.66 million) to Atlanta for Josh Smith(10 million-5 million BYC) and Speedy Claxton(5.7 million). That trade would work under the CBA rules.

Basicaly any sign and trade can’t happen, but if the Hawks(and Josh Smith) want to trade with Detroit, it would have to be after December 15th and would require a trade somewhat like the scenario I gave above.”

So there you have it Pistons fans.

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Big thanks to Dave Dial who didn’t just give me a quick yes or no answer to the question I posed. When he’s not keeping us updated on The Pistons over at Full Court Press, he’s probably brushing up on his CBA knowledge. Plus I think he’s got a cool name.


  1. ric

    no f-ing way were trading amir johnson. thats like lakers trading bynum (the healthy one).

  2. Dominic

    umm no Bynum is quickly shaping up to be a superstar young center. Amir is a fringe rotation player who last year had many DNP-CDs Josh Smith is almost a superstar already he blocks shots better than most power forwards, and is a defensive powerhouse. When you’re getting a player of his caliber Amir becomes expendable.

  3. ric

    umm yeah, amir didn’t get the same amount of minutes as bynum. would amir have the same stat as bynum did given amir the same amount of minutes play, ummm yeah (again). bynum average 28-29 minutes producing 13pts and 2 blocks while amir 12minutes producing 3-4pts and 1 block. argue about bynum’s injury as much as u want…but that wouldn’t change the fact that amir’s minutes is not even half of bynum’s playing time….also, no sense of arguing amir getting traded because he won’t, just ask joe and michael curry.

  4. Natalie Sitto

    Rick, we all like Amir but don’t think for one minute that if the right deal comes around he’ll be gone in a heartbeat.

    Just like the rest of the roster.

  5. ric

    c’mon nat, u should know is amir is similar to stuckey, joe would never deal him…they spent so much investment on the kid already to give him away.

  6. Natalie Sitto

    Ric, if it makes the team better and adds to the possibility of a Championship it’s a good deal.

    I simply can’t agree with you on this one. I can’t wait to see what Amir can do but this is a business and that comes first, no matter how much time and money they have invested in him.

  7. Steve

    Ric, no offense but compareing amir to bynum is just, well it the worst thing i ever heard in my life, amir is a LATE 50’S 2nd round draft pick if we can trade that for a budding allstar do it, amir isnt as good as u say he is, he will be a good bench player, never an allstar, i say get rid of him now for what u can get for him before hes exposed as jus a SKINNY average player.

  8. ric

    steve, saying “never an all star” for any nba player is beyond silly prediction, its worst. your talking about a 21 year old on his 3rd year, without being in a rotation….but then again, i just remembered its u steve that i’m talking to, and it’ll be a complete waste of time to contiue explaining it to u.

    nat, generally speaking everyone is up for grabs, not only every single player in pistons but all players in the nba, as long as contract permits….because just like what u said, this is business…but as far as preference is concern, by joe, amir would be one of the players he prefers to keep, pistons spent so much time/money developing this kid and it would make no sense after grooming him. if ur joe, would u go for josh smith trading prince and amir? i guess thats the question i should be asking u or/and the rest of u.

  9. Dominic

    Ric averaging a double double in under 30 minutes is impressive as hell. Sure amir can get stats in a short amount of minutes. But think about it he’s out there for 5 minutes. He is bristling with energy and has a full tank compared to the rest of the competition who have been out there for the whole game. Of course he’s going to get his hustle plays. It’s different when you’re out there for 30 minutes and still getting rebounds and blocking shots with ferocity. Bynum is on another level above amir. I agree with Steve on this one

  10. Dominic

    And yeah Smith for Tay and Amir? I would do that in a heartbeat. Prince is a better scorer than Tay and in some areas a better defender. Smith was a big reason Paul Pierce averaged just 18 points in the first rd. he held his own against him and if he had a better backup he would’ve scored even less. Amir..well he’s still raw and there is no guarantee he’s going to be something in this league other than a very good bench player. Sure he could blossom into a superstar but…Josh Smith is already a superstar and is only getting better offensively. He can drive the ball already and his jump shot is greatly improving. Put him in a good situation and he’s one of the best in the league I’ve always been high on Josh Smith and short of giving up the whole team, i’m willin to try anything and everything besides Stuckey…

  11. Dominic

    I mean Smith is a better scorer than tay….whoops

  12. ric

    thanks dominic….but out of all the people, i want to know what nat’s think…what’d u say nat, amir and prince for josh smith???

  13. Natalie Sitto

    Love for Amir aside, I would do the deal without even thinking about it.

  14. ric

    well there ya have it amir….

  15. ric

    since this deal can’t be done until december, lets see what happens with amir or/and with josh for the first 2 months of regular season……these are comments worth keeping

    “love for amir aside”
    “tay/amir for josh in a hearbeat”
    “skinny average player”
    “never an all star”

    i finally became one of the underdog on one of nat’s post…..its not bad. hehehe!

  16. Richie

    I lean in favor of keeping Amir. Mostly because we really don’t know what he’s capable of when given quality NBA minutes yet. People have argued that he hasn’t produced 30 minute games, but that has more to do with Flip Saunders than it does with Amir Johnson. I want to give him a chance under Curry’s system and some quality minutes before I’m ready to start comparing him to other players or deciding his value.
    I definately think that calling him skinny and average are WAY out of line.

  17. ric

    richie, people are entitled to their own opinion and certainly can say whatever they want, but i have the exact same point of view about amir, he was never given a chance which means, how do we really know what hes capable of.

  18. D3tro!t

    just like all of you8 io think amir is a great young talent but lets face it playing time aside, he didnt mature as quick as smith has. smith a neer superstar is the right fit for detroit he knows defence is key and doesnt have a bad offensive arsenal i might say so as well

  19. Steve

    Oh sorry everyone, my bad for calling a very late draft pick an average player.. Shit.. i dont even know who lebron james is cuz all i see is amir johnson! hes the greatest player to EVER put on a pistons jersey! AMIR FOR LIFE i got it tatted on my chest yalls..

    ric i said no offense to you and said i disagreed and u took offense then fired on me like a punk..

    its so goddamn funny cuz if i argued with any of you in real life u would all laugh cuz u would pick up my humor and sarcasm or u might be scared shitless on acount im not a small dude 6’1 250 yeah come out n play with the pittbull yallz

    peace im goin to get drunk i got a 5th of jager and beer pong callin me.

  20. Dominic

    i was never knockin on Amir ric, I love his game love his hustle and think he can be someone in this league. It’s just….man to understand why I want this trade to be done, you have to understand I have loved Josh Smith since I saw him throw down windmill dunks in his rookie year. I just kept thinking ‘This is the second coming of Dominique’ and he was a defender to boot. Dominique is my favorite old school player (I was also named after him) Then ‘Sultan of Swat’ starts averaging 2+ blocks a game this year and blossoms into a borderline superstar and I couldn’t be happier for him. Now we have a chance to get one of my favorite non-piston players and I want to jump on this deal faster than should be allowed. Josh Smith in a piston jersey would be a dream for me. Amir isn’t a bad player at all in fact I think he’s better than anyone Boston has on their bench.

  21. Richie

    Steve, I think you’re the one that’s taking offence here. Ric just said that it would be a waste of time to continue explaining it to you, which is true. Not everyone has the patience I do to actually explain things to you. See how Dominic defended his position? He gave his reasoning for how he felt, and made an attempt to see the opposing sides point of view. He was civil and understandable. He also didn’t brag about:
    +Being a big person
    +Being straight/Having “some females”
    +Playing football in high school
    +Living on a street with a single digit number
    +Or any other irrelevant mumblings that come to mind.

    I think you could learn something from him.

  22. Steve

    i am what i am and thats all that i am i am what i am im a hooligan -BIG B

    well goin to get shit faced peace

  23. Richie

    Good point, Steve…

  24. ric

    i for one love josh smith….in the middle of last season, i ask so many people, i think matt and keith langlois, if its possible to get josh smith….bottom line is no. amir/prince for josh smith is something i don’t prefer, but that doesn’t mean its not a good deal…i think its a win-win situation. but, what about other option, how about prince/xplayer. why doesn it have to be amir?

  25. mannie32

    to answer ric… no way in hell would i do that trade… amir has potential, but more so i wouldnt give him up AND tay… that would be absurd, in my opinion

    a lot of these people (not all, but most) who say they would do the trade havent followed the hawks enough to know what they’re talking about… they’re basing it pure on the highlights they’ve seen of smith and on his first round performance last year… do highlights win championships? well if they do vince carter would be a multi-time champ by now

  26. Dwaun313

    I usually just sit and read these post, but i gotta comment on this… Tay and Amir for JOSH SMITH?! Come on now people. I know we all love are Pistons and it’s hard 2 think of losen one of them, but this is just a no brainer. I don’t know if u all are actuall basketball fans, or just Pistons fans. Amir is not HALF as good as you guys are making him. I mean, i like the kid, dont get me wrong. But what u guys don’t understand is, he plays way more than what we see out there on that court. He is being watch in practice against his own team, and what Flip saw in him was potential, but not enough 2 trust him out there on the floor that long. We may not LOVE Flip, but the man knows basketball, and that kid just isn’t ready yet… So know, we pass a chance at a guaranteed future allstar, becuz we THINK he’s gonna be good? Man please! Send that kid packing and wish him the best. He’s not even a factor, when it all boils down, its wheter u rather have Tay, or Josh. And I’m sorry, but I’m going with Josh. My favorite play in the NBA is Joe Johnson, so i have had my eye on Josh, and that kid is the REAL DEAL…

  27. Richie

    Dwaun, my only problem is that you used Flip Saunders as the catalyst of your arguement. Flip was notoriously terrible at playing/managing his bench in general, let alone a 20 year old. That was the only real problem I had with him. He was playing Flip Murray as a back up Point guard 2 years ago while a 2-years younger Lindsey Hunter sat on the Bench instead of getting a steady 10-15 minutes like he easily could have. He showed no faith in Delfino, which caused him to grow frusterated and inconsistant. He played Maxiell for about 5 minutes in a loss against the Cavs in last years playoffs despite the dominant performance from Maxi in the previous game. Amir showed flashes of eye-popping numbers this year, like 5 blocks in 8 minutues & 8 boards in 8 minutes, but Flip still smothered his floor time (I would have much rather seen Amir out there than Jarvis). Amir has taken it all in stride & just wants to work & contribute. So I don't think that Flip is the best person to base bench player potential on. Joe D said himself that he was upset at the lack of playing time Amir got.
    Josh Smith is definately the real deal, and I think it's a very reasonable trade, I just don't think it's as much of a no-brainer as people others do.

  28. Dwaun313

    I cannot argue with u one bit Richie. You were very knowlegeble in your post, and I agree with u on the Flip and his ability 2 develope players. But my point was, he does know the game. And Amir is a good kid who we all wanna see do well, but i’m sorry, he’s just not that good. He is decent. But he, or Prince are not even in the top 200 players in the NBA, and Tay isn’t even in the top 100. Now Josh Smith, he’s in the top 30. I know the Hawks. I follow Joe Johnson all year, so while watching the games on NBA league Pass, and following them on the internet, and using them everyday on NBA 2k8, i get 2 see ALOT of Josh Smith. And he’s better than 2 Tayshaun’s and three Amire’s. And anyone who knows me, knows, I LOVE my Pistons. I have agrued and fought for them for years. And I am cool with us keeping the same team. But if this trade was possible, coooome oooon! You HAVE to do that! I know its not gonna happen tho, but its deffenitly nice 2 dream.

  29. Richie

    I see what you mean, Dwuan.

    “They may saaaay I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some daaaaay you’ll join us, and the woooorld will be as one.” ~John Lennon

  30. Dwaun313

    I am new 2 blogging, so I don’t even know if I just got insulted or not, lol. Either way, im enjoying connecting with fellow Pistons fans.

  31. Richie

    No, Dwaun, I did not mean to insult you. I meant to support you in that there’s nothing wrong with having a dream, even if it’s unlikely.

  32. D20juan

    We all have to remember something, We are all Pistons fans 1st, and tay-tay fans 2nd.
    If any of us want to sit and watch another year of almost, then go cheer for the cavs! Any trade that will make us younger and more athletic should be welcomed with open arms!! I would trade any of our top 4 for Smith, well accept mabey Sheed. Which by the way I just got a new kitty which we named Rasheed Wallace, A.K.A. SHEED!!!!!
    Nat: This website is crazy good for pistons fans, i hold a spot for need4sheed in my hall of fame!!


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