The best part about the deal is how much cap space the Warriors freed up. First off, both Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson only have three years left after this season. Dunleavy and Murphy have four. So right there, the Warriors just shaved off about $22.5 million off the cap for the 2010-2011.
But even over the next three years, the Warriors will save money. Dunleavy and Murphy were scheduled to make a combined $57.38 million over the next three seasons. Harrington and Jackson will make $49.1 million. That’s a savings of $8.28 million! Add the 22.5 millionm and you’re at $30.78 million.
McLeod and Powell are both expiring contracts, so they cancel each other out as far as the future is concerned. So, assuming both team options on Diogu would have been picked up, the Warriors would have paid him $5.2 million over the next two seasons (after this season). Instead, they have Sarunas, who will get $4 million next season. There’s another $1.2 million saved, pushing the total to $32 million.
But check this out. Sarunas has a player option for next year. Say he decides he doesn’t want to play for the Warriors next season an opt out (remember, there was talk of him going back to Lithuania earlier this season), that’s $4 million the Warriors would save, which would push the total to $36 million.
Check this out: Harrington has a player option for 2008-09. If he decides to opt out, and take a big pay day with someone else, the Warriors will have saved another $10 million. All total, the Warriors could have shaved $46 million. When you consider the salary-cap move the Warriors made this summer by giving up Derek Fisher, which saved the Warriors $19.7 million, and you’d have to conclude Mullin is doing a good job correcting his past signing mistakes.
Perhaps most important, though, is the salary cap help this deal provides. While the salaries for this season the teams swapped are fairly close (the Warriors shipped out about $19.2 million and took in about $18.5 million), the Warriors freed up significant future space.
Dunleavy was in the first year of a five-year, $45 million deal that was going to pay him some $37.5 million over the next four seasons. Murphy has about $42 million coming to him over the next four years. McLeod will be a free agent at the end of this season. There’s a team option on Diogu’s contract each of the next two years, which if picked up will pay him $5.2 million.
Harrington – who signed a four-year, $35-million deal with the Hawks as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Pacers – will get a bit over $27 million the next three years. Jackson is due just over $21 million over the next three years. Jasikevicius has one year left for $4 million and Powell will be a free agent.
That’s about $31 million the Warriors have freed up, $32 million if you assume Diogu’s options will be picked up.