The Golden State Warriors traded away bench players Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins to the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for cash and some protected second round draft picks they may never receive, yet they played the NBA trade deadline perfectly.
The Warriors needed to use the trades to erase roughly $1.2 million in salary commitments to get the team below the NBA's 70.3 million luxury tax threshold. Rather than bite the bullet and pay in an extra dollar for each dollar by which they exceed the luxury tax line -- and start the clock on the dangerous repeater provision -- they made those two peripheral deals to send out non-essential role players.
Now they can actually sign a player back to the roster for the rest of the season and still avoid the tax, as noted by Rusty Simmons of SFGate.com:
Avoiding the tax also affords the Warriors the flexibility to immediately sign a player for a prorated minimum of less than $300,000 while staying under the luxury tax threshold; use a full mid-level exception ($5 million) instead of a mini mid-level ($3 million) to sign a free agent this summer; or take on added salary in an offseason trade.
Here's how it all works. The amount owed in luxury tax is determined at the end of the regular season, and if a player is traded away before the end of the year, none of his salary is taxed. Now that over 60 percent of the season is finished, Golden State can sign a new player to a deal that only covers the remainder of the season, which means they can add a player and still avoid the tax.
Well played, Warriors. Well played.