NBA Free Agency: CBA Facts about how the Antawn Jamison trade was facilitated

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With the Hawks acquiring and then waiving Antawn Jamison, we take a look at the details of this move.

To clear up any confusion on the trade deadline activity for the Hawks, the Hawks did not use their Disabled Player Exception. They also did not use any Cap Space because they have none. So what did they use? The Minimum Player Exception.

85. How are minimum-salary players handled in trades?

The "Minimum Player Salary exception" allows teams to acquire minimum-salary players without regard to salary matching under the Traded Player exception (see question number 82). For example, a team over the cap can trade a second round draft pick to another team in exchange for a minimum-salary player, even if he is a 10-year veteran earning over $1 million.

When a team acquires multiple players in the same trade, it essentially ignores the incoming salary for all minimum-salary players, since they fall under the Minimum Salary exception. Suppose a taxpaying team is over the cap and trades a $5 million player, receiving in return a $6 million player and two players earning $1 million each on minimum-salary contracts. The team trading the $5 million player can accept only $6.35 million in return (125% plus $100,000 of $5 million), and the three incoming players combine for $8 million in salary. However, the two $1 million players are covered by the Minimum Salary exception, so only the $6 million player is traded with the Traded Player exception. Since $6 million is within the team's $6.35 million limit using the Traded Player exception, the trade is allowed.

Teams trading away minimum-salary players do count their salaries (the portion not paid by the league -- see question number 16) as outgoing salary when comparing salaries for trade.

Thank you for the explanation Dr. Coon.

Armed with the Minimum Player Salary Exception (that everyone has unlimited use of), the Hawks traded the draft rights to Cenk Akyol in exchange for Antawn Jamison and some cash. The Hawks still have the Disabled Player Exception, which also implies that they do not have any Cap Space as the DPE requires a cap hold.

One small hurdle with the Jamison trade was that the Hawks had 15 players on their roster at the time of the trade. This meant that the Hawks needed to waive one player to facilitate the trade. Naturally, Cartier Martin was the choice as he was on the last day of his 10-Day Contract. With players on 10-Day Contracts, they can be released at any point in time without needing to go through the waiver process.

Before Cartier could be resigned by the Hawks, they needed to waive a player. Reportedly, that is what they did with Antawn Jamison. While the details of said buyout are not yet available (and may never be), this is of little importance to anyone not part of the Atlanta Spirit. For Cap purposes, Antawn Jamison will count as a 2-year veteran minimum contract ($884,293). But the Hawks were already over the Cap and far away from the Luxury Tax, so this is doubly unimportant.

For Cartier's sake, he was likely fine with this scenario since he already received credit for the last day of his contract. Cartier has only had one day this season without a contract. And with the reports that Cartier has signed with the Hawks for the rest of the season, he will only miss one day out of 170. For him, that is the difference between $1,027,424 and $1,021,380 in salary.

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