Why Flip Will Lose Love, and Why That Doesn't Matter

When it comes down to it, the Timberwolves are doomed to lose Kevin Love because he doesn't want to play there, and the current CBA doesn't help Minnesota to outbid any rivals. Because of this, other teams seem to be assuming that they can lowball; after all, the pressure is on Flip. He "must" trade Kevin Love. But this is false; the pressure is, in fact, on every competing team. This is because if you are a competitive team (i.e. a team that Love will want to stay on), there is actually tons of value in inheriting Love's bird rights -- just not until 2016.

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The Myth of the Free Replacement-Level Player

Calculating the fair value of an NBA contract has been a tough nut to solve. In a lot of our work, we use some short hand by calculating the total payroll paid to all players, and divide by the total number of wins. There are obviously some big problems with this, and the biggest is opportunity cost. A player like Monta Ellis might produce some wins, but he plays 3000 minutes in which some other player would produce more wins. So it's tempting to use wins above a replacement-level player as the measurement of what you pay for. But this is even more deeply flawed.

The FiveThirtyEight website tries this approach. In an article about Carmelo Anthony's contract, Nate Silver tries to translate wins to salaries:

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A layman's guide to the coming NBA Salary Cap Apocalypse

If you're a casual NBA fan, the current slate of free agent signings this offseason might be just a tad confusing.

Never fear though, the Boxscore Geeks are here to explain the factors driving the current free agent market inflation and the coming salary cap Apocalypse. 

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Why Most Free Agent Signings are Awful

The market for NBA free agents is not a free market. It has a few important restrictions that make it a little socialist in nature. The most important ones are the salary cap, the luxury tax, and the maximum contract size. Because of these restrictions, there is almost no benefit for an NBA manager in signing free agents to fair market value, unless the contract is small or the marginal benefit of the player's wins produced is large (the proverbial "final piece" for a championship). The salary cap imposes large opportunity costs on every salary that an NBA club pays.

waste money

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Putting the Germany/Brazil beatdown in historical context

Brazil entered the World Cup semifinals as the number 1 rated team in the world playing on it's home turf, where it had not lost a competitive international football contest since 1975. 

Then inexplicably, this happened to them.

A 7-1 Germany eclipse over Brazil in Brazil is the most stunning World Cup result I or any of you are likely to see in your life. Which raises the question? How unique was it in the broader context of sport?

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