“A lot of signs point to tomorrow being a very huge day,” players’ association president Derek Fisher(notes) of the Lakers said. “There will be a lot of pressure on all of us in the room, and we’ll accept that responsibility and go in and see what we can get worked out.”
The sides met in small groups Monday for about five hours, a session that Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said was mainly about “setting the table” for Tuesday. While careful not to put too much pressure on Tuesday’s talks, he and Commissioner David Stern made clear there had to be signs of compromise.
“Each side understands exactly what’s at stake and where potentially there is movement in order to try to get a deal done,” Silver said. “I mean, we can only say we’re running out of time so many times.
The Magic have not one, but two, amnesty candidates, which says something about their roster.
Slumping Hedo Turkoglu is owed “only” $34 million over the next three seasons, but amnesty rules would allow a team to use the mechanism on only one player
But let’s also remember that Arenas will be the team’s highest-paid player in 2011-12. His salary of $19.3 million exceeds even the salary of the team’s best player, Dwight Howard, who is due to make $18.1 million.
Also, Arenas would be due $20.8 million in 2012-13 if he doesn’t opt out before that season (and he’d be nuts to do that) and another $22.3 million in 2013-14.
The Magic might want to cut him just for the salary-cap savings.
Hypothetically, that cap savings could give the team an opportunity to sign other players to fortify the team. Or the cap savings could give the Magic a very slim chance of making a play for marquee free agents if the team can make a bunch of other cap-reducing trades.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).