Warriors deal Charles Jenkins, Jeremy Tyler, avoid luxury tax at trade deadline
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:53 p.m.
OAKLAND — In a pair of moves that did little to impact the present, the Warriors dealt second-year players Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler on Thursday to gain some favorable financial considerations for the future.
Jenkins was shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers and Tyler to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for second-round picks. In the process, the Warriors trimmed approximately $1.5 million from their player payroll and got under the NBA's luxury tax threshold just before the league's trading deadline.
Jenkins, a 23-year-old swing guard, and Tyler, a 21-year-old power forward, were both second-round selections in the 2011 draft. The Warriors paid $2 million to the Hornets for the rights to the 6-foot-10 Tyler after the Bobcats took him with the 39th pick. Golden State selected the 6-foot-3 Jenkins with their own pick at No. 44.
“It was difficult — we value both guys, good kids, hard-working players,” said general manager Bob Myers. “In an attempt to do what's right for the Warriors, we also tried to do something that would improve the playing situations of both these guys. They obviously weren't getting a great opportunity here to play.”
While both played extensive minutes in the final month of the 2011-12 season and showed some promise, neither Jenkins nor Tyler had seen much action this year, and the Warriors' financial considerations proved to be more important than either player's future prospects.
Exceeding the $70.307 million tax level wouldn't have cost the Warriors a fortune this year, since they would have paid one dollar in tax for every dollar they exceeded the cutoff figure — roughly $1.2 million.
But having already committed long-term to several core players, the Warriors will likely exceed the tax threshold cap in future seasons. Getting under it this year means the club will avoid the harsher tax penalties it would incur as a repeat offender.
“We didn't want that clock ticking now on becoming a tax-paying team,” Myers said.
Since the tax rate increases incrementally for every $5 million over the threshold and repeat offenders pay a dollar more at each incremental step, things potentially could get very expensive for the Warriors down the road, which is why Jenkins and Tyler were deemed expendable now.
According to Myers, staying under the tax cap affords the team significantly greater flexibility on a number of fronts, notably future trades and extending the mid-level exception.
Myers estimated that the Warriors have around $294,000 to spend on a possible roster addition.
Jenkins was averaging 6.2 minutes and 1.7 points this season in 47 games, a significant drop from last season, when he averaged 12.1 minutes and 5.8 points. He made 28 starts late in the season when starting point guard Stephen Curry was out with recurring ankle sprain issues. In April, Jenkins averaged 9.4 points and 6.3 assists in 28.7 minutes.
Jenkins' minutes fell markedly this season and he even dropped behind promising prospect Kent Bazemore on the depth chart.
Similarly, Tyler got a long look in April, averaging 8.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24.7 minutes. For the year, he made 23 starts and averaged 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. He showed offensive potential but was very inconsistent defensively.
This year Tyler had played in 20 games, averaged 3.2 minutes and 1.1 points. He spent much of the season bouncing between the Warriors and their Development League team in Santa Cruz.
Coach Mark Jackson sounded disappointed that things didn't work out better for Jenkins and Tyler.
“I have a relationship with these guys, I'm invested in them, and it's tough,” he said.
Second-year guard Klay Thompson, who was also the subject of trade rumors before the deadline, said it was a dour day at the Warriors' facility.
“It's tough losing a friend, but you still keep relationships with them throughout your career,” Thompson said. “It's not the end of the world, but it's not a fun day.”
WARRIORS GET CRACK AT SPURS
The Warriors will attempt to end one of the most dubious losing streaks in the NBA when they host the San Antonio Spurs tonight at Oracle Arena. Golden State has lost 16 straight games to the Spurs, the third-longest such active streak in the league, and hasn't beaten them since Jan. 7, 2008.
The Warriors are just 7-48 against San Antonio since Tim Duncan joined the Spurs in the 1997-98 season.
Golden State will debut the NBA's first modern short-sleeve jersey against San Antonio.
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