Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Harpring Done?

Matt Harpring has always dealt with bad knees, ankles, & feet. Throughout his career, it seems like he has always needed to have one operation after another. While we (as Jazz fans) have always appreciated Matt's toughness, passion and hardnosed-play, it looks as though his body may have reached a breaking point to where he can't suite up the sneakers anymore. That's what is being reported by Ross Siler and Steve Luhm from the Salt Lake Tribune. According to Harp, his career could be done because of his knee ailments.

"The [knee] cartilage isn't there any more -- it just isn't," he said. "When motion isn't there ... I mean, I would would love to have something to make it come back. But I don't."

"I've also had a couple of knee surgeries where the doctors said, 'You're done. There's no way you can play.' So the thought of post-career life has been on my mind, even though I've never had it happen. But, obviously, the reality now is it could be very soon."

Without Harpring, the Jazz may have to find a tough-nosed guy that can do the dirty work... defend, scrap, claw, battle for position, fight for rebounds, score off putbacks, dive for loose balls. There really isn't any other player on the Jazz that's willing to do those types of things (except for maybe Millsap). That's probably the reason why our team hasn't been super successful over the years. We need more scrappers!

In the NBA, there are only a few star players (Deron Williams being one of them)... and then there are the rest... the role players. Matt Harpring knew his role, and executed it. That's why he was so valuable to the Jazz. Too many players think they're the star... Perhaps Harpring can transition his role (and career) from Jazz super-sub to Wendy's super-star, drive-through operator? Cold "Frosty" treat coming right up!


Pasty Gangsta said...

Unlike other TCGers (i.e. Crotty) I have a soft spot for Harp. He knows his role and never tries to do too much. He plays to the best of his ability, and as opposed to, say, Keefe, actually has some. And he's not afraid to mix it up.

However, this development could potentially have some nice salary cap implications for the Jazz. Basically if Harp is medically unfit to play and a league doctor says as much, we can retroactively wipe him off the books a year from now and he won't count against us (even if we end up paying him!).

Check it out (I realize the last line is a bit morbid):

There is one exception whereby a player can continue to receive his salary, but the salary is not included in the team's team salary. This is when a player is forced to retire for medical reasons and a league-appointed physician confirms that he is medically unfit to continue playing. There is a waiting period of one year following the injury or illness before a team can apply for this salary cap relief. If the waiting period expires mid-season (on any date prior to the last day of the regular season), then the player's entire salary for that season is removed from the team's team salary. For example, in March 2003 the Knicks were allowed to remove Luc Longley's entire 2002-03 salary from their books (and since the luxury tax is based on the team salary as of the last day of the regular season, the Knicks avoided paying any tax on Longley's salary). This provision can also be used when a player dies while under contract.

Tucker McCann said...

I, too, like Harpring simply for the fact that he played ABOVE his skill level, whereas most NBA Player play significantly below.

Ryan said...

It would be great for us to be able to erase Harpring $6,500,000 from our team salary, but we certainly loose some toughness and professionalism without him.

I also think CJ's days with the team are numbered. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see him packaged with Boozer or traded in a related deal. He has some value but is a poor fit for the Jazz.

Clark said...

Because Harpring played in the playoffs, he will never play the rest of this contract to see the one year anniversary of his inability to pay. There is mathematically no way that the Jazz can avoid receiving a tax hit for harpring's salary. If Harpring retires and is unable to pay, then the Jazz can qualify to have insurance pay the rest of his bill, but his salary would still count on the team salary. So the Jazz wouldn't have to pay him 6.5 million dollars for his salary, but would have to pay 6.5 million dollars in tax penalties.