View Full Version : What happened with Joe Smith and the T-Wolves?
I'm a relatively new fan. Can someone please fill me in quickly on all this Joe Smith illegal signing thing I've read about everywhere? What did the T-Wolves do wrong, and how have they been punished? Thanks.
04-28-2002, 02:31 AM
I can kinda help, but someone would have to fill in better.
I believe Smith signed a one year contract (did he do it twice?) with the promise he'd get the big paycheck in the next season. The agent that helped get that deal was fired by Smith and admitted to the promises being made, etc...
The T-Wolves had 5 (?) of their first round picks revoked, but later Stern reinstated 2 (?) of them.
Smith was banned from re-signing with the Wolves, hence the 1-year stint with Detroit.
The owner had some punishment but can't remember and McHale was banned from operations for a year or something like that.
Im probably leaving out lots or confused an issue, but Im close enough for you to get an idea.
Im sure MFFL can dig up an article for you about it.
04-28-2002, 03:09 AM
I'm not sure what Smith's first T-Wolves contract was for, but MFF has it right that it was a relatively small contract signed with the understanding that when it was up, Minnesota would give Smith a much bigger contract--the issue being that they signed him for what they could under the Collective Bargaining Agreement originally, but after that contact was up they would have the rights to sign him to a much larger contract.
Those kind of wink-wink deals go on all the time--sign for what we can pay you now and then once we have Bird rights we'll give you more. Its technically a circumvention of the CBA the team is contracting to pay the player more than they are allowed to promise him under the CBA. But the league normally can't do much about it since they can't prove such 'understandings' exist. But in this case, T-Wolves management was stupid enough to actually put the deal in writing with signatures. So since they could prove it, the NBA made an example of Minnesota.
The initial punishment was they lost their next 5 first-round draft picks, the League refused to let Joe Smith re-sign with them, and both McHale and the owner were 'suspended' for a year. They weren't allowed to go anywhere near the team. Stern has since re-instated next year's pick. He may have already reinstated another one, I"m not sure about that.
04-28-2002, 04:34 PM
Thanks Hoopmeister, I thought I was close enough.
Thanks for filling in the gaps.
Thanks for the info, MFF and Hoops.
Can't believe they actually had the "understanding" in writing. Was that McHale's first year as GM?
The former agent insisted that it be in writing to guarantee that the Wolves paid up. Well Joe SMith fired his agent and the only way the agent was going to get paid his % of the BIG contract was to threaten to give the info to the NBA front office. The agent didn't get his money so he turned over the info.
04-28-2002, 06:09 PM
I don't feel a bit sorry for anyone involved. They all knew what they were doing was against the rules.
04-28-2002, 06:26 PM
<< Thanks for the info, MFF and Hoops.
Can't believe they actually had the "understanding" in writing. Was that McHale's first year as GM? >>
McHale claimed that he was out of the loop on the deal. That it was between Smith, Smith's agent, and the owner. Apparently McHale hadn't signed anything
I can't believe it was all for Joe Smith, especially after these three games....
04-28-2002, 11:32 PM
I was hoping to get Smith when he was going to choose between us and the Pistons cause I thought he'd fit with us and give us that rebounding help we needed.
Your right though DTL, I can't believe all that was done for Smith. He's decent but not worth all the hell they went through.
And it doesn't matter that this kind of thing goes on all the time, it's the fact that they were dumb enough to put it in writing.
<< I was hoping to get Smith when he was going to choose between us and the Pistons cause I thought he'd fit with us and give us that rebounding help we needed. >>
And I suppose, back then, you weren't counting on the German kid to become such a monster on the boards i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif
04-29-2002, 01:09 PM
Seriously, at the time, Dirk was our only rebounding presence and I figured Smith could help us out in that area. Plus, he was another long body that could help fill out our middle some and be one of those energy guys like Najera, etc...
But, Im much more happy with LaFrentz, thanks. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif
04-29-2002, 10:15 PM
I'm glad he didn't come here. it would have changed what the Mavs could do and I like the way we are just fine.
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