The NBA raised its team salary cap Wednesday, and the teams immediately increased their trading intensity.
As the cap increased nearly $2 million, from $9,802,000 to $11,871,000 for the 1990-91 season, clubs began juggling their rosters.
Portland acquired guard Danny Ainge from Sacramento for guard Byron Irvin and two draft picks. Milwaukee sent first-round draft pick Terry Mills to Denver for Danny Schayes. The Bucks also traded Paul Pressey to San Antonio for Frank Brickowski and Philadelphia picked up Manute Bol from Golden State for a first-round draft choice in 1991.
As the salary cap was being increased, so was the minimum salary that teams are required to spend--from $7,935,000 to $9,610,000.
The amounts of the maximum and minimum team salaries are made each July 31 on the basis of formulas set forth in the contract between the league and the NBA Players Assn.
The new cap and minimum applies to all teams except Minnesota and Orlando, which joined the NBA last season. For those teams, the cap will be $8,903,000 and the minimum $7,208,000, three-quarters the amount of the other teams.
Once the figures were established, the trading began in earnest.
For Ainge, the Blazers will turn over to the Kings their first-round draft pick in 1991 and the second-round choice in 1992 that they acquired from Chicago.
Ainge, 31, one of the most gifted high school athletes in Oregon history, starred on championship teams with the Boston Celtics in 1984 and 1986. He was traded to the Kings in February of 1989 with Brad Lohaus for Ed Pinckney and Joe Kleine.
Irvin, 24, was obtained by Portland in the first round of the 1989 draft with a pick acquired from New York in exchange for Kiki Vandeweghe.
The Bucks announced their intention to trade the 6-10 Mills after taking him with the No. 16 pick in the June draft. But they had to wait for the cap to expand before fitting the 6-11 Schayes onto the roster.
“Danny’s rugged style of play will aid us tremendously in the physical Eastern Conference,” Milwaukee Coach Del Harris said. “Our staff identified our No. 1 need to be the acquisition of another center to relieve Jack Sikma of excessive minutes.”
The 6-10 Brickowski gives the Bucks added muscle and a replacement for power forward Larry Krystkowiak, who is recovering from a knee injury.
Pressey was disenchanted with his backup role last season, when he averaged 11 points and four assists per game.
Mills averaged 18.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season at Michigan. Schayes, who has spent the past 7 1/2 seasons with the Nuggets, averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds last season.
“When they (the Bucks) drafted Terry, they told him not to get excited about Milwaukee,” agent Bob Woolf said. “They told him they already had made an agreement to trade. That’s when the rumors started surfacing about Denver and Danny. It’s ironic, since I represent both.”
Said Denver General Manager Bernie Bickerstaff: “This is another big step in our rebuilding. Terry Mills is a great young player who will fit well in (Coach) Doug Moe’s system. We have been very pleased with the young people we have been able to acquire.”
The 76ers obtained the 7-7 Bol from the Warriors for his shot-blocking ability.
“Manute Bol is the premier shot-blocker in the NBA today,” 76er owner Harold Katz said. “Our biggest need last year was clogging the middle. We feel there is nobody in the game today that can do it better.”
Bol was the fourth-leading shot-blocker in the league last season with 238, or 3.17 per game. He averaged only 1.9 points per game.