WHAT IS ... RealGM.com?

August 15, 2004

Another fantasy sports site? No, but it does help NBA general managers turn trade fantasies into reality. Since salary-cap rules are more arcane than string theory, using pencil and paper to see if a proposed deal is doable can kill an afternoon. RealGM examines the fine print of the players’ contracts and lets a team know in seconds if a trade flies.

Is this for the armchair G.M.? The bare-bones version at www.realgm.com is free. The deluxe program--which red-flags clauses that cause a player’s salary to spike if he’s dealt and tells how a trade will affect the cap in coming years--is available for $35,000 a year. The Pacers, Spurs, Rockets and Wizards have signed up, and the program helped bring Tracy McGrady (left) to Houston last month.

So execs do less work? Not exactly. Type in a player’s name, and the program will spit out guys he could be traded for--so G.M.’s may pursue deals they’d once have never imagined. “Originally it was more of a checking tool,” says Pacers VP of player personnel David Morway. “Today I use it to brainstorm trades.”

COLOR PHOTOSTEPHEN M. DOWELL/ORLANDO SENTINEL/ABACA (MCGRADY)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)