I don't agree with any of this. The contract is "front loaded" in a cap sense but not necessarily in cash. Signing bonuses give the player the present value of that money, too. And front loading to lower the guaranteed money doesn't make sense because obviously the player gets the frontloaded money; it is effectively guaranteed (whether actually guaranteed or not).You're right here. I didn't quite make the point I wanted to make when I initially brought this up. These contracts are generally more team-friendly in a front loaded fashion because when you front load a contract, you normally have to give up less guaranteed money. The player getting his guarantee all in the first year of the contract gives them present value of that money and strengthens your negotiating position for less guaranteed money. Less guaranteed money=more cap space.
The cap is an accounting tool. Frontloading from a cap standpoint is just an arbitrary decision to account in a particular way.
I think the only real benefit is PR; it can be bad form to have a gargantuan amount of cap space and front loading makes it look like you're spending money and not tanking.In a lot of ways I'm saying pre-paying the cap money has the benefit of keeping a possibly undisciplined front office, more open to all their options.