Category: Uncategorized

Can The Bulls Win A Lavine Trade?

lavine_closer_look_thumb(credit NBC Sports Chicago)

Ian Begley of SNY sports reported earlier that the Knicks and Nets have looked into the idea of trading for Zach Lavine if he were to become available. And while this may never happen, the idea of trading Lavine is an interesting one. It may or may not be the best direction for the Bulls, but as far as optics it is a likely no win situation. The Bulls 3 years ago were in a somewhat similar situation with Jimmy Butler.

On June 22, 2017 the Bulls traded 3 time All Star Jimmy Butler and their 2017 16th overall pick to the Timberwolves for their 2017 7th overall pick, Kris Dunn, and Zach Lavine. The value of Butler allowed the Bulls to move up 9 spots in 2017 draft while getting two former lottery picks Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine. At the time Jimmy Butler had two years remaining on his contract.

Zach Lavine, who so far has no All-Star appearances, also has 2 years left on his contract. Lavine’s contract is worth 18% of the current projected salary cap, Butler’s at the time was worth 19% of the salary cap. Both contracts were respectively on “bargain deals”, Butler more so than Lavine. Lavine a borderline All-Star is on a nice deal as well though. But clearly Butler is the better player, and would demand more in return. While there are two different front offices negotiating these deals in different markets, you can at least get an idea of what a player on Butler’s level will get you. And understand Lavine will likely get you less.

The new rumor of the Knicks and Nets brings an interesting perspective. The two respective teams are in two totally different situations, as one is rebuilding and the other when healthy is a top playoff team in their conference. The two teams give you an interesting perspective on what those two types of teams would be willing, and could offer.

hi-res-624f0152e3c51169223338d2db3a6ad9_crop_north(credit Bleacher Report)

The Knicks are a rebuilding team. Draft pick wise, they have all their picks like most rebuilding teams do. And have either high lottery pick type players like RJ Barrett, or players like Mitchell Robinson who have exceeded their draft position. There are also players like Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr who are former lottery picks still trying to find their way. A team like the Knicks is similar to a team like the Timberwolves who traded for Butler. A young team looking to find a more established player to put around their young core. Difference is though Lavine isn’t as good. Realistically players like Barrett and Robinson would be off limits. A rebuilding team is going to value their ymore controlled talented young players versus trading for a player like Lavine who can leave in 2 years and arguably wouldn’t be worth their value. It would likely include expiring contracts, Knox/Smith type talent, and draft picks. Maybe like the Butler trade, you can move up in 2020 draft? Based on current lottery odds that wouldn’t be much though with the Knicks but something to keep in mind if that opportunity were to better itself.

The Nets are a good example of a contending team. It goes without saying, but their better players are off limits. You know, the Durants and the Irvings. Contending teams will look to trade rotational level talent with upside. Caris LeVert? Spencer Dinwiddie? Jarret Allen? And most don’t have draft picks with high potential. Ideally turning rotational players into a more dynamic talent would be the ideal scenario for a contending team that lacks draft compensation.

What would a potential trade between both teams look like?

Chicago Trades: Zach Lavine,

Brooklyn Trades: Caris LeVert, Jarret Allen

or

Chicago Trades: Zach Lavine,

New York Knicks Trade: Bobby Portis(salary filler), Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, future lottery protected 1st

hi-res-f46c98b963268475a8fee9f3645ffb4b_crop_north(credit Bleacher Report)

I think either trade from an optics point of view, would not sell(though I like the Nets offer a lot if they could do that). And I don’t see a trade that would end up much different with another team than these in terms of value. The biggest issue is the Bulls are trading arguably their best asset to a team that won’t value Lavine the same way. And while perhaps there is one GM out there that does, the likely hood of that is slim. And maybe the optics shouldn’t matter, but would it be a trade that would turn the pressure up on the new Chicago Bulls front office right away. At least from the fans perspective. Especially if they kept a certain coach around over Lavine. Clearly the results moving forward would be all that would matter but until then a lot of fans will be frustratingly waiting. But I guess what’s new?

 

The 2020 Off-Season Breakdown

arturas-karnisovas-welcome_0(credit to NBA.com)

The Chicago Bulls are making big front office changes right now. First hiring Arturas Karinsovas to run basketball operations. Then hiring JJ Polk and Pat Connelly, cap specialist/scout, to join the team. Two of many more hires expected. The new hires are being brought in to get the Chicago Bulls back to being a winning a team, and mainly give the city of Chicago an NBA team to be proud of again. In order to do this, one thing Arturas and company will have to do is rebuild the roster. Rosters are built in 3 ways; draft, trades, free agency. For trades, but mainly free agency, cap space flexibility is important. To acquire talent via free agency cap space is usually needed. At the very least it makes things easier and more realistic. Moving forward, the Bulls ideally will want to be flexible and have as much cap space as they can so they have all the flexibility they need to improve the roster. Let’s go ahead and break down the 2020 and 2021 off-seasons, and what the Bulls cap space projections are looking like along with a few other things. First, the 2020 off-season.

*Before we begin it must be noted with the NBA season currently suspended and future seasons in question, it is impossible to know what the salary cap will look like moving forward. For the purpose of this article I will continue to use the current NBA projections. But be aware there is a lot of uncertainty moving forward with these projections. 

2020

Untitled

Here are all the numbers going into the Chicago Bulls 2020-21 team salary. To the left you see all the guaranteed money the Bulls have on the books, which totals to 77.5 million. To the right you see all the potential draft pick salaries, options, and free agent cap holds the Bulls have for the 2020 off-season. Let me go over the right side of the chart, as it is important and what confuses most. The player option and draft pick salary is simple, but the free agent cap hold not so much. The free agent cap hold is probably one of the more confusing things for people but you need some understanding of them to understand the rest of this article. Let me briefly explain.

It must be understood, a player will still count against the cap even after his contract expires. This is known as their free agent cap hold. Why have cap holds? The reason for the cap hold is simple. Without them teams can in theory use all their cap space on free agents, then use bird rights to resign all their own free agents over the cap. Basically if you want the right to resign your player over the salary cap, he must then count against your team salary until you resign him. For example purposes let’s use Kris Dunn. Kris Dunn’s contract expires after the 2019-20 season. For the 2020 off-season, Kris Dunn will still be included in Chicago’s team salary as 10.1 million. That will go away when either A) The Bulls renounce his bird rights(now meaning Bulls need cap space to resign him), or B) Kris Dunn signs a new contract with his original or new team.

The Bulls as of now have 21.3 million in cap holds included in team salary. Those cap holds though are their “unrestricted cap holds”. Dunn, Valentine, and Harrison are all eligible for “restricted” free agency. To make those players “restricted”, the Bulls will have to offer them their qualifying offers. Mokoka is also “restricted” eligible but his cap hold is the same regardless. If the Bulls choose to offer those players a qualifying offer, their cap holds will become the number in yellow. The deadline to offer a qualifying offer is usually the day before free agency begins, this year that date is unclear. Here are the qualifying offers for each player:

Dunn: 4,642,800

Valentine 4,642,800

Harrison: 2,025,705

For me it is safe to assume Valentine and Harrison will not be offered their qualifying offers. Either player would likely accept the offer because realistically it is the most money they are going to get on the open market. If a player accepts the offer, he gains a lot of control. The player will then get veto rights on any trade while playing on the qualifying offer which is guaranteed money. A risk not worth Valentine or Harrison in my opinion. Dunn maybe, but for me also that is a difficult decision that Arturas will have to make. While a player like Dunn probably is worth 4.6million, you can probably find someone who does what he does for cheaper this upcoming off-season. Is their more untapped potential with Dunn worth offering him the qualifying offer? If the Bulls renounced all free agents, is there then a possibility to open up significant cap space?

Let’s assume the Bulls choose not to offer the qualifying offers, and want to try and create cap space. Is there even cap space to create? Again as of now the Bulls have 21.3 million in cap holds included in team salary. Remove that and the Bulls go from -18.8mil in cap space to 3.3 million in cap space. Technically cap space, but not enough to do anything. Again Bulls have 77.5mil in salary guaranteed. Not only that the Bulls have a 1st round pick(the 2nd round pick salary doesn’t count until signed). The Bulls 1st round pick will count against the cap signed or not. As of now the Bulls have the 7th overall pick, but that could change after the lottery. Until then I assume the 7th pick, and added that into the team salary. That’s an additional 5.5 million in salary, now at about 83 million in team salary. With that team salary number, that’s 31.8 million in cap space, sounds great right? But then there’s Otto Porter Jr.

hi-res-c41f5834ccf8922c201869bb27eb2b57_crop_north(credit to Bleacher Report)

Otto Porter Jr has a player option worth 28.4 million. He has the option to accept or decline this salary for the 2020-21 season. Normally the deadline is 6/29, but unclear with the current situation. If OPJ was to decline this option, the Bulls could go into 2020 and have flexibility to not only have significant cap space but even “max contract” space. If OPJ accepts then the Bulls chances of having significant cap space goes away. And unfortunately coming off an injury plagued season with not a lot of money to spend around the NBA, OPJ is liking opting in to his 28.4mil in salary and killing the Bulls 2020 cap space chances.

With that understood, the Bulls likely operate over the cap. Meaning they will not renounce those free agent cap holds, and keep their team salary over the cap. This will give the Bulls the option to use the MLE(mid-level exception) and Bi-Annual Exception to add talent to the roster. The MLE in 2020-21 is projected to be worth 9.75mil and the bi-annual is projected to be 3.8mil. The MLE allows up to a 4 year contract, with raises limited up to 5% of the 1st season. It can also be split between multiple players. Same with the bi-annual but instead only 2 year contracts are allowed. Keep in mind also because the Bulls have a 2nd round pick they will need to save at least 946k of the MLE to sign their 2nd round pick. The MLE will allow the Bulls to offer their 2nd round pick a 4 year contract versus the 2 years the minimum or bi-annual exception allows, which is better for bird rights purposes. The Bulls learned this from the Omer Asik situation years ago. With cap space unlikely, the Bulls main focus will be on their draft pick and the trade market most likely. But there are several players eligible for extensions, and the Bulls could choose to start those talks this off-season.

Lauri Markkanen will become eligible to sign an extension once free agency begins. At this time that date is unclear, but what is clear is Markkanen will enter free agency after next season. The Bulls will have from the start of free agency to the start of the regular season to agree to an extension with Markkanen. If they can not, then he will enter 2021 a free agent and likely a restricted one.

lauri(credit to CBSSports)

Another player who becomes eligible is Zach Lavine. On July 13, 2020 Lavine will be eligible to sign an extension, granted the whole NBA suspension might affect this date. But for now assuming it won’t, that is the date Lavine can sign an extension. The Bulls will have until the start of the 2020-21 regular season to extend Lavine beyond the 2021-22 season. If not, they can open up talks again after next season.

The last player eligible is Otto Porter Jr. Well to be fair Cristiano Felicio is also eligible but let’s not waste time. As soon as free agency begins, the Bulls can enter talks with OPJ on an extension. While they likely wouldn’t do that as of now, they will have until the start of 2021 free agency to agree to one. Perhaps having a better 2020-21 season can give the Bulls something to think about when it comes to extending Otto beyond next season. And again this is of course assuming Otto opts in to his player option.

To sum it all up, the Bulls will enter the 2020 off-season likely acting over the cap. They will rely on their MLE and Bi-Annual exceptions to improve the roster via free agency if they want to go that route. But their draft picks will be the team’s 1st priority to start. Then, they must figure out if they should offer qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. Lastly free agency and extensions decisions for Lavine, Markkanen, and/or Porter Jr will be next.

In 2021, the Bulls will have a lot more flexibility, and in my next article I will discuss that.

 

 

 

 

 

Which Teams Have the Cap Flexibility to Make Lavine a Serious Offer?

Chicago Bulls guard Zach Lavine will become a free agent July 1st, 2018. The Bulls can make Zach Lavine a restricted free agent, which is all but expected by offering him the qualifying offer by June 29, 2018. Restricted free agent basically means if Zach signs another contract with another team, the Chicago Bulls will have two days to match that contract and retain him. The Bulls are expected to resign Lavine, but John Paxson has also made it clear “the market dictates a lot on how things go”. Translation the Bulls will likely see what others are offering, and make an offer based around his market.  The 2018 market will be rather dry, as many teams will be over the salary cap. To offer Zach Lavine a max contract, teams will need to have about 25 million in cap space. Let’s take a look at all 29 teams and see if they have the cap space to make a significant offer.

(Teams are in alphabetical order)

1) Atlanta Hawks

Hawks 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: About 25 million

Max Space: About 40 million

Atlanta will be one of the few teams with the ability to open max space for Lavine this summer, but I’m not sure how much it makes sense for Atlanta to pursue Lavine at this point in their rebuild. If they like Lavine the option is there to make a significant offer for Lavine, but I would guess this is not a route they want to go at the moment.

 

2) Boston Celtics

Celtics 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -29 million

Max Space: about -6 million

Boston is a team that will be over the cap and likely wouldn’t be interested in Lavine anyway. 

3) Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about 11 million

Max Space: about 16 million 

Brooklyn can open cap space this off-season, but at this point can only open up to about 16 million. They could however stretch someone like Mozgov or Carroll and clear about 10 million in space, and that would be enough to offer up to Lavine’s max. The Nets a team depending on how they want to go about their rebuild is another team who has the flexibility to make Lavine an offer.  

4) Charlotte Hornets

2018 Hornets Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -22 million

Max Space: about -17 million 

Charlotte won’t have cap space this off-season. Unlikely to have any interest in Lavine.

5) Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavaliers 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -40 million

Max Space: about -4 million

Cleveland a team that will be over the cap, with or without LeBron. Cleveland unlikely to be interested in Lavine.

6) Dallas Mavericks

Dallas 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about 26 million

Max Space: about 35 million

Dallas is a team that has cap flexibility this off-season. Cuban has said he wants to win next season, and besides last off-season has always tried to make big splashes in free agency. I assume Dallas will be a busy team this off-season, and I could possibly see them showing interest in offering Lavine a contract. 

7) Denver Nuggets

Nuggets 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -17 million

Max Cap Space: about 12 million

Denver has no need for Lavine, along little cap flexibility. And if Jokic and Barton get extensions, a team that will have luxury tax issues. Denver won’t have interest in Lavine. 

8) Detroit Pistons

Pistons 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -20 million

Max Cap Space:  about -14 million

Detroit a team that will be over the cap. Little flexibility here.

9) Golden State Warriors

Warriors 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -32 million

Max Cap Space: about -6 million

Warriors clearly won’t have serious interest in Lavine.

10) Houston Rockets

Rockets 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet

Projected Cap Space: about -36 million

Max Space: about 17 million

Houston can open up space but it’s unlikely. It would require them renouncing their rights to Chris Paul and players like Capela, which they would then lose their bird rights. Also no need for Lavine. Not a team that will be interested. 

11) Indiana Pacers

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about 38 million

Max Cap Space: about 55 million 

Indiana a rare team that can open up a ton of cap space this off-season. Luckily for the Bulls they have Oladipo which makes Lavine somewhat unnecessary. But Indiana is a team looking to stay competitive. They barely have any salary commitments beyond next season. A team that could look to use space now because of their flexibility moving forward. Which makes them offering Lavine a contract,a possibility. But a team I see being more interested in players like Aaron Gordon and Jabari Parker. 

12) Los Angeles Clippers

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about 23 million (Jordan opting out is necessary for this)

Max Cap Space: about 40 million 

The Clippers are an interesting situation. The ability to have space is there, but so much will rely on DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers’ player options. Mainly Jordan’s option. If he opts in the space will no longer be there. But also if opts in so he can be traded(similar to Chris Paul last off-season), then Clippers are likely taking back additional salary. Only way for space to be there is if Jordan opts out. Until those situations are figured out, Lavine isn’t really an option here. But if those players opt out, then the Clippers could be a team that could show interest in Lavine. The flexibility is there but it’s out of the Clippers’ control.

13) Los Angeles Lakers 

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about 47-60 million

Max Cap Space: about 60 million

The Lakers will have the most cap flexibility this summer. It is known their targets are LeBron and Paul George. Magic Johnson has said if Lakers do miss on top targets this 2018 off-season, they will preserve space for 2019. Not sure who else they consider a top target, but if the Lakers want to offer Lavine a contract they easily could. At this point it just depends on how high Magic Johnson value’s Lavine. If Magic believes in Lavine, this is a team that could make things interesting for the Bulls and offer him up to his max easily.

14) Memphis Grizzlies 

Cap Sheet coming soon….

Projected Cap Space: about -13 million

Max Cap Space: about -2 million

Memphis has little cap flexibility. A team that will likely not be a factor in Lavine. 

15) Miami Heat 

Cap Sheet coming soon,

Projected Cap Space: about -19 million

Max Cap Space: about -18 million

Miami has no cap flexibility and close to being in the tax. Unlikely. 

16) Milwaukee Bucks

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about -20 million

Max Cap Space: about 2 million

Milwaukee has little cap flexibility, unlikely. 

17) Minnesota Timberwolves

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about -20 million

Max Cap Space: about -12 million

Minnesota will have no cap flexibility, unlikely..

18) New Orleans Pelicans

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about -27 million

Max Cap Space: about 3 million

New Orleans will have little cap flexibility, unlikely.

19) New York Knicks

Cap Sheet coming soon….

Projected Cap Space: about -3 million

Max Cap Space: about 31 million

New York a team that could have about 31 million in space, but that heavily relies on Enes Kanter declining his player option worth 18 million. I think that is unlikely, however even if he does with Hardway not sure where Lavine fits. 

20) Oklahoma City Thunder

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about -18 million 

Max Space: about 9 million

The Thunder could have cap space, but what it would take for that to happen is unlikely. Which is Melo opting out and the Thunder not retaining George. Losing George is likely but not Melo leaving. At this point, the Thunder will not have space to offer Lavine a contract. 

21) Orlando Magic

Cap Sheet coming soon..

Projected Cap Space: about 500,000

Max Space: about 20 million

The Magic can have cap flexibility if they decide not to bring Aaron Gordon back, which could happen. I’m not sure they would be interested in Lavine at that point, but the flexibility to make an offer would be there. 

22) Philadelphia 76ers

Cap Sheet coming soon..

Max Space: about 30 million 

Philadelphia can technically open max space for Lavine this off-season. It requires them renouncing their rights to JJ Reddick mainly, which would clear his 27.6 million cap hold. Philadelphia wouldn’t likely do that until necessary, but Philadelphia does have flexibility this off-season to create max space. 

23) Phoenix Suns

Cap Sheet Coming Soon..

Projected Cap Space: about 19 million

Max Space: about 28 million

Phoenix has cap flexibility moving forward, but with Devin Booker it is unclear if they would be interested in Lavine. If they are interested they can make a significant offer, but I think for now there is no interest. 

24) Portland Trail Blazers

Cap Sheet coming soon…

Projected Cap Space: about -31 million

Max Space: about -13 million

Portland is way over the cap, unlikely. 

25) Sacramento Kings

Cap Sheet coming soon..

Projected Cap Space: about 20 million

Max Space: about 32 million

Sacramento a team with cap flexibility this summer. A team that could show interest in Lavine depending on their interest in him. I think one of the few teams Chicago could have to worry about. 

26) San Antonio Spurs

Cap Sheet Coming Soon

Projected Cap Space: about 250,000

Max Space: about 18 million

San Antonio can have significant cap space, but it requires Danny Green and Rudy Gay opting out of their player options. I would assume for now that won’t happen, maybe Gay, but if it did then San Antonio could be an option. I would say unlikely at this point though.

27) Toronto Raptors

Cap Sheet coming soon..

Projected Cap Space: about -26 million

Max Space: about -26 million

Toronto will be way over the cap, unlikely. 

28) Utah Jazz

Cap Sheet coming soon 

Projected Cap Space: about 6 million

Max Space: about 22 million

Utah will have cap flexibility this summer. It mainly depends on how they want to handle Dante Exum’s restricted free agency, and his 15 million dollar cap hold. Same with Favors and his 18 million dollar cap hold. But point being Utah can open space for Lavine if they wanted. With Mitchell not sure where he fits though. I say unlikely. 

29) Washington Wizards

Cap Sheet Coming Soon

Projected Cap Space: about -27 million

Max Space: about -17 million

Washington is way over the cap, unlikely. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should the Bulls Extend Bobby Portis’ Contract Now or Later?

12:00am July 6th, 2018. That is the exact moment Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis is eligible to sign an extension. As a player entering his 4th season on his rookie scale contract, Portis has up until October 31st, 2018 to agree to an extension. If one is not reached by then, then Portis will be eligible for restricted free agency for the 2019 off-season. Portis showed his offensive potential in his 3rd season, showing he can be a productive player for the Bulls moving forward. Extending Portis makes sense, but when is the right time?

Just based off reports, the Bulls are waiting for the 2019 off-season to spend big money on free agents. Here is a quote from Mark Scharnowski, Bulls reporter/host:

b

 

Whether or not that is true, what is true is the cap flexibility is there for the Bulls to have max space in the 2019 off-season. And what could be more true is the Bulls could be more appealing to free agents by that time as well. But let’s get back to Bobby Portis. A Bobby Portis extension now will eat into Bulls cap space for 2019, the question then becomes how much space do the Bulls need? If offering a player like Thompson or Irving a max contract is their goal, going off the 2019 cap space projection of 108,000,000, the space needed to offer them the max is 32,400,000(30% of the salary cap). So how much space are the Bulls projecting to have in 2019?

There are a lot of factors that go into that projection. Factors such as the Lavine/Nwaba extension, the Bulls 2018 6th and 22nd pick salary projections, and their 2019 draft pick salary projection. And most importantly the final salary cap number for the 2019-20 season. Let’s assume it will be close to and use that salary cap projection. Let’s also assume the Bulls extend Lavine and his 2019-20 salary cap hit is 16,000,000, and they also extend Nwaba with a 2019-20 cap hit of 5,000,000. Also let’s assume they stay at 6th and 22nd spots for the 2018 draft which would be a 2019-20 cap hit of 4,707,600 and 1,927,100. And let’s go ahead and say the Bulls will just miss the playoffs next season and end up with the 14th pick. (Just to be clear not my prediction, but I assume they won’t be too far from that 14th spot.) The 14th pick for 2019-20 would have a cap hit of 2,851,900. And until the Bulls make additional moves I assume; Felicio, Dunn, Markkanen, and Valentine will still be on the roster with their salary cap hits along with Portis’ cap hold. That would give the Bulls a team salary of 64,814,736, which projects the Bulls to have 43,185,265 in cap space.

Again, that is just a projection. It is not accurate as I mention because of all the factors that will determine that number. But it is clear the cap flexibility is there to have max space for those players, more than enough. And according to our projections, they could have about 10 million in space left over. Which is somewhat important because it is over the MLE projection amount for 19-20, which is 9,161,000. Which means the ability to offer a max and still outbid teams who could only offer the MLE  is possibly there for other free agents. But let’s get back to Portis’ extension.

Does it make sense for the Bulls to extend Portis this off-season? The Bulls have recently let most of their upcoming restricted free agents hit the open market; Jimmy Butler, Miroitc, and Lavine recent examples. And personally that is what I believe what will end up happening and I would tend to agree with that. I get the risk, but most teams aren’t projected to have space in 2019. I like the Bulls chances at retaining Portis at a reasonable contract in 2019 while maximizing the space they can have that off-season. That to me makes the most sense for the Bulls if they are valuing cap space in 2019. Gives you the most flexibility while still allowing yourself to likely retain Portis.

Denver Nuggets 2018 Off-Season Numbers Breakdown

PLAYERS CAP HIT Explanation
  2018-19  
     
Paul Milsap 29,730,769  
Mason Plumlee 12,917,808  
Kenneth Faried 13,764,045  
Wilson Chandler 12,800,562 Player Option
Darrell Arthur 7,464,912 Player Option
Devin Harris 8,364,837 Cap Hold
Will Barton 6,713,333 Cap Hold
Jamal Murray 3,499,800  
Gary Harris 16,517,857  
Trey Lyles 3,364,249  
Juan Hernangomez 2,166,360  
Malik Beasley 1,773,840  
Tyler Lydon 1,847,640  
Nikola Jokic 1,600,520 Team Option *see note
Richard Jefferson 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Monte Morris Two Way  
Torrey Craig (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
     
Roster Size    
     
Exceptions    
Non-Tax Paying MLE 8,567,000 (likely) Projection
Tax Paying 5,291,000  Projection
Bi-Annual 3,353,000 (likely) Projection
Room  ****  
     
Trade Exceptions ****  
     
Projected Draft Pick 2,516,900 13th projection
  831,311 2nd
  831,311 2nd
     
IRC**see note below 2,493,933 for max space
     
Team Salary 129,543,624  
  118,341,217 ***see note below
w/o Exceptions 88,076,301 guaranteed + IRC
  ****  
Salary Cap 101,000,000 projection
Cap Room -28,543,624 current
  -17,341,217 likely
w/o Exceptions 12,923,699 max space (unlikely)****see note below
  ****  
Luxury Tax 121,000,000 projection

*Nikola Jokic’s team option could be declined. Jokic as a 2nd round pick, is in the last season of eligibility for restricted free agency. If the option is accepted, Denver runs the risk of Jokic entering unrestricted free agency in 2019. If declined, Denver can then make Jokic a restricted free agent this off-season.

** IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For example, for Denver to create max space they would have 9 players under contract. Therefor would be charge the rookie minimum 831,311 three times.

***This team salary number is without Harris, Jefferson, and Craigs’s cap hold. I project this as likely.

****For max space the following would have to happen. Denver renounces every cap hold, decline and waive Jokic’s non-guaranteed contract. Both player options would have to be declined. Denver would also have to draft overseas players that would stay overseas, or trade draft picks for future picks. I project this as unlikely.

 

Dallas Mavericks 2018 Off-Season Numbers Breakdown

PLAYERS CAP HIT Explanation
  2018-19  
     
Harrison Barnes  24,107,258  
Wesley Matthews 18,622,514  
Dwight Powell 9,631,250  
Dirk Nowitzki 5,000,000 Team Option
Nerlens Noel 7,956,438 Cap Hold
Jose Barea 3,710,850  
Doug McDermott 9,884,982 Cap Hold (RFA)
Dennis Smith 3,819,960  
Seth Curry 3,936,933  
Salah Mejri 1,839,228 Cap Hold (RFA)
Yogi Ferrell 1,699,698 Cap Hold (RFA)
Dorian Finney-Smith 1,544,951 fully non (G)
Max Kleber 1,378,242 fully (G) 7/16/17
Kyle Collinsworth 1,378,242 fully non (G)
Aaron Harrison 1,699,698 Cap Hold
Johnathan Motley (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Jalen Jones (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
     
Roster Size     
     
Exceptions    
Non-Tax Paying MLE 8,567,000 Projection
Tax Paying N/A  
Bi-Annual 3,353,000 Projection
Room  4,410,232 *see note below Projection 
     
Trade Exceptions    
DeAndre Liggins 1,015,696 6/28/2018
AJ Hammons 1,312,611 7/7/2018
Devin Harris 1,107,552 2/8/2019
Jarrod Uthoff 47,953 6/29/2018
     
Projected Draft Pick 5,420,500 3rd projection
  831,311 2nd round min
  831,311 2nd round min
     
IRC **see note below 1,662,622 for likely space
  5,819,177 for max space
     
Team Salary 121,372,922  current
w/o Exceptions 105,969,110  current
  75,337,274 ***see note below
  65,711,009 guaranteed
Salary Cap 101,000,000 Projection
Cap Room -20,372,922 current
w/o Exceptions -4,969,110 current w/o exceptions
  25,662,726 likely
  35,288,991 max space
Luxury Tax 121,000,000  Projection

*Dallas will only have room exception available if Dallas chooses to renounce rights to MLE and Bi-Annual to create cap space. Remember, the MLE and Bi-Annual count towards your team salary if below the salary cap. Most teams renounce these to create room, which then the room exception becomes available.

*IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For example, for Dallas to create max space they would have 7 players under contract. Therefor would be charge the rookie minimum 831,311 5 times.

***This team salary number is without Noel’s, McDermott, Mejri, Finney-Smith, Kelber, Collinsworth, Harrison, Motley, Jones’s cap holds and non-guaranteed contracts. I don’t necessarily project this as likely, but wanted to give you an idea what it would take to open up max space for a 0-5 year player like Julius Randle or Zach Lavine. The cap flexibility is there

****For Dallas to create “max space”, they would have to waive all non-guaranteed contracts, renounce all cap holds. . Dallas would also have to draft players that would stay overseas, or just trade away picks. I project this as unlikely, but the point is to see the flexibility Dallas has.

Cleveland Cavaliers 2018 Off-Season Numbers Breakdown

PLAYERS CAP HIT Explanation
2018-19
LeBron James 35,607,968 Player Option
Kevin Love 24,119,025
George Hill 19,000,000
Tristan Thompson 17,469,565
JR Smith 14,720,000
Jordan Clarkson 12,500,000
Kyle Korver 7,560,000
Cedi Osman 2,775,000
Rodney Hood 7,928,592 Cap Hold (RFA)
Ante Zizic 1,952,760
Jose Calderon 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Jeff Green 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Larry Nance Jr 2,272,391
Okaro White 1,699,698 Cap Hold (RFA)
Kendrick Perkins 1,499,698 Cap Hold
John Holland 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
London Perrantes 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Roster Size  15 (16) 15 players + 1 draft pick
Exceptions
Mid Level 8,567,000 (unlikely) Projection
Mini Mid Level 5,291,000 (likely) Projection
Bi Annual 3,353,000 (unlikely) Projection
Room ****
Trade Exceptions
Kyrie Irving 5,811,114 8/22/2018
Richard Jefferson 2,500,000 10/14/2018
Kay Felder 1,312,611 10/14/2018
Projected Draft Pick 3,361,500 8th projection
IRC *see note below 2,493,933 for max space
Team Salary 158,141,337 w/o exceptions
w/o Exceptions 149,266,801 **see note below
104,862,674 guarantees
Salary Cap 101,000,000 projection
Cap Room -57,141,337 current
w/o Exceptions -48,266,801 likely
-3,862,674 max space
Luxury Tax 121,000,000
Tax Room ****
Tax Hit ****
Minimum Salary ****
Team Salary for Minimum ****
Away From Minimum ****

*IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Cleveland, to create max space Cleveland would have 9 players under contract. Therefor would be charged rookie minimum, 831,311, 3 times.

**This team salary number is without Calderon, Green, White, Perkins, Holland, and Perrantes’ cap holds. I project this as likely.

 

Charlotte Hornets 2018 Off-Season Numbers Breakdown

Players Cap Hit Explanation
2018-19
Dwight Howard 23,819,725
Nicolas Batum 24,000,000
Marvin Williams 14,087,500
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 13,000,000
Cody Zeller 13,528,090
Kemba Walker 12,000,000
Jeremy Lamb 7,488,372
Malik Monk 3,447,480
Frank Kaminsky 3,627,842
Michael Carter-Williams 3,240,000 Cap Hold
Julyan Stone 1,656,092 fully non (G)
Willy Hernangomez 1,544,951
Treveon Graham 1,699,698 Cap Hold (RFA)
Dwyane Bacon 1,378,242
Mangok Mathiang (Two-Way)  1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA) 
Marcus Paige (Two-Way)  1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA) 
Roster Size  14 (16)  14 + 2 draft picks
Exceptions
Mid Level 8,567,000 (likely) Projection
Mini Mid Level 5,291,000 (unlikely)  Projection
Bi-Annual 3,353,000 Projection
Room ****
Trade Exceptions  none
Projected Draft Pick 2,788,800 11th projection
831,311 2nd round min
IRC *see note below 831,311 For max space
Team Salary 130,813,847
w/o exceptions 123,242,011 **see note below
118,753,513 guarnatees + IRC
Salary Cap 101,000,000 projection
Cap Room -27,138,103 current
w/o exceptions -29,813,847 likely
-17,753,513 max space
Luxury Tax 121,000,000 projection
Tax Room ****
Tax Hit ****
Minimum Salary ****
Team Salary For Minimum ****
Away From Minimum ****

*IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Charlotte, to open max space Charlotte would have 11 players under contract. Therefor would be charged rookie minimum 831,311 one time.

**This team salary number is without MCW, Paige, Mathiang’s cap hold. Also without Stone’s non-guaranteed contract. I project this as likely.

Brooklyn Nets 2018 Off Season Numbers Breakdown

PLAYERS CAP HIT Explanation
2018-19
Allen Crabbe 18,500,000
Timofey Mozgov 16,000,000
DeMarre Carroll 15,400,000
Jeremy Lin 12,516,746
Deron Williams 5,474,787 Stretched
D’Angelo Russell 7,019,698
Jahlil Okafor 6,313,832 Cap Hold, Max BRK can pay *see note below
Nik Stauskas 11,421,441 Cap Hold (RFA)
Dante Cunningham 2,760,000 Cap Hold
Jarrett Allen 2,034,120
Quincy Acy 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Caris LeVert 1,702,800
Spencer Dinwiddie 1,656,092 Fully non (G)
Joe Harris 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 2,470,357
Isaiah Whitehead 1,544,951 Fully non (G)
James Webb III (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Milton Doyle (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Roster Size 15 (18) 15 players + 3 draft pick
Exceptions
Mid Level 8,567,000 Projection
Bi Annual 3,353,000 Projection
Mini Mid Level
Room 4,410,232 Projection**see note below
Trade Exceptions none
Projected Draft Pick 1,348,600 29th projection
831,311 2nd min
831,311 2nd min
IRC ***see note below 3,325,244 for max space
****
Team Salary 113,501,186 w/o exceptions
w/o exceptions 90,045,520 ****see note below
84,443,752 Guarantees + IRC
Salary Cap 101,000,000 Projection
Cap Room -12,501,186 current
w/o exceptions 10,954,480 likely
16,556,248 max space
Luxury Tax 121,000,000 Projection
Tax Room ****
Tax Hit ****
Minimum Salary ****
Team Salary For Minimum ****
Away From Minimum ****

*Because Okafor’s team option was declined while on his rookie scale contract, Brooklyn now is capped out at how much they can sign Okafor too. They are not allowed to go over what his option would have been for that season.

**Brooklyn will only have room exception available if Brooklyn chooses to renounce rights to MLE and Bi-Annual to create cap space. Remember, the MLE and Bi-Annual count towards your team salary if below the salary cap. Most teams renounce these to create room, which then the room exception becomes available.

***IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Brooklyn, to create max space Brooklyn would only have 8 under contract. Therefor would be charged 831,311(rookie minimum for 18-19) 4 times.

****This team salary figure is without Okafor, Stauskas, Acy, Webb, and Doyle’s cap hold. Also without Whitehead’s non-guaranteed contract. I project this as likely.