2015/16 Projected Cap Flexibility By Team

Trade activity around the league is sure to increase after December 15th, which is the date that the majority of offseason signees become eligible to be dealt. Thanks to the salary cap, there is more for GMs to consider than just the on-court impact any potential transaction will have. There are financial implications that must be weighed, and not just for this season. Many players will be dealt strictly because of their contracts, as teams seek expiring deals, tax relief, future bargains, and other financial gains.

With teams around the league relying more and more on constructing their rosters through free agency, future cap flexibility has never been more important. It’s this eye on flexibility and available salary cap space that will no doubt dictate more than a few transactions prior to this season’s February 19th trade deadline.

Next season’s salary cap is projected to come in at $66.5MM, but the final amount won’t be known until next summer. Still, using that projection as a guideline, I’ve run down the potential salary cap flexibility for each team for the 2015/16 campaign. I included both the fully guaranteed contracts as well as those players with non-guaranteed deals who are signed for next season. While these non-guaranteed deals can easily be removed from each team’s cap figure, a roster move to waive these players would still be required. Teams also have to carry at least 12 players who count against the cap in some form or fashion, either by contract or cap hold, during the offseason, or the league will apply a roster charge for each vacancy. Those roster charges are equivalent to the rookie minimum salary, which for 2015/16 will be $525,093. Other factors that could serve to alter these numbers include player options, early termination options and team options, and they’re included them in the calculations below.

Cap holds for free agents and first-round picks eat up potential cap space, too, but teams can renounce their rights to free agents at any time and, with cooperation from others, either trade their draft picks or stash them overseas. Given the fungibility of those assets, they’re not included in these calculations, unlike non-guaranteed contracts, many of which include partial guarantees and salary that becomes guaranteed at different points throughout the offseason.

As trades begin to occur these numbers below should help explain some decisions and serve as a reference point for the offseason ahead:

76ers 

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$13,508,212 (Five Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$2,792,335 (Three Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$50,199,453

Bucks

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$51,099,680 (11 Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$947,276 (One Player)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$14,453,044

*Includes Jared Dudley‘s early termination option of $4,250,000.

Bulls

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$59,735,202 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$1,860,480 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$4,904,318

*Includes Kirk Hinrich‘s player option for $2,854,940 and the $333,333 owed to Richard Hamilton via the stretch provision.

Cavaliers 

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$72,660,099 (Seven Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$11,367,559 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the projected cap by $17,527,658

*Includes LeBron James‘ player option for $21,573,398; Kevin Love‘s player option for $16,744,218; and Mike Miller‘s player option for $2,854,940.

Celtics

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$45,548,917 (Ten Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$3,972,335 (Three Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$16,78,748

*Includes Jeff Green‘s player option for $9.2MM and Jameer Nelson‘s $2,854,940 player option.

Clippers

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$58,537,731 (Seven Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$9,217,500 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the projected cap by $1,255,231

*Includes Jordan Farmar‘s player option for $2,170,465; the $650K owed to Carlos Delfino via the stretch provision; and the $300K owed to Miroslav Raduljica via the stretch provision.

Grizzlies

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$40,190,597 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$3,205,465 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$23,103,938

*Includes the $437,080 owed to Fab Melo via the stretch provision and the $163,296 owed to Jamaal Franklin via the stretch provision.

Hawks

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$41,215,385 (Nine Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$947,276 (One Player)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$24,337,339

Heat

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$69,632,912 (Nine Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$2,201,205 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the projected cap by $5,334,117

*Includes Dwyane Wade‘s player option for $16.125MM; Luol Deng‘s player option for $10,151,612; and Danny Granger‘s player option for $2,170,465.

Hornets 

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$64,710,704 (10 Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=$1,789,296

*Includes Al Jefferson‘s player option for $13.5MM and Gerald Henderson‘s player option for $6MM.

Jazz

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$49,583,335 (Eight Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$6,620,059 (Three Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$10,296,606

Kings

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$55,330,145 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$1,792,335 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$9,377,520

*Includes the $923,780 owed to Wayne Ellington via the stretch provision.

Knicks

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$38,827,141 (Five Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$1,734,572 (One Player)
Projected Cap Flexibility=25,938,287

*Includes J.R. Smith‘s player option for $6,399,750

Lakers

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$36,176,261 (Five Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$10,826,407 (Three Players) **
Projected Cap Flexibility=$19,497,332

*Includes Ed Davis‘ player option for $1,100,602
**
Includes Jordan Hill‘s $9MM team option

Magic

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$38,975,806 (Eight Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$9,042,335 (Four Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$18,481,859

Mavericks

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$42,466,471(Seven Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$1,792,335 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$22,241,194

*Includes the $947,276 owed to Gal Mekel, who was waived; Monta Ellis‘ player option for $8.72MM; Raymond Felton‘s $3,950,313 player option;  and Al-Farouq Aminu‘s player option for $1,100,602.

Nets

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$76,756,235 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$3,652,815 (Four Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the projected cap by $13,909,050

*Includes Brook Lopez‘s $16,744,218 player option and Alan Anderson‘s player option for $1,333,484.

Nuggets

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$63,742,655 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$16,101,721 (Four Players) **
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the projected cap by $13,344,376

*Includes Arron Afflalo‘s $7.5MM player option.
**Includes Timofey Mozgov‘s $4.95MM team option

Pacers

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$64,146,742 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=$2,353,258

*Includes Roy Hibbert‘s $15,514,031 player option and David West‘s player option for $12.6MM.

Pelicans

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$52,414,854 (Five Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$1,792,335 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$12,292,811

*Includes Eric Gordon‘s player option for $15,514,031.

Pistons

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$40,750,527 (Eight Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$5,447,276 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$20,302,197

*Includes Cartier Martin‘s $1,270,964 player option and the $1,356,146 owed to Aaron Gray, who was waived.

Raptors

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$49,049,074 (Nine Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=$17,450,926

Rockets

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$55,137,043 (Nine Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$6,589,989 (Three Players) *
Projected Cap Flexibility=$4,772,968

*This includes the team’s $4,797,664 option for Kostas Papanikolaou.

Spurs

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$34,159,326 (Five Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=$32,340,674

Suns

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$59,676,911 (12 Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$3MM
Projected Cap Flexibility=$3,823,089

*This amount includes the $777,778 owed to Michael Beasley, who was waived using the stretch provision, and Goran Dragic‘s $7.5MM player option.

Thunder

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$63,569,558 (10 Players)
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=$2,930,442

Timberwolves

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$69,003,699 (11 Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the estimated cap by $2,503,699.

*This amount includes Thaddeus Young‘s $9,971,739 early termination option, Chase Budinger‘s $5MM player option, and Corey Brewer‘s $4,905,000 player option.

Trail Blazers

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$24,243,542 (Five Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$5,963,276 (Two Players)
Projected Cap Flexibility=$36,293,182

*This amount includes Steve Blake‘s $2,170,465 player option.

Warriors

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$78,772,757 (9 Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$3,815,000 (1 Player) **
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the estimated cap by $16,087,757

*This amount includes Brandon Rush‘s $1,270,964 player option.
**This amount includes Marreese Speights‘s
$3,815,000 team option.

Wizards

Fully Guaranteed Contracts=$69,124,802 (10 Players) *
Non-Guaranteed Contracts=$0
Projected Cap Flexibility=Over the projected cap by $2,624,802

*Includes Paul Pierce‘s $5,543,725 player option and the $1,100,602 player option for Garrett Temple.

Note: The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

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