Now that we’re more than two weeks into the 2016/17 league year, Bobby Marks of The Vertical takes a look back at this year’s spending spree and attempts to draw some conclusions about the impact of the $94MM+ salary cap. As Marks outlines, the salary cap spike has resulted in 10 teams with $100MM+ payrolls so far, but has made the luxury tax a virtual non-factor. Marks also observes that if the players’ union had accepted the NBA’s cap smoothing proposal, we likely wouldn’t have seen so much roster turnover this offseason, since more teams would’ve been inclined to keep their own free agents.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the league:
- Andre Drummond‘s new five-year max deal with the Pistons includes an 8% trade kicker, league sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Players earning a max salary can’t exceed that salary via a trade kicker, but with the salary cap set to get another bump next year and in subsequent seasons, Drummond will technically be earning less than his max after the first year of the contract.
- Steve Ballmer, who was part of the group attempting to bring the NBA back to Seattle before he bought the Clippers, doesn’t envision Seattle getting a franchise in the near future. Speaking at the Geek Wire Sports Technology Summit in Seattle, Ballmer said the NBA hasn’t had expansion talks at all recently, and added that the league “has really moved to favor teams staying in their current markets.” Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times has the quotes from the Clippers owner.
- The D-League won’t see the same sort of league-wide salary increase that the NBA will in 2016/17, but the D-League is changing its salary structure, and players will earn more on the whole, as Chris Reichert of UpsideMotor.com details.
- Sam Gardner of FOX Sports takes an in-depth look at former Campbell forward Eric Griffin, whose quest for a spot on an NBA roster was derailed when he was accused of attempted murder — those charges were dropped last month, and Griffin is still looking for a team willing to give him a shot.