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NBA Teams Below Salary Floor For 2016/17

On Tuesday, we examined the teams in – or near – luxury tax territory. Due to the size of those teams’ payrolls, they could face penalties at year’s end, paying a few extra tax dollars in addition to the salaries they’ll pay their players.

On the other end of the spectrum are six clubs whose team salaries continue to sit below the minimum salary floor, which is set at 90% of the cap. For the 2016/17 league year, that salary floor works out to $84.729MM. Every franchise will have to spend at least that much on players for the year, so if any team payrolls remain below that figure at season’s end, those teams have to make up the difference by paying a little extra to their own players.

Often, clubs sitting below the salary floor at this point in the year will get over that threshold at some point during the season. Taking on salary in a trade is one possibility — in the past, when cap room has been a rarer and more valuable commodity, teams like the Sixers have agreed to take on other clubs’ bad salaries as long as they can get something out of the deal themselves, such as second-round picks. That could still happen this year, but that sort of trade may be rarer now that the cap is at an all-time high and teams have more flexibility to maneuver.

Renegotiating a player’s contract and signing him to an extension is another way teams can use up their remaining salary cap space at this point in the season. As we saw with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, and James Harden and the Rockets, clubs with room under the cap can rework a player’s contract to increase their current-year salary up to the max, while tacking on additional years — but only certain players are eligible.

Of course, signing free agents is another way a team can quickly add salary and reach the floor, but at this point in the offseason, most of the players still available are minimum-salary guys, and most teams’ rosters are fairly set anyway.

Here are the six teams currently below the salary floor:

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Total team salary: $82,752,308
  • Guaranteed team salary: $80,791,446
  • Eligible for renegotiation/extension: Nikola Pekovic

Utah Jazz

  • Total team salary: $81,817,624
  • Guaranteed team salary: $79,332,496
  • Eligible for renegotiation/extension: Derrick Favors (eligible as of October 19), George Hill

Phoenix Suns

  • Total team salary: $80,900,983
  • Guaranteed team salary: $79,850,022
  • Eligible for renegotiation/extension: None

Brooklyn Nets

  • Total team salary: $76,948,637
  • Guaranteed team salary: $75,563,224
  • Eligible for renegotiation/extension: None

Denver Nuggets

  • Total team salary: $76,719,065
  • Guaranteed team salary: $74,039,362
  • Eligible for renegotiation/extension: None

Philadelphia 76ers

  • Total team salary: $70,341,137
  • Guaranteed team salary: $65,159,265
  • Eligible for renegotiation/extension: Hollis Thompson (eligible as of September 24)

Information from Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.

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