NBA’s Top Spenders In 2014 Free Agency

There’s probably no way the Heat can make up for the loss of LeBron James, but it won’t be for a lack of financial commitment. The Heat spent more than $220MM on players this summer, nearly doubling the team with the next greatest total of expenditures since July 1st.

I looked at each team’s most expensive signing last week, and while Chris Bosh, Miami’s representative, put the Heat second on that list, the full picture of the team’s summer signings shows just how much team president Pat Riley and company shelled out. It helps that Norris Cole was the only player under contract to begin July, but the Sixers have retained plenty of cap space all summer, and they’ve yet to sign anyone for more than the minimum.

As with last week’s list of the most expensive signings by team, there are some ground rules at play. The list below includes non-guaranteed salary and option years, but it doesn’t consider trade acquisitions. It doesn’t take into account rookie scale contracts, either. To help weed out summer contracts and many of the players who won’t be on NBA rosters come opening night, I’ve eliminated deals for the minimum salary. This listing does include non-minimum signings of second-round picks and undrafted players, as well as Nikola Mirotic, a former first-round pick who signed for more than the rookie scale. I’ve also thrown in Carlos Boozer for the Lakers, who claimed him off amnesty waivers. Here’s the complete list, rounded to the nearest $1K, with salary data via our 2014 Free Agent Tracker. The number of years committed and the number of players to whom the money is going are in parentheses.

  1. Heat: $220.578MM (21 years, eight players)
  2. Knicks: $127.343MM (six years, two players)
  3. Mavericks: $96.317MM (14 years, five players)
  4. Wizards: $93.748MM (14 years, five players)
  5. Raptors: $84.15MM (11 years, four players)*
  6. Jazz: $72.74MM (six years, two players)**
  7. Cavaliers: $50.515MM (seven years, four players)
  8. Suns: $49.5MM (nine years, three players)
  9. Magic: $49.21MM (11 years, four players)
  10. Lakers: $47.033MM (10 years, five players)
  11. Hornets: $46.905MM (seven years, three players)
  12. Bulls: $44.564MM (eight years, three players)
  13. Rockets: $41.398MM (six years, two players)
  14. Spurs: $38.999MM (seven years, two players)***
  15. Pistons: $36.335MM (10 years, four players)
  16. Hawks: $33.3MM (11 years, four players)
  17. Celtics: $32MM (four years, one player)****
  18. Clippers: $26.9MM (six years, two players)
  19. Pacers: $21.404MM (seven years, two players)
  20. Warriors: $16.631MM (three years, one player)
  21. Grizzlies: $16.511MM (five years, two players)
  22. Kings: $15.041MM (three years, one player)
  23. Trail Blazers: $14.063MM (four years, two players)
  24. Nets: $12.887MM (five years, two players)
  25. Thunder: $10.032MM (three years, one player)
  26. Bucks: $8.425MM (five years, two players)
  27. Timberwolves: $4.63MM (two years, two players)
  28. Pelicans: $2MM (one year, one player)
  29. Nuggets: No qualifying signings
  30. Sixers: No qualifying signings

* — Jordan Hamilton has agreed to a deal with the Raptors, and while it seems likely that it’s a minimum-salary arrangement, that has yet to be reported. Hamilton isn’t included in the tallies for Toronto.
** — The Jazz and Kevin Murphy have a deal that’s presumably for the minimum salary, though the precise value has not yet been made public. His figures aren’t reflected here.
*** San Antonio’s contract with JaMychal Green is presumably for the minimum, but that point has yet to be reported. It’s not included here.
**** — The Celtics also have a deal with Evan Turner that’s reportedly for a portion of the mid-level exception, but the precise value is not yet publicly known. His numbers aren’t shown in Boston’s totals.

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