The league has proposed setting the 2016/17 salary cap between $78MM and $82MM in discussions with the union about phasing in the increases that the league’s new TV revenue will bring about, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. Those figures would still be quite a leap from next season’s projected $66.5MM cap, and they’d set up lots of teams with flexibility for the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant is poised to hit free agency. Some teams are optimistic that Durant will consider a wide array of suitors, while others have heard that he’s already down to the Thunder and the Wizards, according to Lowe. In any case, there’s much on the line on Oklahoma City in the next 19 months or so left before Durant’s contract expires, as Lowe examines. Here’s more on the Thunder and their Northwest Division rivals:
- The Thunder are confident that they’ll be able to match other clubs’ offer sheets for restricted free agent-to-be Reggie Jackson next summer, sources tell Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Given the roughly $63.57MM of guaranteed salary the Thunder already have on their books for the 2015/16 season, retaining Jackson might require exceeding the luxury tax threshold, something they’ve been reluctant to do in the past.
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey isn’t planning simply to let his team’s young core grow on its own, and he says he’ll use it as a draw to attract free agents, as he tells Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, promising to be “very aggressive” in free agency next year. Still, Alec Burks tells Genessy that the team’s commitment to youth is one reason why he was eager to sign his extension with Utah.
- The Clippers weren’t pleased when the Jazz claimed Joe Ingles off waivers, as coach/executive Doc Rivers admits his club had designs on re-signing the 27-year-old rookie, Genessy tweets.
- Thaddeus Young, who can become a free agent in the summer, sees a bright future ahead for the Timberwolves, as he tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
Charlie Adams contributed to this post.