Lowe On Cap, Raptors, Nuggets, Cavs, Love

Most league executives assume the salary cap will surge to around $90MM for the 2016/17 season, though they’re preparing for any eventuality, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. The cap’s at $63.065MM this year, so that means teams are in line for nearly 30% more spending power within the next two years, thanks to the NBA’s new $24 billion TV deal. Lowe has much more from around the league as teams peer into an uncertain future:

  • Raptors GM Masai Ujiri won’t say whether he’ll trade a first-round draft pick for someone who could help the team this season, but Ujiri tells Lowe that he “won’t make decisions that are going to shorten our growth and help us only this year.”
  • The Nuggets, Ujiri’s old team, appear to be closing in on the realization that the playoffs are out of reach, several league sources said to Lowe. That suggests that current Nuggets GM Tim Connelly is about to change his approach to the team’s roster this season, though that’s my own inference.
  • Chances are the Cavs will send a first-round pick out in a trade that brings back a center this season, Lowe writes in a separate piece. Cleveland maintains “serious off-and-on talks” with the Nuggets and Grizzlies about Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos, respectively, according to Lowe.
  • Kevin Love has insisted on multiple occasions that he’s committed to the Cavs for the long term, but the Grantland scribe believes the All-Star power forward will undoubtedly survey the market in free agency this summer if conditions don’t improve in Cleveland. Love, who has a player option worth more than $16.744MM for 2015/16, is taking fewer shots this season than in any year since he became a full-time starter in 2010/11.
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