Lowe’s Latest: Warriors, Garnett, Magic, Pelicans

Projections from the league and individual teams show the salary cap going from about $68MM next season to around $90MM for 2016/17 without any sort of plan for tiered increases, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports. The players union rejected the league’s proposal to smooth out the projected spike in the cap, and while executive director Michele Roberts left open the possibility that the union would counter with a proposal of its own, compromise seems unlikely, according to Lowe. That’s left teams that aren’t usually attractive to free agents with the feeling that their cap flexibility is less valuable than it ever has been, Lowe hears, since just about every team will be in line to sign a max-level free agent or two after next season.

We’ve already passed along Lowe’s news about exploratory Ty Lawson talks between the Nuggets and the latest on the Raptors and Terrence Ross, but Lowe’s must-read column has more, and we’ll hit the rest of the highlights here:

  • Lowe suggests the Warriors would like to try to convince Kevin Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and that they’ll see if any money-saving deals for David Lee are available.
  • The Nets don’t want to make a trade just for the sake of making one, and if they do swing a deal, they’ll seek “some token future assets” and cap flexibility for the summer of 2016, Lowe writes.
  • Lowe names Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson as examples of “little side pieces” the Magic will seek to trade. The Magic are open to trading Nicholson, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported last week. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders heard last month that teams had been calling about Harkless but that Orlando’s asking price was high.
  • The Pelicans would like an upgrade at small forward, but they won’t part with Ryan Anderson cheaply just to accomplish that goal, Lowe writes.
  • Corey Brewer declined his $4.905MM player option for next season to help facilitate the trade that sent him to the Rockets, according to Lowe. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders also shows the option as having been declined on his Rockets salary page.
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