Knicks, Hawks, Suns Carrying Most 2018/19 Dead Money

All but two of the NBA’s 30 teams are carrying some sort of “dead money” on their salary cap for 2018/19. This dead money is created as a result of having, at some point, waived a player who had guaranteed money left on his contract (or having 10-day contracts expire).

In some cases, teams are carrying cap hits for players even though they released them several years ago. That’s the case in Detroit, for instance, where the Pistons have a $5,331,729 cap charge for Josh Smith this season — the Pistons cut Smith in 2014.

For other clubs, the dead money is a result of having waived players more recently. The Knicks, for example, shot to the top of 2018/19’s dead money list after the trade deadline when they released Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews, both of whom had cap hits of $18,622,514.

Carrying a significant amount of dead money isn’t necessarily a sign of cap mismanagement — the Hawks, for instance, have nearly $44MM in dead money on their books, but a significant portion of that money came as a result of acquiring and waiving Carmelo Anthony and Jamal Crawford. Both of those players came with first-round picks attached, so Atlanta doesn’t mind the fact that they’re taking up a chunk of the team’s cap room this year.

Conversely, the Hornets are one of just two teams with absolutely no dead money on their cap this season, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been well-managed. After all, many of Charlotte’s highest-paid players aren’t giving the team much in the way of on-court production.

Here’s the full list of 2018/19 dead money by team, as of March 12, starting with the Knicks:

  1. New York Knicks: $60,490,344
  2. Atlanta Hawks: $43,703,050
  3. Phoenix Suns: $39,609,580
  4. Brooklyn Nets: $39,363,271
  5. Los Angeles Clippers: $30,930,897
  6. San Antonio Spurs: $20,306,394
  7. Chicago Bulls: $18,918,503
  8. Dallas Mavericks: $15,593,061
  9. Los Angeles Lakers: $14,354,067
  10. Sacramento Kings: $11,827,028
  11. Indiana Pacers: $10,888,661
  12. New Orleans Pelicans: $10,196,784
  13. Milwaukee Bucks: $7,412,562
  14. Detroit Pistons: $7,189,209
  15. Portland Trail Blazers: $5,091,108
  16. Oklahoma City Thunder: $4,799,674
  17. Memphis Grizzlies: $3,884,469
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves: $2,945,201
  19. Toronto Raptors: $1,885,458
  20. Philadelphia 76ers: $1,740,276
  21. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1,572,152
  22. Washington Wizards: $1,553,515
  23. Orlando Magic: $1,333,333
  24. Golden State Warriors: $945,126
  25. Houston Rockets: $931,943
  26. Denver Nuggets: $412,389
  27. Miami Heat: $397,459
  28. Boston Celtics: $92,857
  29. Charlotte Hornets: $0
  30. Utah Jazz: $0

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

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