2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Washington Wizards

Projected by most fans and experts to be a playoff team in 2018/19, the Wizards dropped 11 of their first 13 games and never recovered. Things went from bad to worse when John Wall suffered a season-ending heel injury, then later ruptured his Achilles tendon, putting his 2019/20 season in jeopardy — just as his super-max contract is set to begin. Ernie Grunfeld‘s replacement in the Wizards’ basketball operations department will inherit a challenging situation.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Wizards financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2019:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $109,000,000
Projected Tax Line: $132,000,000

Offseason Cap Outlook

  • Realistic cap room projection: $0
  • Even if they’re only accounting for their five players on guaranteed salaries, cap holds for Satoransky and their first-round pick, and their mid-level exception, the Wizards will be an over-the-cap team. If they want to bring back any other free agents, such as Portis, Bryant, Ariza, or Green, they’ll go further over the cap. Barring major cost-cutting moves, there’s no path to cap room, but it’s reasonable to expect them to stay out of the tax.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Trade exception: $957,609 (expires 6/26/19)
  • Trade exception: $694,405 (expires 10/15/19)
  • Trade exception: $2,955,654 (expires 12/9/19)
  • Trade exception: $3,208,630 (expires 12/17/19)
  • Trade exception: $6,011,913 (expires 2/6/20)
  • Trade exception: $8,600,000 (expires 2/7/20)
  • Mid-level exception: $9,246,000 3
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,619,000 3


  1. This is a projected value.
  2. Lawson’s and Sessions’ cap holds remain on the Wizards’ books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in 2018/19. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  3. These are projected values. The Wizards will not be able to use these exceptions if their team salary exceeds the tax apron. In that scenario, they’d instead receive the taxpayer mid-level exception, worth a projected $5,711,000.

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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