2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Brooklyn Nets

A long, challenging rebuild began to pay dividends for the Nets in 2018/19, as the team finished sixth in the Eastern Conference, returning to the postseason for the first time since 2015.

With promising young players like Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Rodions Kurucs still on rookie deals and reliable contributors like Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris also locked up for next season, Brooklyn is set up well for the future. But the Nets will have to answer two crucial questions this summer: Will they invest big money in D’Angelo Russell, and will they be able to land a star in free agency?

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

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

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

  • Standard cap room projection: $30.4MM
  • For all the talk of the Nets being a player for a maximum-salary free agent, they’d have to shed some money to create enough room for one. This projection takes into account their seven guaranteed salaries, Russell’s cap hold, and the cap holds for their two first-round picks.
  • More aggressive cap room projection: $50MM
  • If the Nets want to open up more space, waiving-and-stretching Crabbe would be one option, but it might make more sense to trade him, using one of their first-round picks as a sweetener to convince a team to take on his contract. This projection assumes the Nets trade Crabbe along with the No. 17 overall pick without taking back any salary.
  • Other scenarios:
    • The most aggressive scenario I can envision for the Nets would involve trading Crabbe and both of their two first-round picks while also renouncing Russell’s cap hold. That’s probably not a likely outcome, but it would get Brooklyn all the way up to $71.3MM in space, enough for two maximum contracts.
    • If the Nets were to retain their first-round picks and Russell’s cap hold and simply waived-and-stretched Crabbe, their cap room would increase from $30.4MM (our initial projection) to $41.8MM. This would be the simplest way to create a max slot if the team doesn’t want to sacrifice a first-round pick and doesn’t mind spreading out Crabbe’s salary across three years.
    • Attaching their No. 27 pick to Crabbe in a trade while retaining Russell’s cap hold and their No. 17 pick would leave the Nets with $49MM in cap room.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Room exception: $4,760,000 4


  1. Napier’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 10.
  2. Graham’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 10.
  3. The salaries for two-way players don’t count against a team’s cap, but their cap holds do during the offseason.
  4. This is a projected value. In the unlikely event the Nets remain over the cap, they’d instead have access to the full mid-level exception ($9,246,000) and the bi-annual exception ($3,619,000).

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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