How Teams Are Using 2019/20 Mid-Level Exceptions

In addition to receiving approximately $109MM in cap room and being allowed to surpass that threshold in order to sign players using Bird Rights or the minimum salary exception, each NBA team also receives a mid-level exception. The value of this exception varies depending on a club’s total team salary.

A team that goes under the cap to use its available cap room, for instance, receives only a modest form of the MLE known as the room exception. An over-the-cap team receives the full mid-level exception, unless that team is also over the tax line, in which case it gets a taxpayer version of the MLE that falls in between the full MLE and the room exception. We detailed the exact values of each form of mid-level exception earlier this offseason, but here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Room exception: Can be used for contracts up to two years, with a starting salary worth up to $4,767,000.
  • Taxpayer mid-level exception: Can be used for contracts up to three years, with a starting salary worth up to $5,718,000.
  • Full mid-level exception: Can be used for contracts up to four years, with a starting salary worth up to $9,258,000.

Now that nearly all of the NBA’s teams have used up their cap space, it’s worth keeping an eye on which teams still have part or all of their mid-level exceptions available, which we’ll do in the space below. This list will be kept up to date throughout the 2019/20 league year.

Note: As of January 10, the value of the exceptions below began to prorate downward by 1/177th per day.

Here’s where things currently stand:

Mid-Level Exception:

Non-taxpayer: $9,258,000

Charlotte Hornets

Cleveland Cavaliers

Dallas Mavericks

Denver Nuggets

Detroit Pistons

Golden State Warriors

Houston Rockets

Memphis Grizzlies

Miami Heat

Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder

Orlando Magic

Portland Trail Blazers

San Antonio Spurs

Toronto Raptors

Washington Wizards

Room Exception:

Available: $4,767,000

Atlanta Hawks

  • Used: $0

Boston Celtics

Brooklyn Nets

Chicago Bulls

Indiana Pacers

Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers

Milwaukee Bucks

New Orleans Pelicans

New York Knicks

Philadelphia 76ers

Phoenix Suns

Sacramento Kings

Utah Jazz

Salary information from Basketball Insiders, Early Bird Rights, and ESPN was used in the creation of this post. Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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