Hoops Rumors is looking ahead at the 2020/21 salary cap situations for all 30 NBA teams. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the NBA calendar, it’s impossible to know yet where the cap for 2020/21 will land. Given the league’s lost revenue, we’re assuming for now that it will stay the same as the ’19/20 cap, but it’s entirely possible it will end up higher or lower than that.
While one former No. 1 overall pick with a history of health issues (Derrick Rose) was a pleasant surprise for the Pistons in 2019/20, another (Blake Griffin) was limited to 18 ineffective games, which helped torpedo Detroit’s season.
After years of middle-of-the-pack finishes, the Pistons accepted that a rise to contention wasn’t around the corner and launched a full-scale rebuild, trading longtime center Andre Drummond, buying out veterans like Reggie Jackson and Markieff Morris, and focusing on player development. That focus figures to extend to next season and beyond, and since the Pistons’ roster isn’t exactly loaded with young talent, the rebuild will likely be a multiyear process.
Here’s where things stand for the Pistons financially in 2020/21, as we launch our Salary Cap Preview series:
- Blake Griffin ($36,810,996)
- Derrick Rose ($7,682,926)
- Luke Kennard ($5,273,826)
- Sekou Doumbouya ($3,449,400)
- Khyri Thomas ($744,684) — Partial guarantee. Non-guaranteed portion noted below. 1
- Total: $53,961,832
- Tony Snell ($12,178,571)
- Total: $12,178,571
- Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk ($1,663,861)
- Total: $1,663,861
- Bruce Brown ($1,663,861) 2
- Khyri Thomas ($919,177) 1
- Total: $2,583,038
Restricted Free Agents
- Thon Maker ($4,642,800 qualifying offer / $10,708,929 cap hold): Bird rights
- Jordan Bone (two-way qualifying offer / $1,445,697 cap hold): Non-Bird rights
- Louis King (two-way qualifying offer / $1,445,697 cap hold): Non-Bird rights
- Total (cap holds): $13,600,323
Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds
- Brandon Knight ($23,465,625): Bird rights
- John Henson ($14,598,594): Bird rights
- Langston Galloway ($13,933,333): Bird rights
- No. 5 overall pick ($6,400,920) 3
- Jordan McRae ($1,620,564): Early Bird rights
- Christian Wood ($1,620,564): Early Bird rights
- Jose Calderon ($1,620,564): Non-Bird rights 4
- Jameer Nelson ($1,620,564): Non-Bird rights 4
- Zaza Pachulia ($1,620,564): Non-Bird rights 4
- Kalin Lucas ($1,445,697): Non-Bird rights 4
- Isaiah Whitehead ($1,445,697): Non-Bird rights 4
- Total: $69,392,686
Offseason Cap Outlook
Trading Drummond and his massive 2020/21 player option ensured that the Pistons should be one of a small handful of teams with actual cap room available this offseason.
Even if the cap doesn’t increase beyond the ’19/20 figure and the Pistons keep all their non-guaranteed youngsters (Mykhailiuk, Brown, and Thomas), along with the cap hold for Wood, they project to have at least $28MM in space available. That number would increase a little with a larger cap, though it could fluctuate depending on where the team’s lottery pick lands.
Cap Exceptions Available
- Room exception: $4,767,000 5
- Trade exception: $1,716,873 (expires 2/8/21) 6
- Thomas’ salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 6.
- Brown’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 10.
- The cap hold for this pick will depend on where it ultimately falls in the lottery. Currently, the Pistons rank fifth in the lottery standings.
- The cap holds for Calderon, Nelson, Pachulia, Lucas, and Whitehead remain on the Pistons’ books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in 2019/20. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
- This is a projected value.
- The Pistons will have to renounce this exception in order to use cap room.
Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are based on the salary cap and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.