2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: San Antonio Spurs

Hoops Rumors is looking ahead at the 2020/21 salary cap situations for all 30 NBA teams. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the NBA, 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.

With or without the NBA’s hiatus, the Spurs‘ 22-year postseason streak was likely going to come to an end this year, as the team appears headed to the draft lottery for the first time since 1997.

The last time San Antonio bottomed out, the team lucked into Tim Duncan, but a top draft pick is a long shot for this year’s squad, and there doesn’t appear to be a surefire franchise player in the 2020 draft class anyway. The Spurs probably shouldn’t rely on free agency to turn things around either — the team won’t have much spending flexibility if DeMar DeRozan exercises his $27MM+ player option.

Here’s where things stand for the Spurs financially in 2020/21, as we continue our Salary Cap Preview series:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

The Spurs’ cap outlook for 2020/21 is one of the trickiest to project. With approximately $88.6MM locked in for eight guaranteed contracts and a draft pick, San Antonio doesn’t initially appear to be in terrible shape financially. But if DeRozan opts in, it would increase the club’s guaranteed commitments to $116MM+. And that’s before accounting for the possibility of re-signing players like Poeltl and/or Forbes and filling out the rest of the roster.

There have been rumblings that DeRozan might not be thrilled with his current situation, so he’s not a stone-cold lock to opt in. But given the league’s financial outlook, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t do so. My guess is that he’ll ultimately pick up that option and that the Spurs will try to re-sign at least one of Poeltl or Forbes — perhaps both if the team can get them at reasonable prices or if money can be shed elsewhere.

With so many of their contracts set to expire in 2021, the Spurs won’t do anything rash to cut costs, but they aren’t going to go into the tax for the current roster either. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle this offseason, especially if the cap doesn’t increase at all.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 6
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,623,000 6


  1. Lyles’ salary becomes fully guaranteed after October 18.
  2. Metu’s new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  3. The cap hold for this pick will depend on where it ultimately falls in the lottery. Currently, the Spurs rank 11th in the lottery standings.
  4. The cap holds for Cunningham, Lauvergne, Lee, Motiejunas, Pondexter, Costello, Hilliard, and Moore remain on the Spurs’ books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in 2019/20. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  5. The 26th overall pick in 2015, Milutinov has yet to sign his rookie scale contract. His cap hold will remain on the Spurs’ books unless the team receives permission to remove it, which would ensure Milutinov won’t be signed in 2020/21.
  6. These are projected values. If the Spurs’ team salary continues to increase, they may be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,718,000).

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.

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

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11 thoughts on “2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: San Antonio Spurs

    • x%sure

      Carroll would be a good, at least well-rested, replacement. Get over Bertans

      • Simple Fan

        Bertans plays for WSW, not SAS. The Spurs are right now Aldridge and DeRozan strong. SAS is an excellent team. Carroll plays for the Rockets now. The Spurs have Gay, Lyles, Mills. Aldridge, DeRozan. There would always be questions about their roster but don’t bring them down for anything they have. Hate on WAS if u want but the Spurs have it together; don’t criticize them. Carroll is good but there is no reason to bring him up. Bertans is also a nice player but where in the world do you see them on the Spurs? Nowhere.

        The Spurs probably have the best management in the league. They manage many of the best players who will ever come through any office. They managed

        • Simple Fan

          They managed Duncan, Leonard, Danny Green, and many Champions. It’s a good office. I like the transitions that they do. It’s cool they don’t really believe in doing it a lot.

          Mills was much a better player than Rubio this year. Seeing Rubio be selected on the Wolves all-time roster is just another joke. His season with Phoenix was a shot in the pan and he underperformed. Maybe it was difficult. But Fans wanted Rubio to develop on another level and he didn’t. Trying to adapt to playing with Booker&Ayton must be hard. I wonder what happened there

  1. hiflew

    I have always felt that Trey Lyles should be a much better player than he is. I felt that when he was at Kentucky. You could always tell he was talented, but he sometimes looked like he didn’t go all out. In the NBA, he has never really gotten a shot as a full time starter, but other than his draft position, he hasn’t really shown he deserved it. The guy is still just 24, so I guess it is still possible for him to be a late bloomer. But it is looking more and more like he is destined to be one of those guys that doesn’t come close to reaching his potential.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Spurs didn’t luck out on Duncan. They tanked for him. DeRozan is not getting a big contract anywhere else. It’s best to wait one more yr. And take that 28 mill. So Spurs with this draft. Should go in on a Rebuild. Move Aldridge and DeRozan. I thought Celtics would go after Aldridge this yr. They should off.

    • Luke Adams

      They lucked out in winning the ’97 lottery — the Celtics had much better odds.

    • hiflew

      They didn’t “tank,” they lost their best player for the season. David Robinson was lost for the year. And if I am not mistaken, that was also the year that Sean Elliott had his kidney problem. Those types of things can’t be helped. It’s just like Golden State this season. GS didn’t tank, they just had a bad injury problem.

  3. Moving DeRozan after he picks up his option would be best for the Spurs. Moving LMA should also be something the Spurs explore, though the return may cost the team cap space next summer.Would be great to see them get something for Gay, even if it’s a late first or a second. The Spurs are backcourt heavy, but it’s time to rebuild, and that means getting anything they can for their vets.

  4. Simmons>Russ

    Spurs don’t seem to have much direction right now. They have two aging stars who are definitely on the decline now.
    They also have an aging coach who hasn’t exactly done much all his stats have left him.

    I definitely respect what Pop has done but he’s been with the Spurs for over 20 years now, he’s also 71. His wife died last year, he’s had hip and heart surgery and he also coach’s the USA men’s basketball team.
    He’s got a great legacy and loads of respect why not call in quits with the Spurs and if you want keep on the the head coach role of team USA.
    Let someone else younger with exciting new ideas take over in San Antonio. Begin a rebuild and start to move on.

    Becky Hamon has been waiting under Pop for a long time and is more than ready.
    I’d sign and trade DeMare DeRozan for Aaron Gordon. And trade LaMarcus Aldridge and a first for Caris LeVert and Taurean Prince.

    1. Murray. White. Mills
    2. LeVert. Walker
    3. Prince. Johnson
    4. Gordon. Gay. Samanic
    5. Poetl. Lyles

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