2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Washington Wizards

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.

The Wizards‘ salary cap flexibility over the last couple years has been compromised by the fact that their highest-paid player – and one of the highest-paid players in the entire NBA – has been on the shelf with injuries since December of 2018. However, John Wall is set to return to the court next season, as some other money – including Ian Mahinmi‘s sizable deal – comes off the team’s books.

That doesn’t mean that the Wizards are in a great position to spend. Their unwillingness to trade Davis Bertans at the deadline signaled that they want to re-sign him, and doing so may limit the club’s ability to do a whole lot else this offseason.

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

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • Isaac Bonga ($1,663,861) 2
  • Anzejs Pasecniks ($1,267,981) 1
  • Total: $2,931,842

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

If we assume all the Wizards’ players on guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts return and that the team gets the No. 9 pick in the lottery, that would work out to about $107.5MM in commitments for 12 roster spots. Re-signing Bertans to a contract in the $10-15MM neighborhood would take team salary well over the cap.

If Bertans signs elsewhere or returns on a reasonably team-friendly deal, the Wizards would still have a decent amount of breathing room below the luxury tax line, opening the door to potentially use their full mid-level exception.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 5
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,623,000 5


  1. Pasecniks’ new salary guarantee date is not known.
  2. Bonga’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after October 17.
  3. The cap hold for this pick will depend on where it ultimately falls in the lottery. Currently, the Wizards rank ninth in the lottery standings.
  4. The cap holds for Lawson, Randle, and Sessions remain on the Wizards’ 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. These are projected values. If the Wizards’ 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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13 thoughts on “2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Washington Wizards

  1. x%sure

    That was simple. Keeping third PG Napier is a good idea… He would be cheap with so many rookie PGs. Also cheap would be shotblocker Mahinmi,
    making 14 total.

  2. Sillivan

    I put Knicks and Hawks ahead of Wizards
    They can overpay FA and make the playoffs

  3. Simmons>Russ

    Obviously the major deal that’s on the Wizards books is John Wall and he’s what is holding the team back.

    I know his deal is absolutely awful and even if he returns from injury at all star level he isn’t going to live up to 40mil plus. Wall and Beal we already know won’t even win anything together and they struggle to make the playoffs together in the east. I think it’s time to just bite the bullet and trade him. Give him 20 or so game next season to show what he can do and hopefully he performs well which can boost his value a little bit then ultimately trade him.

    The Knicks have long been after a veteran all star level player particularly a point guard. They have been linked to CP3 for ages but the main thing holding that back is they don’t want to give up a first and OKC wants a first if it is to give up Paul.

    The deal:
    Wizards: Terry Rozier+Cody Zeller+Taj Gibson
    Knicks: John Wall+Malik Monk+2nd Round (WAS)
    Hornets: Julius Randle+DSJ+Ntilikina+T. Bryant+2nd Round (WAS)

    Wizards would have a decent starting 5 with Rozier Beal Hachimura (draft pick) Zeller and good depth with Ish Smith, Robinson, Brown, Wagner, Bertans and Gibson. Maybe they have Hachimura come off the bench for impact and start Bertans for more shooting but either way this team is more competitive that last year team and moving forward without Walls huge deal is great. I’d suggest they draft Avdija/Okoro or someone who falls.

    Knicks get a veteran all star point guard without giving up and first. They do give up a lot of players but none have much value and none are long term importance. Having Wall run and facilitate an offence will really help Barrett Robinson Knox and their new draft pick all be better players. I’d suggest they draft Wiseman if available otherwise Toppin or Melo Ball.

    Hornets swap out the old with the new with Zeller leaving and Bryant coming in. They also swap out Rozier on a long term deal for Randle on a short term deal and get back DSJ and a second which could be nice returns for not having to give up much. I’d suggest the Hornets draft Killian Hayes.

    • DynamiteAdams

      Wizards don’t trade Wall for a meager return that doesn’t really cut cap that much

      • Simmons>Russ

        Wizards aren’t getting back anything great and cutting cost on Walls deal without giving up multiple first round picks either.
        This deal gives them decent talent, not much in terms of long term guaranteed deals and doesn’t give up any picks.

        Rozier would have the second worst deal on the Wizards but he would be a pretty good backcourt partner for Beal. Beal has also said many times he wants the Wizards to be better defensively and able to win tight games. Zeller and Gibson would be vets that help them a lot defensively and win those tight games.

  4. x%sure

    Wall to the Knicks not CPaul is a good idea. Not sure what Charlotte wants though, and that trade puts them all-in on something!

    • Simmons>Russ

      Nah it helps the Hornets. They get rid of Terry Rozier who has a long contract for lots of money for Randles shorter expiring deal.
      Plus Bryant for Zeller is a solid move for a young team.

      They could potentially have a starting line up of Graham Bridges Washington Randle and Bryant which is abit big at the 2 and 3 spots but that’s hugely. Plus I think DSJ would be a solid back up point guard on this team away from the big city or New York.
      I would also mean they can draft who ever at whatever position as they don’t need to fill a hole in the line up.

  5. rxbrgr

    This is minutiae at its finest, but since Napier didn’t technically plan on a minimum deal (his first season was higher than the minimum), wouldn’t his cap gold be 130% of his current salary, rather than the minimum cap hold?

    • Luke Adams

      I actually recalled that about Napier’s deal and looked at that possibility. I think because his second year was at the minimum, that’s what the cap hold is based off of, even though the first year wasn’t. The wording in that CBA section starts like this: “If the player’s prior Salary was equal to or less than the Minimum Player Salary applicable to such player…”

  6. Simple Fan

    I’ve never seen them play. Only current Wiz players I know are Hachimura and IT. Seems they couldn’t buy into IT’s pressure-first formula. Well IT is also not a 6th string guard. My wonder is why would they disregarded IT while their stars are out of the game.

    They should get rid of Wall & Beal.

    • El Don

      Man IT ain’t no longer in DC, where have you been? Also he is the definition of a has been, even at his pick he wasn’t even a quarter of the player Wall is. Also why should they get rid of their best players? Specially when at least there are out there 20 teams wanting to pounce on Beal, it shows he is a keeper, right?

  7. Simple Fan

    Beal = a dope player. Wall’s good, too. On no way am I asking for a switcharound of players. Where I’ve been = not a Wizards fan.

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