Month: May 2021

Mid-Level, Bi-Annual Projections For 2021/22

Under the NBA’s previous Collective Bargaining Agreement, the values of various salary cap exceptions like the mid-level and bi-annual were established years in advance, but the league’s current CBA tweaked how those exceptions are calculated.

Rather than being determined ahead of time, the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions – along with several other cap-related figures and exceptions – are dependent on the movement of the salary cap from year to year. If the cap increases by 5% from one league year to the next, the exceptions increase by the same rate.

As such, we don’t know yet exactly what those exceptions will be worth in 2021/22, but we can make an educated estimate. When the NBA updated its salary cap projections last November, the league said the cap would increase by a minimum of 3% and a maximum of 10% in ’21/22.

While that’s a pretty wide range, there’s a general belief that an increase on the lower end (3%) is the most likely outcome, given the projected revenue the league has lost this year due to not being able to fill arenas. If the cap does increase by 3%, the values of the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions would increase by 3% too.

[RELATED: Maximum Salary Projections For 2021/22]

Based on a 3% cap increase, here’s what the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions would look like in 2021/22:

Mid-Level Exception

Year Standard MLE
Taxpayer MLE Room MLE
2021/22 $9,536,000 $5,890,000 $4,910,000
2022/23 $10,012,800 $6,184,500 $5,155,500
2023/24 $10,489,600 $6,479,000
2043/25 $10,966,400
Total $41,004,800 $18,553,500 $10,065,500

The standard mid-level exception is available to over-the-cap teams that haven’t dipped below the cap to use room and don’t go over the tax apron. It can run for up to four years, with 5% annual raises. Once a team uses the standard/non-taxpayer MLE, that team is hard-capped at the tax apron for the rest of the league year.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Mid-Level Exception]

The taxpayer mid-level exception is for in-the-tax teams, or teams that want the flexibility to surpass the tax apron later. It can run for up to three years, with 5% annual raises.

The room exception is for teams that go under the cap and use their space. Once they’ve used all their cap room, they can use this version of the mid-level exception, which runs for up to two years with 5% annual raises.

Bi-Annual Exception

Year BAE Value
2019/20 $3,732,000
2020/21 $3,918,600
Total $7,650,600

The bi-annual exception – which can be used for contracts up to two years, with a 5% raise after year one – is only available to teams that are over the cap and under the tax apron.

It can also only be used once every two years, which will disqualify the Nuggets, Lakers, and Bucks from using it in 2021/22 — they all used their BAE in 2020/21.

Bradley Beal Out Monday Due To Hamstring Strain

3:53pm: Beal has been ruled out for Monday’s game in Atlanta due to his left hamstring strain, the team announced (via Twitter).

9:50am: Wizards guard Bradley Beal will undergo testing to determine the severity of a strained hamstring he suffered Saturday night, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

Beal said he tweaked the hamstring early in the second half and it became more painful as the night went on. He left the game with 21 seconds to play in the fourth quarter and was held out of overtime as Washington defeated Indiana to move into ninth place in the East. Coach Scott Brooks told reporters that Beal’s status will be determined over the next few days.

“I knew it was a little tight in the second half,” Beal said. “First play of the second, I twisted my ankle … I went back out there, my left hammy felt a little tight. I didn’t think anything of it, kept playing. I think the layup on (Doug) McDermott put us up one, it kind of intensified a little bit, and then the floater I missed at the end, it definitely kind of put me over the top.”

Washington has four games remaining as it tries to move into the upper play-in game. The Wizards will play twice in Atlanta, then will finish the season at home against the Cavaliers and Hornets. They are currently a game and a half behind eighth-place Charlotte.

In addition to the playoff race, Beal’s injury could affect the battle for the scoring title. He poured in 50 points last night and is averaging 31.4 PPG, trailing the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, who is at 31.9 PPG.

“Let’s hope for good news and that he is all good to go,” Russell Westbrook said. “His night can’t go unnoticed either. He had 50 … He has been keeping us together along the season and (been) very exceptional. I am grateful to have him as a teammate.”

Magic Sign Donta Hall For Remainder Of Season

MAY 9: The Magic have officially signed Hall for the rest of the season via a hardship exception, the team announced today in a press release. The deal, which covers eight days, will be worth $79,216.

MAY 8: The Magic will sign forward Donta Hall to a rest-of-season contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Orlando signed Hall to a pair of 10-day contracts, the second of which was set to expire on Sunday. Before that deal ran its full course, the club inked Ignas Brazdeikis to a 10-day contract and released Hall.

The 23-year-old Hall has played eight games for the Magic, averaging 3.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG in 11.5 MPG. Hall also played in a total of nine games for Detroit and Brooklyn last season.

Orlando turned back to Hall after an apparent agreement with Admiral Schofield failed to materialize. It’s believed the injury-riddled Magic will sign Hall using the hardship exception.

Former Pelican Will Magnay Resumes Career In Australia

Former Pelicans big man Will Magnay, who was on a two-way contract with New Orleans until he was waived last month, has returned to his home country of Australia, signing with the Perth Wildcats for the rest of the 2020/21 campaign, per a press release from the team.

“The opportunity to play basketball again, at such a historic team like Perth, is exciting,” Magnay said in a statement. “I’m just dying to get back on the court.”

A 6’10” center, Magnay appeared in just one game for the Pelicans as an NBA rookie, going scoreless in three minutes. He also averaged 9.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 10 appearances (22.2 MPG) for the Erie BayHawks in the G League. He was released in April when New Orleans signed James Nunnally to a two-way deal.

Magnay, who will turn 23 next month, played one year of college ball at Tulsa in 2016/17 before heading back to Australia, where he spent his first three professional seasons under contract with the Brisbane Bullets in the National Basketball League. He was named the NBL’s Most Improved Player in ’19/20 and was the runner-up for the Best Defensive Player award, earning him a shot in the NBA this season.

Knicks Notes: Vildoza, Thibodeau, Payton, Barrett

Although Argentinian guard Luca Vildoza will join the Knicks soon, he may not start playing until next season, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. The team signed Vildoza to a four-year, $13.6MM contract this week, but coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t have much to say about him during a session with the media before Friday’s game.

“It’s going to take some time for him to get over here,” Thibodeau said. “Our scouts really liked him. We’ll have time to evaluate him over the summer.” He later added, “There’s a whole process that he’s going to have to go through, so it’s going to be more of a summer thing.’’

Thibodeau’s statements seem to indicate that he will stick with Elfrid Payton as his starting point guard, Berman adds, even though Payton hasn’t been effective lately. He was a minus-23 in Friday’s loss to Phoenix and has posted negative ratings in seven of the past 12 games. Still, Thibodeau likes the size and agility Payton brings on defense and doesn’t want to damage his confidence heading into the playoffs.

Sources told Berman that Thibodeau’s attitude toward Vildoza is a show of support for his current players, who will each miss out on a $200K bonus because the Knicks reached the salary cap floor by signing Vildoza. It will take time for Vildoza to get immigration clearance because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s not certain when he will join the team.

There’s more from New York:

  • In an interview with Gigantes del Basket, Vildoza said he has always dreamed of playing in the NBA, relays Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. “For me it’s like living a dream,” he said. “I don’t like leaving in the middle of the season. … (But) it’s a unique opportunity that may never happen again, I didn’t want to miss it.”
  • RJ Barrett‘s improved shooting in his second NBA season has contributed to the Knicks’ turnaround, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Barrett spent the offseason focusing on his shot after being disappointed with his performance as a rookie. “You just have to keep working,” Barrett said. “If you can just get the results you want that easily, everybody would be where they want to be.”
  • The strong defensive mentality that Thibodeau has installed is drawing comparisons to the best teams in Knicks’ history, states Steve Popper of Newsday.

Pelicans’ David Griffin Fined $50K

The NBA has fined Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin $50K for “public criticism of the officiating and comments detrimental to the NBA,” the league announced (via Twitter).

Griffin’s comments came Friday in response to a fractured finger that could keep Zion Williamson out for the rest of the  season, writes Christian Clark of Griffin called the injury “avoidable” and said referees are allowing opponents to enjoy an “open season” on the second-year forward.

“We told the NBA through every means available to us … that the way they were officiating Zion was going to get him injured,” Griffin said. “Quite frankly, he’s injured because of the open season that there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint. He has been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis to the point where other players have said to him, ‘I’m going to keep doing this to you’ because they don’t call it. There is more violence encouraged on him in the paint than any player I’ve seen since (Shaquille O’Neal). It was egregious and horrific then. The same is true now.”

Griffin said Williamson’s injury didn’t occur on a single play, but was the result of excessive contact “over a period of time.”

“It’s a blunt-force injury,” Griffin said. “He was being beaten on the hand over and over and over again. For me to tell you one time, I don’t think I can do that. I don’t think he knows one time.”

Heath Updates: Porzingis, Kleber, J. Brown, R. Williams, Hunter, Carter, Bradley

The Mavericks are in good shape to avoid a play-in game, but they may have to finish the regular season without big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News.

Porzingis has already been declared out for today’s game against the Cavaliers, marking the sixth straight game he will miss and the ninth in the last 10 games. He suffered a sprained left ankle on March 22, then returned three games later and had to leave with soreness in his right knee. He tested the knee before Friday’s game, shooting for about 15 minutes.

Kleber has sat out the past three games with pain in his right Achilles. He is officially listed as questionable for today, but coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t expect him to play.

“Not having Kleber or Porzingis puts us in a more precarious situation,” Carlisle said. “But we’ve just got to figure it out. Five games left. Every game is super meaningful. We understand it. We’re just going to stay in the present, stick to the process and keep working.”

Here are some more injury-related updates:

  • Celtics forward Jaylen Brown will miss today’s showdown with the Heat because of a sprained right ankle, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The team had hoped Brown could be ready, but he will sit out his third straight game. Robert Williams is considered probable for today with turf toe, but coach Brad Stevens said there will be a lot of game-time decisions for him for the rest of the season, Murphy adds (via Twitter).
  • Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter will be a game-time decision at best on Monday, according to Kevin Chouinard of (Twitter link). Coach Nate McMillan indicated that a final decision will be made after today’s practice and Monday’s walkthrough. Hunter has missed the past 24 games and has only played twice since January 29.
  • Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. is dealing with blurry vision and slightly impaired depth perception, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. He will miss tonight’s game with a left eye abrasion (Twitter link).
  • Rockets coach Stephen Silas said there’s no timetable for a return by guard Avery Bradley, who is out for personal reasons, relays Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston (Twitter link).

Rockets Signing Cameron Oliver For The Rest Of The Season

Center Cameron Oliver has agreed to a 10-day contract with the Rockets that will cover the remainder of the regular season, according to Olgun Uluc of ESPN.

Oliver, 24, recently completed his second season with the Cairns Taipans in Australia’s National Basketball League, averaging 17.3 points, 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is still under contract with the Taipans for the 2021/22 season, so his NBA stay figures to be brief.

Oliver is one of the top centers in Australia, according to Uluc, with elite athleticism and a shooting range stretching beyond the three-point line. He will join former Sydney Kings player Jae’Sean Tate and coach Will Weaver in Houston.

Oliver has a history with the Rockets, points out Ben DuBose of USA Today’s Rockets Wire. After going undrafted out of Nevada in 2017, Oliver signed with Houston and participated in training camp that year. He played two seasons in the G League before going to Australia.

The Rockets have a full roster, DuBose adds, but could add Oliver without another move if they get a second hardship exception from the league. With a roster severely depleted by injuries, Houston recently used its first hardship exception to add Khyri Thomas.

Warriors Notes: Toscano-Anderson, Wiseman, Paschall, Wolves’ Pick

Juan Toscano-Anderson, who is expected to be promoted to the Warriors‘ 15-man roster next week after playing on a two-way contract all season, has impressed coach Steve Kerr with the way he plays the game, writes Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area. In a radio interview Friday, Kerr praised Toscano-Anderson for sticking to his NBA dream.

“Twenty-eight years old, he’s bounced around the entire world playing basketball, and I think our fans love him,” Kerr said. “I know we love him as a coaching staff. The guy just gets it. He plays with great energy, he’s smart, he’s tough. He’s improved his skill now as a passer and a shooter to a point where he’s really making a lot of plays out there for us.”

Toscano-Anderson has become a more efficient shooter from everywhere on the court in his second NBA season, White points out. He’s also part of Golden State’s lineup with the best net rating and best offensive rating.

“(When) a guy knows how to play and he can guard multiple spots, he can play in any combination, and that’s his real value to our team,” Kerr said. “He’s not dependent on a certain combination. In pretty much every case, he makes whatever combination he’s with better.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kerr said rookie center James Wiseman is in “great spirits” following meniscus surgery last month, White adds in a separate story. It’s not certain that Wiseman will be ready for the start of training camp, but Kerr said he plans to rehab at the team facility during the offseason. “James is a really willing athlete. Willing, patient. He wants to be here,” Kerr said. “He wants to get better however he can, so we’ll give him every opportunity to improve — both on the floor once he’s ready to get out there, but also obviously in the training room and in the weight room.”
  • The team isn’t sure if Eric Paschall will return before the end of the regular season, tweets Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. Recovering from a hip flexor strain, Paschall has been able to scrimmage but has barely practiced and is considered day to day.
  • This year probably presents the best chance for Golden State to earn maximum value from the Timberwolves‘ first-round pick, says Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Minnesota’s selection is top-three protected in 2021 and unprotected in 2022, but the Wolves have shown signs of improvement and may not be among the league’s worst teams next season. Minnesota is tied for second in our current Reverse Standings, but could move “down” several spots with a strong finish. If the Wolves have the league’s second- or third-worst record, the Warriors will have nearly a 60% chance of seeing the pick convey this year.

Rodney Hood Has Left Hand Fracture

Raptors swingman Rodney Hood suffered a fracture of the second metacarpal on his left hand in tonight’s game, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.

With just four games left to play and Toronto out of playoff contention, Hood is likely done for the season. He played in 16 games after being acquired from the Trail Blazers in March and averaged 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per night.

Hood, 28, has a $10,851,246 contract for next season, but it’s currently non-guaranteed and he’s unlikely to be part of the Raptors’ future. His guarantee deadline precedes the 2021 free agent period, so he’ll likely reach the open market ahead of this year’s FA class.