Offseason Salary Cap Digest

2021 NBA Offseason Preview: Detroit Pistons

When Troy Weaver took the reins as the Pistons‘ general manager in 2020, fans and observers were a little caught off guard by his initial series of roster moves.

The rebuilding Pistons signed non-star veteran free agents like Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee to multiyear contracts; acquired players like Dewayne Dedmon and Zhaire Smith, only to waive-and-stretch them; and gave up nearly all of their future second-round picks along with Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown in order to land a third first-round pick in the draft.

Weaver’s unorthodox approach to rebuilding – or, as he calls it, “restoring” – didn’t exactly pay immediate dividends, as the Pistons’ 20-52 record was the worst in the Eastern Conference. But the Pistons’ crop of rookies – Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Bey, and Saben Lee – had promising seasons, Grant thrived in an increased role, and Plumlee proved to be a worthwhile investment.

It may still be a couple years before the Pistons are back in the postseason, but there are reasons to be optimistic about the club’s future.


The Pistons’ Offseason Plan:

The 2021 NBA draft is widely considered to have a top tier of five players, and there’s approximately an 80% chance the Pistons will secure a top-five pick, putting the team in position to select Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, or Jonathan Kuminga.

Drafting any of those players would be a great start to the offseason for Weaver and company. Landing at No. 6 would be a setback, but would still give Detroit a chance to add a promising prospect to its young core.

The dead money that the Blake Griffin buyout left on the Pistons’ books for 2021/22 will hinder the team from opening up a ton of cap room. But as we saw last fall, Weaver won’t hesitate to take some chances and make the most of what little space the team does have.

Still, I wouldn’t expect the Pistons to be quite as active or aggressive as they were a year ago, when they were involved in seven offseason trades and handed out multiple long-term contracts in free agency. Weaver will certainly continue working to reshape the roster to meet his vision, but I’d be surprised if the Pistons’ lottery pick isn’t the team’s most noteworthy roster addition this summer.

Detroit’s figures to focus on finding under-the-radar value and perhaps even using its limited cap room to accommodate a salary-dump trade that helps replenish the team’s collection of second-round picks. Then, the priority will be player development — the organization has already brought in John Beilein and is overhauling Dwane Casey‘s coaching staff with that goal in mind.


Salary Cap Situation

Note: Our salary cap projections are based on a presumed 3% increase, which would result in a $112.4MM cap for 2021/22.

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Two-Way Free Agents

Draft Picks

  • First-round pick (cap hold TBD) 5
  • No. 37 overall pick (no cap hold)
  • No. 42 overall pick (no cap hold) 6
  • No. 52 overall pick (no cap hold)

Extension-Eligible Players

  • Cory Joseph (veteran)
  • Rodney McGruder (veteran)

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

The Pistons have $88MM in guaranteed money on their books and will retain Diallo’s $2MM cap hold as they look to work out a new deal with him. That puts the team in position to operate either over or under the cap, depending in large part on whether they want to bring back Joseph. The cap hold for their first-round pick will also be a factor — it could be worth $10MM+ if it’s the No. 1 pick or less than $6MM if it’s No. 6.

My best guess for now is that the Pistons will waive Joseph before his salary becomes fully guaranteed and perhaps stretch his partial guarantee across three years, maximizing their flexibility in 2021. That could leave the team with $15MM+ in potential cap space. But again, if Detroit lands the first overall pick and/or really wants to keep Joseph around, operating over the cap – and having the full mid-level and bi-annual exceptions available – is another viable path for the team.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Room exception: $4,910,000 7

Footnotes

  1. Joseph’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after August 1.
  2. McGruder’s salary becomes fully guaranteed in mid-August (exact date TBD).
  3. Cook’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after August 10.
  4. Because he’ll have four years of NBA service, Jackson is ineligible to sign another two-way contract.
  5. The Pistons’ first-round pick is lottery-dependent. It could end up anywhere between 1-6.
  6. This pick could move up to No. 41 if San Antonio’s first-round pick moves ahead of Charlotte’s in the lottery.
  7. This is a projected value. If the Pistons operate over the cap, they’d have the mid-level exception ($9.5MM), bi-annual exception ($3.7MM), and a trade exception ($2MM) available.

Salary and cap information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 NBA Offseason Preview: Houston Rockets

The Rockets entered the 2020/21 league year with – at the very least – playoff aspirations. The team was coming off a disappointing second-round exit in the 2020 postseason, but after adding Christian Wood in free agency, there was a sense that if everything broke right, the roster still had enough talent to compete for a top spot in the West and make a deep postseason run.

Instead, injuries, COVID-19 issues, and James Harden‘s trade demand tanked Houston’s season almost before it began. The club managed to tread water for a little while, even after trading Harden in January, and was above .500 (11-10) as late as February 5. But injuries and a lack of star talent eventually caught up to the Rockets, who went into full-fledged seller mode by the trade deadline and finished the season by losing an incredible 45 of their last 51 games.


The Rockets’ Offseason Plan:

Lottery night will be crucial for the Rockets, who have slightly better than 50/50 odds to keep their top-four protected pick. If that selection lands at No. 5, Houston would have to send it to Oklahoma City in exchange for No. 18. If it ends up in the top four, the Rockets will be in prime position to draft a long-term cornerstone for their rebuild.

Either way though, the Rockets will have three first-round selections, including two in the 20s. Whether they use all of those picks or end up trading one or two, general manager Rafael Stone will be under pressure to maximize their value. Virtually all of the most valuable assets the team received in the Harden deal were future picks and swaps, so Stone is betting on his ability to draft well and perhaps uncover some hidden gems during the next few seasons.

Without a ton of cap flexibility, the Rockets appear unlikely to be particularly active on the free agent market. Waiting until the second or third wave of free agency to hunt for veterans on bargains makes sense for the club — those vets could contribute in the short term and perhaps be flipped for assets at next year’s trade deadline.

Stone figures to be more active in trade talks, with John Wall, Eric Gordon, D.J. Augustin, and Danuel House among the players who should be available for the right return. However, Wall and Gordon are coming off injuries and have pricey salaries, which will make it tricky for the Rockets to find decent value for them.


Salary Cap Situation

Note: Our salary cap projections are based on a presumed 3% increase, which would result in a $112.4MM cap for 2021/22.

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

  • D.J. Wilson ($6,422,171 qualifying offer / $13,644,840 cap hold): Bird rights
  • Total (cap holds): $13,644,840

Two-Way Free Agents

Draft Picks

  • First-round pick (cap hold TBD) 2
  • No. 23 overall pick ($2,353,320)
  • No. 24 overall pick ($2,259,240)
  • Total: TBD

Extension-Eligible Players

  • John Wall (veteran)
  • Danuel House (veteran)

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

With only about $89MM in guaranteed money on their books, the Rockets could theoretically have a little cap room this offseason. However, the non-guaranteed salaries for Tate and Martin will almost certainly be guaranteed and the cap holds for their first-round picks will significantly cut into their projected space, especially if they’re able to hang onto their top-four protected lottery pick.

It’s possible Houston will make a trade or two to reduce team salary and generate cap room, but for the time being, we’re assuming the club will operate over the cap, which would allow the front office to keep its various exceptions and to retain Olynyk’s Bird rights.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,536,000 3
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,732,000 3
  • Trade exception: $8,180,351
  • Trade exception: $5,019,920
  • Trade exception: $2,174,318
  • Trade exception: $1,780,152
  • Trade exception: $103,894

Footnotes

  1. Martin’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after August 1.
  2. One of the Rockets’ three first-round picks is lottery-dependent. It could end up between 1-4 or at No. 18, depending on the results of the lottery.
  3. These are projected values.

Salary and cap information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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

Footnotes

  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.

2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Utah Jazz

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.

After acquiring Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic during the 2019 offseason, the Jazz were viewed as a strong candidate to join the likes of the Lakers and Clippers in the top tier of the Western Conference. Utah flashed that potential at times, but some prolonged slumps raised doubts about whether the team is a true contender.

At 41-23 and fourth in the West, the Jazz are theoretically well positioned to win a playoff series this summer, but Bogdanovic’s season-ending wrist injury limits their upside. Utah should get another opportunity to reach its ceiling next season, however, as nearly all its key contributors remain under contract.

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

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • Mike Conley ($34,502,132)

    • Note: Early termination option
  • Total: $34,502,132

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

It’s a safe bet Conley won’t be passing on the opportunity to earn $34.5MM next season, so we’ll assume he waives his ETO (ie. opts in). If we add his salary to Utah’s guaranteed contracts, along with Niang and the team’s first-round pick, we’re up to about $116MM for 10 roster spots. As such, there’s virtually no doubt the Jazz will be operating as an over-the-cap team.

The Jazz’s ability to make use of their full mid-level exception will depend in part on whether they re-sign Clarkson. Committing mid-level-type money to Clarkson could put Utah right up against the tax and take the full MLE off the table. But if Clarkson walks, the organization should have a bit of flexibility.

Cap Exceptions Available

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

Footnotes

  1. Tucker’s new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  2. Niang’s new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  3. These are projected values. If the Jazz’s 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.

2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Toronto Raptors

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.

Following a thrilling run to the first NBA championship in franchise history last spring, the Raptors lost Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, prompting a number of league observers to project a fall back to earth in 2019/20. However, this year’s version of the Raps proved they’re more than just Leonard’s supporting cast, entering the hiatus with a 46-18 record, good for third in the NBA.

With key contributors like Fred VanVleet, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka all headed for unrestricted free agency, Toronto’s outlook is uncertain going forward, but the team should have the flexibility to bring back at least one or two of those veterans while retaining spending power for the 2021 offseason.

Here’s where things stand for the Raptors 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 Raptors don’t currently have a ton of guaranteed money on their books for 2020/21, but we’re assuming they’ll operate as an over-the-cap team in order to retain the ability to re-sign some combination of VanVleet, Gasol, Ibaka, Boucher, and Hollis-Jefferson.

Depending on how expensive VanVleet and their veteran centers get, Toronto could even end up flirting with the tax line again next season. If we assume the cap doesn’t increase at all for 2020/21 and that Johnson and all the non-guaranteed players return, the club would have a cushion of about $45MM to re-sign its own free agents (and/or add outside talent) before going into tax territory.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 6

Footnotes

  1. This is a projected value. Siakam’s actual maximum salary will be 25% of the cap, unless he makes the All-NBA First or Second Team, in which case it will be anywhere from 28-30% of the cap.
  2. Davis’ new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  3. Hernandez’s new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  4. Gasol’s cap hold will be the lesser of $38,393,550 or 35% of the 2020/21 cap.
  5. The cap holds for De Colo, Nogueira, Lin, Meeks, and Thompson remain on the Raptors’ books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in 2019/20. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  6. This is a projected value. If the Raptors’ 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.

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

Footnotes

  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.

2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Sacramento Kings

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 Kings‘ 39-43 performance in 2018/19 qualified as a breakthrough. It was the team’s best record in 13 years, after all. Sacramento didn’t take another step forward in ’19/20, but hung around the outskirts of the playoff race even as former No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III missed most of the season and other key contributors – like De’Aaron Fox and Richaun Holmes – were sidelined with injuries for extended stretches.

Continued development from young players like Fox and Bagley will be crucial as the Kings look to make the leap from frisky lottery team to solid playoff contender. However, the team’s young core will start getting more expensive going forward, beginning with Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic in 2020/21.

Here’s where things stand for the Kings 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

Parker will likely opt in, so adding his salary and the cap hold for Sacramento’s first-round pick increases the club’s guaranteed commitments to about $94MM for nine roster spots. It’s safe to assume the Kings will do all they can to re-sign Bogdanovic too, so they’ll operate as an over-the-cap team.

A deadline deal that sent Dewayne Dedmon to Atlanta ensured that the Kings should have the flexibility to negotiate a market-value deal – or match any reasonable offer sheet – for Bogdanovic without approaching the luxury tax line. As such, Sacramento should have the non-taxpayer mid-level and bi-annual exceptions at its disposal this offseason, though it might not make sense to use both exceptions in full — especially if the team wants to retain Bjelica, Bazemore, or any of its other free agents.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 3
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,623,000 3
  • Trade exception: $2,673,334 (expires 2/8/21)

Footnotes

  1. Bjelica’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after October 17.
  2. The Kings can’t offer Giles a starting salary worth more than his cap hold, since his rookie scale team option for 2020/21 was declined.
  3. These are projected values. If team salary gets high enough, it’s possible the Kings would instead 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.

2020/21 NBA Salary Cap Preview Series

Even as it remains unclear when exactly the 2020 NBA offseason will happen, Hoops Rumors is looking ahead at the 2020/21 salary cap situations for all 30 teams, breaking down the guaranteed salaries, non-guaranteed salaries, options, free agents, and cap holds on each club’s books.

Due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the NBA, it’s impossible to know yet where the salary cap for 2020/21 will land. Given the league’s lost revenue, we’re assuming for now that the cap for next season will stay the same as the ’19/20 cap, and the numbers in our previews reflect that. However, it’s entirely possible next year’s cap will end up higher or even lower than that.

You can find the link to your favorite team’s offseason salary cap digest below. You can find this post anytime on the right-hand sidebar of our desktop site under “Hoops Rumors Features,” or under “Features” in our mobile menu.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic

Central

Southeast


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Northwest

Pacific

Southwest

2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Portland Trail Blazers

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.

After arguably overachieving in 2018/29 by winning 53 games and earning a trip to the Western Conference Finals, the Trail Blazers came back to earth in 2019/20. Plagued by some bad injury luck that resulted in Jusuf Nurkic, Rodney Hood, and Zach Collins missing nearly the entire season, Portland was just 29-37 when the NBA went on hiatus.

Fortunately, the team will finally be out from under its ill-advised 2016 spending spree going forward. Although that doesn’t mean that the Blazers will gain any cap room during the 2020 offseason, it does mean that the club probably won’t be flirting with the tax anymore and should have a little extra spending flexibility going forward.

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

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • Trevor Ariza ($11,000,000) 1
  • Total: $11,000,000

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

If we add the cap hold for their first-round pick to their guaranteed salaries and assume Hood and Hezonja opt in, the Blazers will be up near $105MM in commitments for 10 roster spots, eliminating the possibility of cap room.

Portland’s spending ability from there will depend in large part on what the club does with Ariza and Whiteside. Both veterans played well for the Blazers, but it may not make sense to guarantee Ariza’s $12.8MM salary or to pay market value to re-sign Whiteside with Nurkic due back. If neither player returns, the team would be able to comfortably use its full mid-level exception and bi-annual exception without nearing the tax line. If even one is retained, using those exceptions in full would be more challenging.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $9,258,000 4
  • Bi-annual exception: $3,623,000 4
  • Trade exception: $7,069,662 (expires 1/21/21)
  • Trade exception: $2,338,847 (expires 2/8/21)
  • Trade exception: $1,790,993 (expires 7/8/20)

Footnotes

  1. Ariza’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after October 18.
  2. Whiteside’s cap hold will be equivalent to 30% of the 2020/21 salary cap.
  3. The Trail Blazers can’t offer Swanigan a starting salary worth more than his cap hold, since his rookie scale team option for 2020/21 was declined.
  4. These are projected values. If team salary gets high enough, it’s possible the Trail Blazers would instead 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.

2020/21 Salary Cap Preview: Phoenix Suns

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 Suns’ .400 winning percentage in 2019/20 technically represents the organization’s best mark since 2014/15. Still, the team – which had a 26-39 record when the NBA suspended its season – has yet to take a major step forward in its rebuild.

Continued development from Booker, Ayton, and Phoenix’s other young players will be the most important factor in Phoenix’s return to playoff contention. Still, there could be another path to improvement this offseason, as the Suns may be one of the NBA’s only teams with cap room, depending on what they decide to do with Dario Saric and Aron Baynes.

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

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

If we assume the Suns want to maximize their cap room, it would mean they’ll renounce at least Saric and Baynes while also turning down their team option on Kaminsky. In that scenario, the team could open up in the neighborhood of $16-19MM in space even if the cap doesn’t increase.

That’s not an unrealistic path for Phoenix, especially if the club has its eye on one or two specific free agent targets. However, it also wouldn’t be surprising if the Suns attempt to retain one or more of the veterans noted above, particularly Saric. That approach would likely mean operating as an over-the-cap team and gaining access to the full mid-level exception and bi-annual exception.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Room exception: $4,767,000 3

Footnotes

  1. Okobo’s new salary guarantee date is unknown.
  2. The cap hold for this pick will depend on where it ultimately falls in the lottery. Currently, the Suns rank 10th in the lottery standings.
  3. This is a projected value. If the Suns operate as an over-the-cap team, they’d instead have access to have access to the full mid-level exception ($9,258,000) and the bi-annual exception ($3,623,000).

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.