The amount of cap room teams will actually have
June 8th, 2013

All salary information is taken from this website’s own salary pages. All figures taken from the day of publication – if subsequent trades/signings are made, then adjust accordingly.

NOTE: All cap space amounts are calculated to an estimated salary cap of $58.5 million. This inexact figure is the most recent (and thus accurate) projection released yet, and will suffice for now. When the actual amount is calculated/announced, the sums below will be altered accordingly.

It is vital – VITAL – that you understand what a “cap hold” is before you read this. An explanation can be found here.

    Atlanta Hawks

Committed salary for 2013/14: $22,497,415 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: At most, $35,504,580, but not really.

If Atlanta renounce (or lose) Josh Smith, and renounce their remaining free agents (Kyle Korver, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro, Ivan Johnson, Jeff Teague, Dahntay Jones, Hilton Armstrong, Erick Dampier, Etan Thomas, Randolph Morris and Anthony Tolliver), waive DeShawn Stevenson ($2,240,450, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date), Shelvin Mack ($884,293, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date) and Mike Scott ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until August 15th, thereafter $100,000 guaranteed) and sell or renounce their first-round draft picks (#17 and #18, cap holds of $1,348,200 and $1,280,800), they will have a cap number of $22,995,420 (the committed salary plus nine minimum salary roster charges of $490,180 for having less than twelve things on the cap).

(If you want to get really absurd, they could even amnesty Al Horford. Hypotheticals are fun.)

This is, however, a maximum amount. And it’s not a realistic one. Smith’s cap hold will be equal to the maximum amount for a nine year veteran, and, while this amount will not be known until the new salary cap figure is determined, a slight increase in the cap will mean a slight increase in the $16,402,500 nine year veteran maximum amount that this year’s cap produced. So unless he is renounced, or until he is signed elsewhere, that’s a $16.5 million cap hold cutting into that $35.5 million figure. The same is true of Teague’s $6,082,692 cap hold, and the negligible amounts saved by trading the picks, not giving Johnson his $1,250,854 qualifying offer, and waiving Scott, are also not likely to happen. In a scenario where they are all retained, then, Atlanta’s cap situation then looks like this:

Josh Smith: $16,500,000 (circa, cap hold)
Al Horford: $12,000,000
Jeff Teague: $6,082,692 (cap hold)
Lou Williams: $5,225,000
#17 pick): $1,348,200
#18 pick: $1,280,800
Ivan Johnson: $1,250,854 (cap hold & qualifying offer)
John Jenkins: $1,258,800
Mike Scott: $788,872
Jeremy Tyler: $100,000 (waived)
Roster charge (rookie minimum cap hold for not having 12 things on the cap, one for each number under – Tyler doesn’t count): $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total: $47,305,758 = $11,194,242 in cap room

Even this scenario assumes the renouncements of Korver and Pachulia, quality role players who won’t be easily replaced. Yet such is the reality of the gamble of cap space. Atlanta can and likely will have eight figures worth of cap space, and they could have an awful lot more than that should Smith move on. But it’s a choice.

(Note: “things on the cap” constitute players under contract, free agents not under contract who have cap holds, and the cap holds of unsigned first-round picks. Unsigned second-round picks do not have cap holds and thus do not count for anything, and nor do waived players.)

    Boston Celtics

Committed salary for 2013/14: $76,019,698 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

If Paul Pierce is waived, that saves $10,333,334 (or $15,333,334 if done via the amnesty clause), and if Kevin Garnett retires without ever drawing another penny, that saves another $12,433,735. That plus some other smaller concurrent moves would mean it would be possible for the Celtics to have a small amount of cap room. But it is farfetched and not worth it.

    Brooklyn Nets

Committed salary for 2013/14: $86,340,931 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

Not a chance.

    Charlotte Bobcats

Committed salary for 2013/14: $41,077,306 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $21,858,088, but variable and unlikely

Charlotte’s committed salary looks as though it’s primed for plenty of cap space. It could be, in the right circumstances, and it definitely will be if Ben Gordon opts out of his final $13,200,000. But again, cap holds are in play. The number four pick has one of $3,214,200 alone, and, while the $11,058,300 hold for DeSagana Diop and the $3,396,250 hold for Reggie Williams are easy decisions, other ones are not. Gerald Henderson has a cap hold of $7,753,318, Byron Mullens has one of $5,632,655, and Josh McRoberts’s is at $4,075,500. These players were all decent contributors (warts and all) and may wish to be brought back. And even if they aren’t brought back at those prices, that’s how much they cut into the cap space before they’ve even signed a new deal. With all three on the cap, then, Charlotte stands to have little to no cap room.

However, there are nonetheless options. If all three are renounced, and Jeff Adrien ($916,099, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date) is cut, then things get interesting, and they have the amnesty clause still to use. If the Bobcats are prepared to save face and waive Tyrus Thomas in addition to these other moves, they’d be down to $31,466,992 in committed salary to only seven players. After adding the cap room for the #2 pick and four roster charges, Charlotte would then have $36,641,912 on their cap, for projected cap room of $21,858,088. This amount is likely to be more than they need, which may mean the aforementioned three need no renouncing at all. Charlotte has options and could be a cap space player. This is not necessarily the same, however, as being a free agency player.

(Moving down two spots in the lottery actually opened up a further $755,600 in cap room. See, silver linings.)

    Chicago Bulls

Committed salary for 2013/14: $77,928,581 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

Even with an amnesty of Carlos Boozer and the expected waiving of Rip Hamilton’s unguaranteed deal saving a combined potential $19.3 million, the Bulls still wouldn’t have cap room

    Cleveland Cavaliers

Committed salary for 2013/14: $36,119,098 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $19,072,384

Cleveland can further reduce this amount if Mo Speights opts out of his $4,515,000 and is renounced. This might happen – even if he signs a new deal starting at only $4 million, it’s likely worth it for the guaranteed security the extra two years or so this new deal would bring. They can save more by waiving C.J. Miles ($2,225,000, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date), Kevin Jones ($788,872, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date) and Chris Quinn ($1,106,942, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date). The renouncements of Daniel Gibson ($9,105,431), Luke Walton ($9,137,045), Omri Casspi ($5,693,265) and Wayne Ellington ($5,207,605) will not be too difficult; the other free agent amounts of Shaun Livingston ($884,293) and Semih Erden ($884,293 if not given a qualifying offer) are not significant. Cap holds for the #1 ($4,436,900) and #19 ($1,223,200) cut back into that; nevertheless, assuming a seemingly realistic scenario in which all renouncements are made, Speights opts in, Miles and Quinn are cut, and Jones isn’t, Cleveland then looks like this:

Anderson Varejao: $9,036,364
Kyrie Irving: $5,607,240
Marreese Speights: $4,515,000
#1: $4,436,900
Tristan Thompson: $4,062,000
Dion Waiters: $3,894,240
Alonzo Gee: $3,250,000
Tyler Zeller: $1,633,440
#19: $1,223,200
Kevin Jones: $788,872
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $39,427,616 = $19,072,384 in cap room.

If Speights and/or Varejao are moved, that could be even higher.

    Dallas Mavericks

Committed salary for 2013/14: $42,994,093 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $13,615,538

The #13 pick has a cap hold of $1,655,300, but Dallas are reportedly trying to move it. The theory that it can be attached to Shawn Marion’s final season (which he surely will not opt out of) seems fantastical; nevertheless, it seems Dallas is pretty intent on moving the pick. And even if they aren’t, a clause in the 2011 CBA may save them. Teams with unsigned first-round picks can, if all parties want, file documents with the league agreeing not to sign the player that season, which in return removes their cap hold for the year. (This rule was used by Dallas last year on Petteri Koponen, and was also used by Chicago on Nikola Mirotic.) So the #13 pick’s cap hold is not included here.

O.J. Mayo is a logical certainty to opt out of his $4,200,900, which would thus turn into a $4,824,000 cap hold. The status of other cap holds is less certain; for the purposes of the above number, it is assumed that Chris Kaman ($9,600,000), Anthony Morrow ($7,600,000), Roddy Beaubois ($5,568,333), Elton Brand ($3,990,950) and Mike James ($884,293) are all renounced, while Koponen once again has his cap hold ($880,600) expunged. Brandan Wright ($884,293) surely won’t be renounced, however, and while Darren Collison’s cap hold of $5,798,360 is slightly in the way, it’s not exhorbitant, so it is assumed it will only be renounced if needs be (i.e. if the signing of a big time free agent necessitates it). It is renounced in the below calculation as a means of assessing a realistic maximum cap space amount for the Mavs, yet that does not mean it surely will be.

Dallas also has two unguaranteed contracts; Josh Akognon ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until December 1st) and Bernard James ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until July 15th); for the purposes of this calculation, it is assumed that Akognon will be waived and James won’t.

All this, then, leaves Dallas here:

Dirk Nowitzki: $22,721,381
Shawn Marion: $9,316,796
OJ Mayo: $4,824,000 (cap hold)
Vince Carter: $3,180,000
Jared Cunningham: $1,208,400
Brandan Wright: $884,293 (Cap hold)
Jae Crowder: $788,872
Bernard James: $788,872
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $44,884,462 = $13,615,538 in cap room

This is a very variable figure for all of the reasons mentioned above; Marion’s to-be-adjusted contract, the status of the #13, possible trades of Marion and/or Cunningham, etc. The status of Mayo is also fairly significant – the day he leaves to sign elsewhere will open up an extra $4,333,820 in cap room, or, if he stays, the day he re-signs will take up a big chunk of the $13.6 mil. Nevertheless, while Dallas doesn’t have as much cap room to throw about as others, they’re in the game.

EDIT: Come to think of it, O.J. Mayo’s cap hold doesn’t actually matter. As he’s only played one season since changing teams as a free agent, he only has non-Bird rights, should he opt out. And yet if Dallas renounces him, he’d still only have non-Bird rights. Mayo’s cap hold, then, can be discounted.

    Denver Nuggets

Committed salary for 2013/14: $68,681,468 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

Even if Andre Iguodala were to opt out, his cap hold keeps Denver over the cap. Even if he were to leave via free agency, Corey Brewer’s cap hold would keep them over. Even if Brewer were to leave via free agency, Timofey Mozgov’s……well, you get the gist.

    Detroit Pistons

Committed salary for 2013/14: $35,045,558 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $28,843,182

It took the lottery pick given up for Corey Maggette to do it, but Detroit finally has some cap flexibility. Charlie Villanueva has already opted into his $8,580,000 contract for next year, but Detroit still has the amnesty clause. They can use it on him, and they should. The big contracts of Jose Calderon, Maggette, a long-since-bought-out Rip Hamilton, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum all expire, and Rodney Stuckey’s contract is only guaranteed for $4 million of its $8.5 million total if waived on or before June 30th. And just to add a little more, Viacheslav Kravtsov ($1,500,000, only $500,000 guaranteed if waived on or before June 29th) and Kim English ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until July 12th) also have unguaranteed portions.

Encroaching back into all this cap room goodness is the #8 pick, which will take up $2,210,900. It is also hereby assumed that Stuckey will NOT be waived, if only for one reason – with all due respect given, it surely isn’t likely that Detroit will be all that big of a free agency player, so the extra $4 million of cap room would if anything be overkill. (The same is also assumed to be true of Kravtsov and English.) Nevertheless, assuming renouncements for all of the above free agents are possible, as well as the outstanding cap holds on Ben Wallace ($4,268,160) and Vernon Macklin ($788,872), Detroit has themselves a ton to work with.

Rodney Stuckey: $8,500,000
Jonas Jerebko: $4,500,000
Greg Monroe: $4,086,454
Brandon Knight: $2,793,960
Andre Drummond: $2,462,400
#8: $2,210,900 (cap hold)
Viacheslav Kravtsov: $1,500,000
Kyle Singler: $1,045,000
Kim English: $788,872
Khris Middleton: $788,872
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $29,656,818 = $28,843,182 in cap room.

    Golden State Warriors

Committed salary for 2013/14: $75,680,088 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

And yet apparently they’re still in the mix for Dwight Howard.

    Houston Rockets

Committed salary for 2013/14: $54,951,158 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $16,181,453

Houston don’t have as much cap space as you might expect, considering their high profile (and seemingly eternal) campaign for a superstar free agent. Nevertheless, their committed salary could drop down as low as $39,665,022 without making any trades. Francisco Garcia has a team option for $6.4 million that is not going to be exercised, and the Rockets also have a good many unguaranteed contracts, listed hereafter:

Carlos Delfino ($3,000,000, fully unguaranteed if waived on or before June 30th)
Aaron Brooks ($2,508,000, fully unguaranteed if waived on or before June 30th)
Chandler Parsons ($926,500, only $600,000 guaranteed if waived on or before June 30th)
Greg Smith ($884,293, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date)
James Anderson ($916,099, fully unguaranteed if waived on or before October 31st)
Patrick Beverley ($788,872, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date)
Tim Ohlbrect ($788,872, fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date)

In theory, if Houston waived all of those players except Parsons (whose salary is actually cheaper when left unwaived than the $600,000 amount would be with a roster charge added), and declined Garcia’s team option, that’s a cap number of $41,625,742 with four roster charges added. In practice, though, they won’t all be waived. Delfino and Brooks surely will, and Ohlbrecht likely will – however, Patrick Beverley and Greg Smith are really very good NBA players tied in to ridiculously cheap contracts. Even when assuming Anderson gets waived – which itself is not a given – the renouncement of Garcia (who, strangely, is their only free agent) and the incumbent cap hold for Earl Boykins ($884,293), that leaves Houston here:

James Harden: $13,668,750 (at the moment; as a designated maximum salary contract, it is to be adjusted when new max salaries are known post-moratorium)
Omer Asik: $8,374,646
Jeremy Lin: $8,374,646
Thomas Robinson: $3,526,440
Royce White: $1,719,480
Terrence Jones: $1,551,840
Donatas Motiejunas: $1,422,720
Chandler Parsons: $926,500
Greg Smith: $884,293
Patrick Beverley: $788,872
Tyler Honeycutt: $100,000 (waived)
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $42,318,547 = $16,181,453 in cap room.

It’s not enough for a maximum contract for neither Dwight nor Chris Paul. It is close enough, however, to put them in play. And there’s plenty of options here. If you were the Lakers, and Dwight wanted to walk to the Rockets (which may happen), why WOULDN’T you take back Thomas Robinson and Omer Asik in a sign-and-trade? And if you were the Rockets, why WOULDN’T you do that deal when doing so would offer up an extra $12 million to throw at someone else? Or do it the other way around – fill up the cap space with straight free agent signings, then sign and trade for the other guy. There are options here, many options, and the ultimate tinker Daryl Morey will know that. Houston’s not got the Detroit-level swathes of cap room the prevailing story would have you believe, but they have enough, and they have the means to make things happen. So they’re big players in the market.

    Indiana Pacers

Committed salary for 2013/14: $49,928,027 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: Probably none, but you never know

Indiana’s biggest cap hold is that of David West at $13 million. If he leaves, they could theoretically have very nearly eight figures worth of cap room. Yet Indiana shouldn’t, and don’t, want him to leave.

(In a hypothetical world, it sure would be good to use the amnesty on Danny Granger and make a run at Chris Paul now. But the amnesty has long since been used on James Posey, and, cap space doesn’t necessarily mean spending power.)

    L.A. Clippers

Committed salary for 2013/14: $45,688,124 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None, unless…well, you know.

If Paul leaves, the Clippers could rustle up about $14 million in cap room. Which they can use on an inferior replacement.

    L.A. Lakers

Committed salary for 2013/14: $79,631,035 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

The Lakers have a huge say in what happens in this market, but not in that way.

    Memphis Grizzlies

Committed salary for 2013/14: $62,818,837 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

On a related note, an unintentional side effect of the Rudy Gay trade was that it made the Speights/Ellington/pick deal of a week before into a pretty bad one. They weren’t to know, of course, but…still. All three of those pieces would have been, and might still be, useful.

    Miami Heat

Committed salary for 2013/14: $86,464,629 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None.

Mildly interesting side note: whilst they may have $86.4 million committed next year, every single one of the $78,402,206 that the Heat have committed in 2014/15 has an option attached. So in a way, they have $0 committed.

    Milwaukee Bucks

Committed salary for 2013/14: $42,055,523 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $20,167,540, sorta

Milwaukee’s cap situation is particularly difficult to project – all three of Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis (via an ETO) and J.J. Redick are free agents, and their three cap holds add up to a whopping $33,636,233, moreso once the new max contract figures come in. All we know is that Milwaukee aren’t keeping all three – the question of why they brought in all three is very valid – and we don’t know which one or two they will keep. As of right now, it appears it will be Ellis, who has just been offered an extension. Given that this is the best basis for a projection we have, we’ll work it out from there.

Ellis’s final season is due to pay him $11 million. If we add that figure, subtract the cap holds for Redick and Jennings (assumed to be allowed to leave for free in this scenario, although sign and trades should be strongly sought after), and use the amnesty clause on Drew Gooden, a cap space plan starts to come together. Assuming the $1.5 million team option on Gustavo Ayon is exercised – it should be – and further renouncements for Sam Dalembert, Mike Dunleavy Jr, Joel Przybilla and Marquis Daniels, Milwaukee then have the following situation:

Monta Ellis: $11,000,000
Ersan Ilyasova: $7,900,000
Luc Richard Mbah A Moute: $4,588,384
Ekpe Udoh: $4,469,548
Larry Sanders: $3,053,368
John Henson: $1,905,360
Gustavo Ayon: $1,500,000
#15: $1,493,800
Ish Smith: $951,463
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $38,332,460 = $20,167,540 in cap room

In that scenario, you could readily keep one of Jennings (cap hold of $7,948,733) or Redick (cap hold of $9,285,000) and still have plenty to play with.

Should the Bucks have any cap space, it’s worth remembering that they unnecessarily gave up Tobias Harris to get it. So they’d better use it.

    Minnesota Timberwolves

Committed salary for 2013/14: $58,599,177 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

Any cap flexibility that they do have is going on Nikola Pekovic, as well it should. By the way, a side note: as first reported by this site, the Timberwolves guaranteed Chris Johnson for next season. So, well done Chris.

    New Orleans Pelicans

Committed salary for 2013/14: $43,423,423 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $12,432,977

New Orleans enjoy quite a rare position, where they have a lot of money coming off their books, but without the cap holds usually associated with it. With Rashard Lewis’s $13,470,007 and Matt Carroll’s $3,300,000 cap hits long since waived, the only cap holds New Orleans must contend with are those of Al-Farouq Aminu ($3,749,602), Xavier Henry ($3,201,370), the #6 pick ($2,643,600), Lou Amundson ($884,293) and Roger Mason ($884,293). They also have plenty of unguaranteed money to work with, in the forms of Robin Lopez ($5,119,761, only $500,000 guaranteed if waived on or before July 5th), Jason Smith ($2,500,000, only $1 million guaranteed if waived on or before June 30th), Lance Thomas ($884,293, fully guaranteed if waived on or before September 1st), Darius Miller ($788,872, fully unguaranteed if waived 27th July 2013), Brian Roberts ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until July 8th, then $50,000 guaranteed until July 20th, thereafter fully guaranteed) and Terrel Harris ($884,293, fully unguaranteed until October 31st, thereafter $150,000 guaranteed).

There’s a lot of variables in play there, but the above calculation is arrived at by assuming that Aminu, Henry, Amundson and Mason are renounced, and all the unguaranteed contracts survive. These assumptions are based on the same sort of logic as the Bobcats above. If Aminu is not renounced, that figure decreases to $8,683,375 – however, Aminu can likely be retained for an amount attainable via non-Bird rights, without needing the full Bird, so a renouncement is assumed.

New Orleans still has their amnesty clause, but none of their players are eligible for it.

    New York Knicks

Committed salary for 2013/14: $77,680,056 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

New York has no cap space and somehow has to use their very limited means to retain all of J.R. Smith, Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni, while also upgrading the team. They’ve put themselves in a tough spot.

    Oklahoma City Thunder

Committed salary for 2013/14: $67,794,070 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

    Orlando Magic

Committed salary for 2013/14: $53,800,437 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

Even though they somehow seem to have been the winners of the Dwight Howard trade – for which we are all repentant – Orlando nevertheless still didn’t help their financial situation in the deal, and don’t have nearly as much cap space as you’d want in such a rebuild. Nevertheless, some partially guaranteed deals will lessen the load a bit: Al Harrington’s contract is only 50% guaranteed for each of the next two seasons, which would mean a cap hit of only $3,574,300 if waived, and Hedo Turkoglu’s $12 million is only guaranteed for $6 million, an extremely generous concession he made when he was dealt from Toronto to Phoenix that he now probably strongly regrets. It is assumed that these two will be waived.

On a smaller scale, the minimum salary contracts of Kyle O’Quinn ($788,872, fully unguaranteed until opening night) and E’Twaun Moore ($884,293, fully unguaranteed until June 30th) can also be saved on, although this is considered unlikely and unnecessary. Similarly considered unlikely and unnecessary are Beno Udrih’s cap hold ($11,058,300) and DeQuan Jones’s qualifying offer ($988,872); both are assumed renounced, along with Jeremy Richardson ($884,293), and Fran Vasquez’s continued cap hold is assumed to be expunged via the aforementioned method. A cap projection is arrived at thusly:

Jameer Nelson: $8,600,000
Arron Afflalo: $7,750,000
Glen Davis: $6,400,000
Hedo Turkoglu: $6,000,000 (waived)
#2 pick: $3,969,800
Al Harrington: $3,574,300 (waived)
Quentin Richardson: $2,808,600 (waived)
Mo Harkless: $1,809,840
Nikola Vucevic: $1,793,520
Tobias Harris: $1,545,840
Andrew Nicholson: $1,482,000
E’Twaun Moore: $884,293
Doron Lamb: $788,872
Kyle O’Quinn: $788,872
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $48,686,117 = $9,813,883 in cap room…sort of.

A big factor here, however, is the Dwight Howard TPE. Its $17,816,880 in goodness is still on the cap until August 10th. To get at this cap room, it’d have to be used or forfeited.

    Philadelphia 76ers

Committed salary for 2013/14: $45,431,164 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None, probably

One of the greatest unknown commodities in this free agency period will be Andrew Bynum. His cap hold of $17,733,450 keeps Philly, despite their comparatively low committed salary, out of cap room contention. Of course, there is no guarantee that this will stay this way – there is no guarantee of anything with Bynum. He may well leave. Despite the depressing state of his health, he’s still young and still very talented, so teams will still offer money on a reclamation project. But it’s surely impossible to gauge the market with any accuracy on someone with so little certainty going forward. And surely, if someone’s going to pay him on the promise that he’ll return to something near his best, that team must be Philly. It is they, after all, who got completely rinsed on the deal that brought him in. They need to get something from the deal. It is hereby assumed, then, that Bynum won’t be renounced. And because of the sheer enormity of his cap hold, this makes discussion of any other cap machinations moot.

    Phoenix Suns

Committed salary for 2013/14: $48,252,297 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $8,519,710

Phoenix’s cap situation is comparatively simple for cap room calculations. They have no options, no significant free agent cap holds, and only three unguaranteed deals = Shannon Brown ($3,500,000, only 50% guaranteed if waived within 36 hours after the end of the draft), Hamed Haddadi ($1,397,500, only $200,000 guaranteed if waived on or before June 29th) and P.J. Tucker ($884,293, fully unguaranteed if waived on or before July 1st). These three are fairly comfortable to predict; Haddadi will likely be waived, Tucker will surely be retained, and, in light of the fact he pretty much DNP-CD’d the entire final two months, it is assumed Brown will be cut. It is further assumed that Diante Garrett will not be extended a qualifying offer – who would they be outbidding? – and that Wesley Johnson’s $5,421,233 cap hold will be readily addressed. (NB: despite the difficulty of predicting Jermaine O’Neal’s future, given his resurgent play and fragmented relationship with the team, it is assumed his minimum salary cap hold will not be renounced.) With two first-round picks in the first, Phoenix’s projected cap room is thus determined:

Marcin Gortat: $7,727,280
Goran Dragic: $7,500,000
Channing Frye: $6,400,000
Michael Beasley: $6,000,000
Luis Scola: $4,508,504
Jared Dudley: $4,250,000
#5 pick: $2,910,600
Markieff Morris: $2,091,840
Kendall Marshall: $2,005,560
Marcus Morris: $1,987,320
Shannon Brown: $1,750,000 (waived)
Jermine O’Neal: $884,293 (cap hold)
P.J. Tucker: $884,293
#30 pick: $880,600
Hamed Haddadi: $200,000 (waived)

Total = $49,980,290 = $8,519,710 in cap room

This isn’t a whole lot more cap room than a combination of the MLE and BAE would be, and, in light of the potential usefulness of Brown’s deal and the bizarre if genuine intent to probably retain Johnson, it’s also possible that Phoenix has no cap room at all.

    Portland Trail Blazers

Committed salary for 2013/14: $44,640,165 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $11,858,202

Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams and Nolan Smith are all surely done in Portland. It would be patently ridiculous if Sasha Pavlovic’s unguaranteed $1,399,507 wasn’t waived. Eric Maynor, much as they like him, is worth neither his $3,351,387 qualifying offer nor his $5,846,803 cap hold. And J.J. Hickson is also supposedly done there. Hickson’s cap hold of $7.6 million isn’t too bad, but we’ll assume here he is renounced/quickly signs elsewhere. This leaves Portland with:

LaMarcus Aldridge: $14,628,000
Nic Batum: $11,295,250
Wesley Matthews: $6,875,480
Damian Lillard: $3,202,920
Joel Freeland: $2,897,976
Meyers Leonard: $2,222,160
#10: $1,930,600
Victor Claver: $1,330,000
Will Barton: $788,872
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $46,641,798 = $11,858,202 in cap room

    Sacramento Kings

Committed salary for 2013/14: $42,019,855 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

Despite being over $16 million short of the cap, Tyreke Evans’s $13,129,563 cap hold eats up most of that, and the $2,413,300 for the #7 pick takes up most of the rest. Barring a series of moves that are very difficult to foresee, it’s Evans OR cap room, not both. Which is a shame, because having wasted cap flexibility for years, they finally have an owner that might use it, right when they don’t have it.

If Evans DOES leave, then that, plus an amnesty of John Salmons, makes things interesting.

    San Antonio Spurs

Committed salary for 2013/14: $41,666,028 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

It’s a similar story with San Antonio – despite being far short of the cap, and extremely far short of the tax, cap holds for key players Manu Ginobili ($19,136,250, ten year veteran max – to be adjusted upwards after moratorium) and Tiago Splitter ($7,493,600) take them almost certainly out of the race.

    Toronto Raptors

Committed salary for 2013/14: $72,951,259 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

There’s an awful lot of clean-up work to do towards Toronto’s cap situation, and it won’t be short term.

    Utah Jazz

Committed salary for 2013/14: $27,001,081 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: $27,722,692

Utah have almost an entire salary cap’s worth of money to spend. The only committed salaries they have are $6,008,196 for Derrick Favors, $4,505,280 for Enes Kanter, $3,452,183 for Gordon Hayward, $2,202,000 for Alec Burks, $1,660,257 for Jeremy Evans, $884,293 for Jerel McNeal (fully unguaranteed if waived on or before October 31st) and $788,872 for Kevin Murphy (fully unguaranteed if waived on or before August 1st, then $75,000 guaranteed if waived on or before November 1st, thereafter fully guaranteed). Everyone else is an unrestricted free agent. The only one with an option is Marvin Williams, and the likelihood of him opting out of his $7.5 million was greatly reduced in light of his recent Achilles surgery. Assuming that he opts in, and that everyone else (Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Earl Watson, Greg Ostertag, Brevin Knight, Jamaal Tinsley and DeMarre Carroll) are all renounced, and Murphy is not waived, Utah have the following freedom:

Marvin Williams: $7,500,000
Derrick Favors: $6,008,196
Enes Kanter: $4,505,280
Gordon Hayward: $3,452,183
Alec Burks: $2,202,000
Jeremy Evans: $1,660,257
#14: $1,572,600
#21: $1,127,200
Kevin Murphy: $788,872
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180
Roster charge: $490,180

Total = $30,777,308 = $27,722,692 in cap room

There are many semi-plausible combinations of renouncements that could come into play here, and it’s impossible to predict which will actually happen, so it is hereby assumed that none of them will. Even those being renounced can still be re-signed, remember. They wouldn’t have Bird rights any longer, but, in light of the size of some of these incumbent salaries and the sheer amount of cap room Utah has to give them, they might not need them.

    Washington Wizards

Committed salary for 2013/14: $57,065,519 (view full forecast)

Projected cap space: None

It would depend on upon either or both of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza opting out, neither of which is hugely likely.

All of these numbers are speculative. That is all they can be at this stage, for you never know what is going to happen. We don’t know what figure the salary cap is going to be yet, nor what teams will do with certain players. Teams can make trades to open up further cap room, and many teams will try this. Some may even succeed. And many current valid contracts contain incentive clauses, which can affect their value in future years. (This happens a lot and is the hardest part of the NBA salary game. Nothing is ever stagnant.) There are a good many variables involved, and always will be.

However, these numbers are as accurate as is possible at the moment, and the interpretation of team’s personnel decisions is hopefully somewhat based in fact. In-depth numbers for all this can be found at the respective salary pages, where salary numbers for all players under contract, and cap holds for both players and picks, are listed. With those numbers, and the knowledge that roster charges are applied to any spot under twelve on a team’s salary number that isn’t filled by a “thing,” you can work through all the possible connotations with this information.

Posted by at 2:22 AM

15 Comments about The amount of cap room teams will actually have

  1. Josh8 June, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Being realistic about Charlotte. They're trying to lose and run lean. So they likely will stay right around league required minimum payroll of $52 million, which means they'll only look to add around $11.5 million and they'll be using their cap space for teams to trade players to with cash so they keep their cost as low as possible. I think it's most likely Royce White winds up here with the cash to pay him off. And perhaps another player such as Villanueve winds up there with another $3 million or so to help pay off his salary.

  2. shedman8 June, 2013, 3:31 pm

    you are a few years off on the jazz's roster. ostertag and knight havent played in years

    • Dave11 June, 2013, 3:31 am

      Knight and Tag stay on though until renounced. LA still has Malone on as a hold as they have not attempted to clear space in a long time

  3. Mark Deeks8 June, 2013, 3:32 pm

    Shedman, while this is true, it's not about whether they're on the roster or not – they have cap holds regardless. It is a process explained here:

  4. Adam L8 June, 2013, 4:33 pm

    I don't know if these are league rumors or your assumptions but there are more teams than this at play in free agency. San Antonio for instance is not going to give Ginobili 19 million, that's insane! Furthermore, the Phily doesn't seem to keen on Bynum may just let him walk as opposed to crippling themselves (although they don't appear as fiscally responsible as the spurs).

  5. Mark Deeks8 June, 2013, 4:35 pm

    Adam, again, it's a question of cap holds, not of assumed future salaries. It is explained at the above link.

  6. Adam L8 June, 2013, 4:43 pm

    wait! My brain is collapsing in on itself! So, if a team like philly resigns Bynum at less than his cap hold or they renounce his rights they are still held to the value of his hold?

  7. Mark Deeks8 June, 2013, 4:57 pm

    No. Cap holds are how much your team's free agents are charged against the cap. If a player is under contract, they are not free agents, and thus no cap hold. If they are under contract, they are on the cap for the value of that contract, as is conventional.

  8. Mark Deeks8 June, 2013, 4:57 pm

    If they renounce him, the cap hold disappears, but then so do his Bird rights. And that would make it very difficult to re-sign him.

  9. A PreguiƧa8 June, 2013, 8:52 pm

    Can Atlanta negotiate with one of CP3 ou Howard, do a handshake deal, then renounce J. Smith rights to have the proper Cap Space to sign the player? Would that be legal?

  10. kyle.jamieson8 June, 2013, 11:45 pm

    Great article Mark, very informative.

    I believe I'm understanding this correctly, but I'm not entirely certain. Let's say, hypothetically, the Mavs were able to sign Chris Paul without renouncing OJ Mayo's cap hold (assuming he opts out) – they are not able to then exceed the cap to re-sign Mayo because they don't have his Bird rights, correct? So any new deal he signs at that point would have to begin at (or be less than) his cap hold?

    Alternatively, they should have Early Bird rights on Brandan Wright, so they can use their space and then exceed the cap on a new deal with him for up to approximately the league average salary?

  11. Mark Deeks8 June, 2013, 11:57 pm

    A. Preguica: yes.

    Kyle Jamieson: To re-sign Mayo, Dallas has to either use their cap space, or use an exception. And by not having full Bird rights, they have to either use non-Bird rights (which mean a maximum starting salary of 120% of last season's), or the MLE. Neither is going to be sufficient. And you are correct on Wright.

  12. wlubake10 June, 2013, 7:18 pm

    As I understand it, another reason to retain rights to UFA's is the sign-and-trade. If you renounce, you can no longer participate in a S&T for the renounced player, correct?Thus, for Dallas, keeping Mayo allows them to do a S&T with a team over the cap that wants to sign him (like maybe an L.A. team…).

  13. Mark Deeks10 June, 2013, 7:25 pm

    You can still S&T someone you've renounced. You just won't have Bird rights with which to do it. But Dallas doesn't have Bird rights on Mayo anyway, so it makes no difference.

  14. Mack Green25 June, 2013, 10:50 pm

    Indiana would be wise to try and jettison Danny Granger to his hometown New Orleans Pelicans for hometown player Eric Gordon – who as evidenced by his signing an offer sheet with Phoenix and then taking his time to return to the lineup – does not really want to be in N.O. The money matches up perfectly and the move would give both teams what they desperately need; A potent wing scorer for N.O. and a scorer who can create his own shot when the offence stalls for Indy.