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Biggest NBA free-agency and trade decisions for all 30 teams

Biggest NBA free-agency, trade and draft decisions for every team

The offseason has started in full for all 30 teams, and we have a much clearer picture of the big questions facing each franchise.

Which decisions on key players, trades and new contracts will be priorities? Let’s run through all 30 teams.

Note: Depth charts include expected roles for players under contract in 2018-19. We’ve included an explainer for Bird rights at the end of the story.


Offseason focus

  • Trade cap space for draft assets: $20 million in room but limited roster spots

  • The future of Dennis Schroder: pending legal issue and arrival of Trae Young

  • Balancing the roster: 15 players under contract, nine of them guards

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala exercising their options for next season leaves Atlanta with $20 million in cap space.

  • The Hawks do have three non-guaranteed contracts in Isaiah Taylor, Antonius Cleveland and Jaylen Morris. The Hawks could create an additional $4 million in room if all three are waived. Taylor has $300K that will become guaranteed if he is not waived by July 27.

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • Boston starts free agency over the cap with $106 million in guaranteed contracts and 12 players under contract.

  • The Celtics have three players — Daniel Theis, Abdel Nader and Semi Ojeleye — with partial or non-guaranteed contracts. Theis will have his salary guaranteed July 10, Ojeleye on July 15 and Nader on Aug. 1. Nader has $450K guaranteed and Ojeleye $901K.

  • Keep an eye on the finances for 2019. Boston will have Irving and Rozier up for new contracts next summer (if they don’t sign extensions in 2018), with Brown becoming extension eligible as well. Al Horford could also opt out of his contract and become a free agent in 2019.

  • Is a superstar trade worth losing Tatum or Brown? Why trade a player on a rookie contract who has the upside of a franchise player but costs $25 million less?

  • Note: The Celtics cannot acquire a player like Anthony Davis because of the Rose rule. Boston is allowed to trade for only one player (Kyrie Irving) that was signed with the Rose rule.

Team needs

  • Starting: None

  • Backup: SG, SF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • The potential buyout of Dwight Howard will dictate what Brooklyn has with cap space this summer. The Nets could see their projected $4 million in room double if Howard elects to take a haircut off his $23.8 million salary.

  • The Nets do still have the Joe Harris FA hold counting against the cap and can use room before signing the guard to exceed the cap. If Harris signs with a new team, Brooklyn will gain $1.5 million in additional cap space.

  • Former second-round pick Isaiah Whitehead‘s $1.5 million contract will become guaranteed if he is not waived by June 30.

  • Expect the Nets to use part of their cap space to sign second-round pick Rodions Kurucs to a multi-year contract.

Second-rounder: Rodions Kurucs (SF)

Team needs

  • Starting: None

  • Backup: SG, PF, C

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • The future of Kemba Walker: Free agent in 2019

  • The priority at backup point guard: Free agency or the trade market?

  • The summer of development: Malik Monk and Miles Bridges

  • The new basketball operations structure: Mitch Kupchak and James Borrego

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • Shedding the Dwight Howard contract will give the Hornets flexibility when it comes to the luxury tax. Before the trade, Charlotte would have been a tax team after filling out its roster. The Hornets now are $11 million below the line with 13 players under contract.

  • Using its midlevel and bi-annual exceptions would not only hard cap the team but put the Hornets right at the tax. Expect the Hornets to use $5 million of the midlevel to target a backup PG and also sign second-round pick Devonte’ Graham. Signing Graham to a contract of more than two years will require the Hornets to use part of the midlevel exception.

  • Backup guard Julyan Stone‘s $1.7 million contract will become guaranteed if not waived by Aug. 1.

Second-rounder: Devonte’ Graham (PG)

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Find middle ground with Zach LaVine in restricted free agency

  • Turn cap space into draft assets or accelerate the rebuild and add win-now pieces

  • Keep an eye on the roster: 12 guaranteed contracts and 2 non-guaranteed

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • Including their free agent cap holds, Chicago will enter the summer with $11.6 million in cap space.

  • Remove the Noah Vonleh $10.5 million hold and room will increase to $21.6 million.

  • Chicago can create an additional $3.5 million in room by waiving the non-guaranteed contracts of Sean Kilpatrick and Paul Zipser. Zipser’s $1.5 million contract will become guaranteed on July 18.

  • Expect Chicago to continue to operate over the cap.

Team needs

Free-agent status

  • Zach LaVine | Restricted Bird

  • Noah Vonleh | Restricted Bird

  • David Nwaba | Restricted early Bird


Offseason focus

  • Waiting on LeBron James: Have a plan B if he leaves

  • The resources to improve: Tax midlevel and minimum exceptions

  • Turning value out of the 2019-20 partially guaranteed contracts: George Hill, Kyle Korver and JR Smith

  • Explore an extension with Kevin Love even if James departs

  • The restricted free agency of Rodney Hood

  • The finances of keeping the team together: $250M total costs

Exceptions

  • Tax midlevel: $5.3M

  • Trade: $5.8M, $2.5M, $1.5M, $1.3M

  • *If James leaves, Cleveland could have the $8.6 million non-tax exception and $3.4 million bi-annual exception. Availability will be based on the restricted free agency of Rodney Hood.

Cap-space breakdown

  • If LeBron returns, expect the Cavaliers payroll to be at $147 million with a luxury tax bill of $82 million. The cost does not factor in Hood.

  • Without James, Cleveland will still be over the salary cap with $110 million in salary (not including Hood) and the $8.6 million non-tax midlevel and $3.4 million biannual exceptions available.

  • The $1.5 million contract of Okaro White will have $794K guaranteed if he is not waived by Aug. 5.

Team needs

Starting: SG, SF

Backup: None

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • With Wesley Matthews opting in, Dallas is right at the salary cap with $100 million in salary, including free-agent cap holds and non-guaranteed contracts.

  • How the Mavericks elect to create cap space will come down to their own free agents, most notably restricted free-agent Doug McDermott and his $10 million free agent hold.

  • Releasing the McDermott and Nerlens Noel holds would see the Mavericks create $18 million in room.

  • By releasing Seth Curry‘s hold ($3.9 million) and declining Nowitzki’s team option, the Mavericks would enter free agency with $25.5 million in room. This includes the $2.9 million hold of restricted free agent Yogi Ferrell.

  • Dallas can create an additional $1.3 million in room if Dorian Finney-Smith and Kyle Collinsworth are waived. The $1.4 million contract for Finney-Smith will be guaranteed if he is not waived by July 5. Collinsworth has $100K guaranteed if he is on the roster past the July 5. Expect backup Maxi Kleber to be on the roster past his July 15 cut date.

  • Expect the Mavericks to use a portion of their cap space to sign second-round pick Jalen Brunson to a contract comparable to a first-round rookie scale salary.

Second-rounders: Jalen Brunson (PG), Ray Spalding (PF), Kostas Antetokounmpo (PF)

Team needs

  • Starting: PF, C

  • Backup: SG. SF

Free-agent status

  • Nerlens Noel | Bird

  • Dirk Nowitzki | Bird (team option)

  • Seth Curry | Early Bird

  • Yogi Ferrell | Restricted early Bird

  • Doug McDermott | Restricted Bird

  • Salah Mejri | Restricted Bird

  • Aaron Harrison | Non-Bird


Offseason focus

  • The Nikola Jokic contract: Projected $147 million max contract

  • Creating flexibility for Will Barton: Significant tax penalty if he is re-signed

  • The overload at power forward: Find a new home for Kenneth Faried

  • Don’t panic about finances: $35M salary off the books in 2019

  • Playoffs or bust next season? Two straight finishes at No. 9 in the Western Conference.

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown.

  • Barring a trade, Denver will be a luxury-tax team for the first time since 2009-10. Not including a new contract for Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets have $108 million committed in salaries — a figure that will increase to $133 million ($12 million over the tax) once Jokic likely signs a max contract.

  • How the Nuggets elect to create savings will depend on if they can unload the expiring contract of Faried, Wilson Chandler or Darrell Arthur. The Nuggets also have the stretch provision available to waive either player.

  • Unrestricted free agent Will Barton could be a cap casualty because of the high payroll. Despite having Bird rights, the cost of signing Barton could add an additional $22 million in tax penalties if the guard is signed to a conservative $8 million annual salary.

Second-rounders: Jarred Vanderbilt (PF) and Thomas Welsh (C)

Team needs

  • Starting: SF, C

  • Backup: PG, SG

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • With Griffin under contract for the next four years, Detroit will be faced with staying under the $123 million luxury tax. The Pistons project to be $5 million below the tax with 12 players under contract.

  • Expect the $2.5 million Reggie Bullock contract to become guaranteed once July 15 passes. The $1.8 million contract of Eric Moreland will be guaranteed $750K if he is not waived by July 8 and the $1.6 million Dwight Buycks cap hit becomes guaranteed on Sept. 1.

  • The draft night acquisition of Bruce Brown and Khyri Thomas saved the Pistons $1.2 million toward the luxury tax. Because both players are second-round picks, their likely minimum contracts are cheaper than those of veterans. The Pistons can sign either player to a contract greater than two years but would have to use part of the midlevel exception.

Second-rounders: Bruce Brown (SG), Khyri Thomas (SG)

Team needs

  • Starting: None

  • Backup: PG, C

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • The structure of a new Kevin Durant contract: Short- or long-term?

  • Building the bench: Six free agents (not including KD)

  • The budget approved by ownership: Cost of the luxury tax

  • Block out distractions: Klay Thompson (free agent in 2019) and Draymond Green (2020) are unlikely to agree to extensions

Exception

Cap-space breakdown

  • For the third consecutive year, Golden State will be a tax team.

  • Signing Durant to a max contract and filling out the bench with minimum contracts would have the payroll at $147 million and a luxury tax bill of $60 million.

  • Using the $5.3 million tax midlevel would add another $17 million to their tax bill. The tax bill could rise if they elect to bring back restricted free agent Patrick McCaw on a contract greater than the minimum exception.

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Don’t underestimate the front office: Creative math in free agency or trades

  • The structure of a new Chris Paul contract: Max contract … but four or five years?

  • Don’t let Clint Capela shop for an offer sheet: Aggressive approach on the first day of free agency

  • The luxury-tax impact of signing Trevor Ariza: Could cost $20 million or more

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • Despite having only $77.5 million in guaranteed contracts, Houston projects to be a luxury-tax team once Paul and Capela are signed. Expect payroll to range between $140 million and $150 million with Paul signed at the max and Capela at a starting salary of $20 million.

  • Bringing back Ariza on a contract that starts at $8 million would add an additional $27 million in luxury-tax costs.

  • The Rockets could create tax savings but that would require either finding a home for the $40 million owed to Ryan Anderson or waiving and stretching his salary over five seasons.

  • For the Rockets to sign second-round picks De’Anthony Melton or Vincent Edwards to contracts of more than two seasons, Houston would have to use a portion of its midlevel.

Second-rounders: De’Anthony Melton (PG), Vincent Edwards (PF)

Team needs

  • Starting: PG, PF, C

  • Backup: PG, PF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

Cap-space breakdown

  • Cap space this summer in Indiana is fluid based on the player option of Thaddeus Young and the decision to retain or waive the players on partial or non-guaranteed contracts, including Collison and Bogdanovic. Both players’ contracts will be guaranteed if they are not waived by June 29 (Bogdanovic) and July 1 (Collison). The $10 million contract for Al Jefferson ($4 million guaranteed) will become guaranteed if not waived by July 2.

  • If Indiana takes a conservative approach and Young opts into his contract, the Pacers will likely be right at the salary cap. Young opting out would have the Pacers with $24 million in room that could increase to $32 million if the Pacers decline the $1.6 million option for Joe Young and waive Al Jefferson.

  • One area to watch is the available roster spots. Including Holiday, Indiana would have 13 players under contract.

Team needs

  • Starter: None

  • Bench: SG, SF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • The recent addition of Marcin Gortat now gives the Clippers an insurance policy if Jordan opts out of his $24.1 million contract.

  • If Jordan does leave in free agency, LA will be right at the salary cap based on the $11 million in partially guaranteed contracts and free agent holds

  • Jordan opting into his contract would leave the Clippers right at the luxury tax with $120 million in salary. The Clippers do have flexibility with Beverley’s $5 million non-guaranteed contract and only $2 million owed to Teodosic. The $6.3 million contract for Teodosic becomes fully guaranteed if he is not waived by July 15. In addition, the $1.4 million C.J. Williams contract is non-guaranteed.

Team needs

  • Starter: None

  • Bench: SF, PF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • $65 million in cap space for two max contracts

  • Have restricted free agent Julius Randle on speed dial: Primary focus if the top free agents do not sign

  • Have a Plan B: One-year contracts and roll over cap space to 2019

  • Waiting on Kawhi: Either in the trade market or waiting until free agency

  • The cost of trading Luol Deng: First-round pick(s)?

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

No team has more options when it comes to building its roster than the Lakers.

Los Angeles can choose four different paths:

  1. Create two maximum-salary slots but at the expense of Randle, while also stretching the $37 million owed to Deng

  2. Create two maximum-salary slots, retain Randle but deplete draft assets by trading Deng

  3. Sign one max player, retain Randle and roll over cap space until 2019

  4. Sign free agents or acquire players on one-year contracts, retain flexibility and wait until 2019

The Lakers will have decisions when it comes to their three non-guaranteed contracts. Tyler Ennis (July 5), Ivica Zubac (June 30) and Thomas Bryant (July 5) all have trigger dates that will see their full salaries guaranteed.

Second-rounders: Isaac Bonga (SG), Sviatoslav Mykhailuk (SF)

Team needs

  • Starter: SG, C

  • Bench: PG, SF, C

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Full year with coach JB Bickerstaff: Priority in player development

  • Be honest with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol about the process of a rebuild

  • The realization with Chandler Parsons: Best suited coming off the bench, if healthy

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Trade: $3.4M, $1.7M

Cap-space breakdown

  • The Grizzlies will enter free agency over the salary cap with $112 million in salary and 14 players under contract. The Grizzlies do have three players — Andrew Harrison, Wayne Selden and Omari Johnson — that have a partial or non-guaranteed contract. Selden’s $1.5 million contract will become fully guaranteed if he is not waived by July 10.

  • Operating over the cap will come with restrictions like last summer, as the Grizzlies will only have the $8.6 million midlevel exception available. Like former second-round pick Deyonta Davis, expect Memphis to use part of their its midlevel to sign second-rounder Jevon Carter to a contract that exceeds two years.

  • The Grizzlies do not have the $3.4 million bi-annual exception based on the Tyreke Evans signing last July. Teams are prohibited from using the bi-annual in consecutive seasons.

Second-rounder: Jevon Carter (PG)

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions


Cap-space breakdown

  • After spending the past two offseasons chasing Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward, Miami will not be an active participant when it comes to the likes of LeBron James or Paul George.

  • The free-agent spending last summer and the increase in the Tyler Johnson contract has the Heat with nine players comprising $118 million in guaranteed contracts, $5 million below the luxury tax.

  • Miami likely will have only the $8.6 million non-tax midlevel exception and $3.4 million bi-annual exception to use. However, the Heat will be hard capped if they use more than $5.2 million of the midlevel.

  • Rodney McGruder ‘s $1.5 million contract will become guaranteed if he is not waived by June 30.

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

  • Trade: $3.4M and $1.9M

Cap-space breakdown

  • Unless the Bucks shake up their roster, expect the team to enter July 1 over the cap with a projected $103 million and 13 players under contract.

  • Even if Jabari Parker is not brought back, Milwaukee will have only the $8.6 million midlevel exception and $3.4 million bi-annual exception to use to sign players.

  • The $2.2 million Brandon Jennings contract will be guaranteed if he is not waived by July 1.

  • The $10.5 million owed to Mirza Teletovic that was eventually stretched with a $3.5 million cap over the next three seasons will be off the books starting Nov. 7.

Team needs

  • Starter: PF, C

  • Bench: SF, PF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Change the bench narrative: Selling a real role in free agency with limited resources

  • The structure of a Karl-Anthony Towns extension

  • The future finances: Three max contracts in 2019?

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

Cap-space breakdown

  • With Jamal Crawford opting out, Minnesota has $117 million in salary with five roster spots open. The Timberwolves do have the option of waiving Cole Aldrich before June 30, which would save $4.9 million.

  • Minnesota has the $8.6 million non-taxpayer midlevel or $3.4 million bi-annual exceptions, but using the full exception (or anything more than $5.3 million) would hard cap the Wolves and likely put them in the tax once the remainder of the roster is filled out.

  • Expect Minnesota to use a portion of the non-tax midlevel to sign Keita Bates-Diop to a contract that exceeds two seasons.

Second-rounder: Keita Baties-Diop (SF)

Team needs

Starter: None

Bench: SG, SF, PF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • The free-agent options for DeMarcus Cousins (short-term deal or sign-and-trade?)

  • Current roster + Cousins = Luxury-tax team

  • The free-agent priority of Rajon Rondo: Tax midlevel if Cousins returns

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

  • Trade: $3.8M, $2.3M, $2.1M and $1.5M

  • *Cousins’ salary will impact either exception the Pelicans will have.

Cap-space breakdown

  • Bringing Cousins back on a max contract would leave New Orleans with a projected $132 million in salary — $9 million over the tax threshold with a tax penalty of $14.5 million. That number will increase to $23.7 million if Rondo signs for the midlevel and the Pelicans could only offer second-round pick Tony Carr a two-year contract.

  • Letting Cousins go would keep the Pelicans under the tax but only with the $8.6 million midlevel and $3.4 million bi-annual exceptions to use.

  • The Pelicans do have four players — Darius Miller, Emeka Okafor, Cheick Diallo and DeAndre Liggins — with partial or non-guaranteed contracts. Miller’s $2.2 million cap hit will have $300K protected if he is not waived by June 28 and it becomes fully guaranteed on July 24.

Second-rounder: Tony Carr (PG)

Team needs

  • Starter: SF

  • Bench: PG, PF, C

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

  • Trade: $1.4M

Cap-space breakdown

  • With the likelihood of Enes Kanter exercising his $18.6 million player option, New York will be right at the salary cap when free agency begins.

  • Troy Williams‘ and Trey Burke‘s non-guaranteed deals leave the Knicks with only two open roster spots. It is expected that second-round pick Mitchell Robinson will fill one of the remaining openings, with New York using a portion of its $8.6 million midlevel to sign him.

  • Despite Kyle O’Quinn opting out of his contract, New York has his Bird rights and can exceed the cap to bring him back.

Second-rounder: Mitchell Robinson (C)

Team needs

  • Starter: PG

  • Bench: SF, PF, C

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • The options for Paul George: Five-year max, short-term deal, sign-and-trade?

  • Cost of George returning: $115 million luxury tax (at the minimum)

  • Improving the bench but at the expense of Jerami Grant?

  • Have a contingency plan if George does not return

Exceptions

  • Tax: $5.3M

  • Trade: $2.5M and $1.5M

Cap-space breakdown

  • With or without Paul George, the Thunder are heading toward the luxury tax for the fourth time in five seasons.

  • If George returns, Oklahoma City will have a payroll of $151 million and a tax bill of $104 million. That includes filling the bench with their three second-round picks and one minimum contract.

  • The Thunder will likely lose Grant to free agency. Bringing back the forward would add around $53 million in combined salary and taxes for one year.

  • If George leaves, bringing back Grant certainly helps but still pushes OKC into the tax anyway.

  • The Thunder can save $11 million by signing their second-round picks instead of free agents to the minimum exception.

Second-rounders: Devon Hall (PG), Hamidou Diallo (SG) and Kevin Hervey (SF)

Team needs

  • Starter: SF, PF

  • Bench: PG, C

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • The cost of restricted free agent Aaron Gordon

  • Turning value from the expiring contracts: Terrence Ross and Nikola Vucevic

  • Finding a solution at point guard

  • The development of Jonathan Isaac and Mohamed Bamba

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

Cap space

  • The Magic will need to weigh the value of creating cap space against returning the same roster.

  • By virtue of the Aaron Gordon $16.5 million cap hold, Orlando will enter the summer over the projected $101 million cap.

  • Letting Gordon walk (unlikely) would leave Orlando with only $15.9 million in room.

  • The Magic do have the flexibility to create room if needed because of the expiring contracts of Vucevic and Ross. Both players combine to earn $22.8 million in 2018.

Second-rounders: Melvin Frazier (SF) and Justin Jackson (SF)

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Stability in basketball operations: What’s next for the front office?

  • Big game hunting in free agency and trade market

  • The cost of trading for Kawhi Leonard: Comfort level long-term despite his expiring contract?

  • Don’t be afraid to roll over cap space to 2019

  • The summer of Markelle Fultz

  • Follow the blueprint from 2017-18: Target veteran shooters

  • The unbalanced roster: Five point guards (not including Shake Milton)

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • The 76ers can create up to $26 million in cap space and go free-agent shopping or roll over the room to 2019 and sign players to one-year contracts now, similar to the JJ Redick deal last season.

  • Philadelphia can create up to $33 million by declining Richaun Holmes‘ options and stretching the Jerryd Bayless contract. Trading Bayless by attaching a draft asset would get the 76ers to $35 million in room.

Second-rounder: Shake Milton (PG)

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Resetting the culture: 170-plus losses in three seasons

  • Player development is key with new coach Igor Kokoskov

  • The evaluation of the roster: Expiring contracts and former picks that don’t fit become trade bait

  • Waiting on a Devin Booker extension (creating flexibility in 2019)

  • The return of Brandon Knight

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

Cap-space breakdown

  • Over the salary cap when free agency begins, Phoenix would need to renounce its own free agents (Elfrid Payton and Alex Len) and waive Alan Williams to create space. All three transactions would leave the Suns with $15 million in room.

  • Phoenix does have the expiring contracts of Tyson Chandler ($13.5 million) and Jared Dudley ($9.5 million) to use in a trade if cap space is needed.

Second-rounder: Elie Okobo (PG)

Team needs

  • Starter: PG, PF, C

  • Bench: PG

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • Already with $112 million in guaranteed contracts, Portland is $11 million below the tax threshold and will only have the $5.3 million tax midlevel exception available in free agency due to cap holds on its restricted free agents. Expect Portland to use a portion of the exception to sign second-round pick Gary Trent Jr. to a contract for more than two years.

  • If Portland is going to make roster changes it will have to be done with a trade (involving either a current player or an exception).

  • Portland has until June 30 to guarantee the $1.5 million contract of Jake Layman and July 19 for Wade Baldwin and Georgios Papagiannis.

Second-rounder: Gary Trent Jr. (SG)

Team needs

  • Starter: C

  • Bench: PG, SF, PF

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • Communicate with free agents: Set the expectations of a rebuild

  • The return of Harry Giles (like adding an extra lottery pick if healthy)

  • Follow the Warriors’ model in 2019: Rebuild with draft picks and keep cap space for free agents

Exception

Cap-space breakdown

  • With 14 players under contract, the Kings enter the offseason with $17 million in room.

  • Unlike last July when Sacramento took an aggressive approach, signing George Hill, Vince Carter and Zach Randolph, the Kings should take advantage of their room by not signing free agents but taking on salary dumps to acquire future first-round picks.

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

  • The future of Kawhi Leonard: Eligible for $219 million extension or explore the trade market. When is the point of no return?

  • The restricted free agents: Kyle Anderson, Davis Bertans and Bryn Forbes

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

Cap-space breakdown

  • The Spurs are not operating from a position of strength this summer when it comes to flexibility.

  • Though the front office has shown to be creative in the past in creating cap space, San Antonio will enter the offseason with $95 million in guaranteed contracts. This does not include the $8 million in salary holds on restricted free agents.

  • For San Antonio to create room, Pau Gasol and Danny Green would have to be traded and their free-agent holds would need to be renounced. The Spurs would have close to $32 million in room in this scenario.

Second-rounder: Chimezie Metu (PF)

Team needs

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

Cap-space breakdown

  • The cost of free-agent spending in 2017 and the $42 million Norman Powell extension will likely have the Raptors in the tax.

  • Before free agency begins, Toronto has $126 million in guaranteed salary, $3 million above the tax threshold with the pending free agency of VanVleet looming.

  • Bringing back VanVleet would cost Toronto at least $8.6 million in salary and an additional $14 million in luxury taxes.

Team needs

  • Starter: None

  • Bench: PG, SG

Free-agent status


Offseason focus

Exceptions

  • Non-tax midlevel: $8.6M

  • Bi-annual: $3.4M

  • Trade: $3.7 and $2.4M

Cap-space breakdown

  • The $32 million in free-agent holds of Favors and Exum has the Jazz over the cap despite only $75 million in guaranteed salary.

  • Letting both players go (unlikely) and releasing the three players on non-guaranteed contracts would leave Utah with $26 million in cap space.

  • Expect the Jazz to operate over the salary cap and have their two exceptions available.

Team needs

Free-agent status

  • Derrick Favors | Bird

  • Raul Neto | Restricted Bird

  • Dante Exum | Restricted Bird


Offseason focus

  • The costs associated with keeping this roster together (luxury-tax team for a second straight season)

  • The expiring contract of Markieff Morris

  • The limited flexibility in free agency

Exceptions

  • Tax: $5.3M

  • Trade: $1.3M, $959K

Cap-space breakdown

  • The Wizards took a step toward reducing their luxury tax for next season when they shipped Marcin Gortat to the Clippers in exchange for Austin Rivers, shaving some salary ($1 million) and projected luxury tax ($1.4 million). Like Gortat, Rivers is in the last year of his contract.

  • The Wizards have $127 million in guaranteed salary, $4 million above the tax threshold.

  • The $5.4 million tax penalty projects to jump to $13 million if minimum-salary free agents are signed to the remaining three roster spots. Using the full tax midlevel exception would cost the Wizards an additional $8 million in penalties.

  • Washington will get tax relief when Jodie Meeks serves the remainder of his suspension. The projected tax credit will save Washington $500K.

  • Keep in mind also that John Wall‘s supermax extension signed last summer does not kick in until 2019-20.

  • The Wizards project to be over the salary cap in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Second-rounder: Issuf Sanon (SG)

Team needs

Free-agent status


Bird rights explainer

Bird rights

A team can exceed the cap to sign a free agent who has played three consecutive seasons with his current team (carries over in a trade).

Restricted: A free agent either coming off his first-round rookie contract or has signed a three-year contract and has three years of service or fewer. A player becomes restricted if he receives a qualifying offer before June 30. His current team has the right to match any offers.

Early Bird rights

Teams can exceed the cap to sign a player who has spent two consecutive seasons with a team (without being waived, carries over in a trade), but they are restricted to 175 percent of his previous salary or 105 percent of the average player salary. A team can exceed either limit with available cap space. Minimum years on a new deal is two (not including options) and maximum is four.

Restricted: A free agent who signed a two-year contract, has three years of service or fewer and receives a qualifying offer before June 30. The maximum allowable in an offer sheet cannot exceed the projected $8.6 million non-taxpayer midlevel in the first year.

Non-Bird rights

A free agent who has played one season with a team can sign for 120 percent of his previous contract or 120 percent of the minimum salary exception. Teams can exceed either limits but only with cap space or an exception.

Restricted: The maximum allowable in an offer sheet from an opposing team cannot exceed the projected $8.6 million non-tax midlevel in the first year.

Other: A player who had his third or fourth year in his rookie deal declined will not be a restricted free agent. The current team can offer a contract up to the salary of only the declined option.


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