76ers Below Minimum Salary Threshold
As has been excessively documented, the Philadelphia 76ers are still quite a way short of the minimum team salary threshold. Lull of the offseason notwithstanding, this story has been overplayed for three reasons: the threshold doesn’t need to be met for several months yet, it will inevitably be met before then and, most importantly, it doesn’t really matter at all if it is never met.
Philly’s tanking strategy is hugely unsubtle and a tad unsavory, but entirely logical. Knowing they hadn’t enough talent or incumbent potential to become a contender in time soon — particularly in light of the absolutely staggeringly, debilitatingly unsuccessful trade for Andrew Bynum — they decided, as best as possible, to stop acquiring any. They traded away their best player for someone who can’t take the court, haven’t signed a single free agent and, given that one of the few rumored free agent candidates they’ve been linked to was Chris Duhon, should probably continue to not bother signing any. It’s an emphatic tank job, and yet, tough as those can be to reconcile with a fan base, it seems worth it here.
All this inaction has left them at $40,013,749 in committed salaries to 11 players, which will rise to $45,386,989 when Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams sign. (They haven’t yet done so.) For the first time this season, the minimum team salary will be 90 percent of the salary cap, equal to $52,811,100 to a $58,679,000 cap. The Sixers, then, are almost $7.5 million short of the threshold, and there’s no one left on the market to spend even nearly that amount on.