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What Teams Still Have Spending Power?
Posted By Eric Pincus On July 11, 2013 @ 12:00 pm In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Many of the big names in free agency have found homes, but a few key free agents remain unsigned like Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Nikola Pekovic, Andrei Kirilenko, Mo Williams and Gerald Henderson.
What teams still have spending power to go shopping almost two weeks into the free agency period?
The cap came at $58,679,000 for the coming season with a luxury tax threshold of $71,748,000 with the luxury tax apron set at $75,748,000.
While contracts and trades are still going through the league office, the exact figures for each club will continue to come in. In the meantime, reasonable and educated estimates show where teams stand and who has money to spend.
Some teams are flush with cap room. Others can get there via amnesty and buy-outs:
Atlanta Hawks — $19.3 million
Philadelphia 76ers — $16.1 million
Detroit Pistons — $14.5 million
Orlando Magic — $13.7 million
Sacramento Kings — $13.6 million
Milwaukee Bucks — $9.7 million
Dallas Mavericks — $9.3 million
Charlotte Bobcats — $6.3 million
Utah Jazz — $5.3 million
Cleveland Cavaliers — $2.7 million
Phoenix Suns — $1.5 million
The Hawks have to decide if they’ll let restricted-free agent Jeff Teague join the Milwaukee Bucks. If so, Atlanta will need a point guard — if not, both teams’ cap numbers shifts significantly.
Philadelphia and Orlando are rebuilding. Where they spend will be very carefully plotted.
The Pistons can amnesty Charlie Villanueva to go after one more name. The Bucks can do the same to Drew Gooden to gain space. Sacramento can also amnesty a player to clear some space.
Once teams have used their cap room, they gain the $2.65 million Room Exception — another tool to help teams get out of the rebuilding process.
Cap teams are also permitted to bid on amnestied players, while those over aren’t able to even put in a claim.
Who is Hard Capped?
Teams lock in a hard cap by using one of three tools: acquiring a player via sign and trade, spending more than the $3.18 million Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception or any of the team’s Bi-Annual Exception.
The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards are all hard capped.
None can climb above the tax apron throughout the coming season — under any circumstances.
The Celtics have spending tools (at $70.3-$73.2 million) but almost no room under the hard cap to add players.
The Clippers can add on a few vets at the minimum but are also stymied by the tax apron.
Five teams may have their full $5.15 Mid-Level Exceptions left to spend including the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic.
Some, like the Celtics, are restricted in how much they can use because of the hard cap.
Nine teams have Bi-Annual Exception (BAE) but again, the hard cap becomes a factor if used. Some of the nine, like the Magic, would lose their BAE if they chose instead to go under the cap.
The Brooklyn Nets are about $26.3 million over the tax in a year where there’s an incremental penalty for each $5 million they go over. Brooklyn may end up paying $70 million in luxury tax.
Other tax teams include the Miami HEAT, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics.
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