Albert Nahmad: Wolves can apply to have Nikola Pekovic’s cap hits — $12.1M for 2016-17, $11.6M for 2017-18 – excluded from team salary staring today. Pekovic salary exclusion would be granted if jointly-selected doctor rules injury career-ending or constitutes medically unacceptable risk. If the exclusion is granted, Wolves’ 16-17 cap room increases to $24.8M, 17-18 max projected cap room increases to $37.1M (at $103M cap). Wolves are currently $3.3M below salary floor. Pekovic’s salary will count toward the salary floor whether the exclusion is granted or not. If Pekovic doesn’t play again, Wolves can be reimbursed $8.7M of his $12.1M salary for 2016-17 and $9.3M of his $11.6M salary for 2017-18.
February 19, 2018 | 3:46 pm EST Update
DeAndre Jordan came close to being dealt to the Cavaliers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but the deal fell through because the Clippers were unwilling to absorb Iman Shumpert’s salary. This makes the summer ahead that much more interesting for Jordan. With the salary cap flattening, only seven teams are expected to have over $10 million in cap space. There were 10 such teams last summer and 25 in 2016, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Brian Windhorst recently wrote. A dearth of free-agent funds will lead to a hard choice for Jordan, who has a player option worth $24.1 million for the 2018-19 season. But multiple league executives think it’s unlikely that he’d receive that type of money annually on the open market. Most of the teams that are expected to have money, like the Hawks, 76ers, and Nets, don’t need an expensive 30-year-old rim-running center, and the teams that do need one won’t have to pay him max money.