Salary cap Rumors

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By opting out of his final season with the Mavericks, Ellis will forfeit the possibility of cashing in big next summer, when the NBA salary cap will skyrocket with an infusion of new television contract money. The Mavericks will now have about $30-million under the salary cap to spend on free-agency, but will have to fill the shooting-guard void left by Ellis in addition to making moves at point guard and center. They also are believed to be in the running for free-agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
In this specific example of Butler and the Bulls, that difference is a highly significant one. By extending a Maximum Qualifying Offer, the Bulls can ensure that Butler, if he still chooses to sign with another team, cannot hit the unrestricted free agent market until the summer of 2018, two years after the salary cap has begun the very huge increase he wants so badly to cash in on. Butler is thinking about his next payday, despite not having received the first one yet, because of the potential rewards it may yield. For the same reason, Chicago will not want him to. Using this clause, they can do something about that.
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While Thompson’s huge new deal (which starts at $15.5 million) and Green’s expected new deal (which could start at a similar place) will explode the payroll, the Warriors can still get under the luxury-tax threshold if they find a taker for David Lee’s $15.5 million salary next season. The Warriors probably would have to use their upcoming first-round pick (30th overall) as incentive for a team to take Lee’s salary. ESPN.com reported Wednesday that the Warriors have already told Lee that they want to give him a chance to get more playing time elsewhere.
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The players’ union has also rejected the NBA’s “cap smoothing” proposal that would pay players the same 51 percent of basketball-related income that they receive under the current CBA, which would have artificially lowered the salary cap to prevent the big spike and phase in the increase over several years. “I think we have a very fair deal right now,” Silver said Sunday during halftime of Game 5 of the Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena.
A group of (mostly) small-market teams lobbied against the proposal, fearing it would remove their best avenue for acquiring a franchise player right at the moment of a salary-cap explosion that would give glamour-market behemoths unprecedented cap room. No one knows how the new TV deal bonanza will affect the league’s revenue-sharing formula. There was just a sense that too much change was coming at once, and that the changes in the aggregate might favor the top free-agency destinations. I’m not sure that’s the case, but the proposal failed and the league — despite real concern about the perception of tanking — doesn’t appear in a rush to force it down anyone’s throat.
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Because Dwyane Wade said last year that he’s eager to see how much he can command next summer, when the salary cap rises considerably, everyone has expected he would not opt out of a contract that would pay him $16.1 million next season. Opting in seems to make the most sense. But it’s curious that Wade was non-committal after the season ended, and his agent this week declined to say if he will opt in. If he surprisingly opted out, he would figure to re-sign here on a multiyear deal, and the Heat thus wouldn’t have cap space (even if Luol Deng also opted out), assuming Goran Dragic stays. (Unless Miami dumps additional salary such as Josh McRoberts or Mario Chalmers.)
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Dirk Nowitzki on max contracts in the NBA: “In a way, I understand what the owners want to do. They want to keep it fair for everybody so the big-market teams…like in soccer. Every year it’s the same big spenders spending hundreds of millions of Euros over there. It’s the same teams always winning the league. I think it’s a good approach to have the parity to let everybody have a chance, even though it still might be the same teams. You gotta work within some rules and I actually don’t mind it. It’s not like I think everyone made enough money, even the superstars. Now with the new CBA coming up in 2017 or whatever, they’re already talking about the max money going up to over $30 million. I mean we make more than enough to start complaining…I can see both sides of it. But I don’t want to get carried away here. I think the superstars make enough money in our league.”
The Nets can go two different routes, depending on how their salary-cap situation plays out. If they move far enough below the projected “hard cap” of $85 million, they could potentially use the full $5.464 million mid-level exception, the $2.139 million bi-annual exception and be eligible to make sign-and-trades in which they receive a player signing a new contract. However, that would mean the Nets would not be allowed to go above $85 million in spending at any point during the 2015-16 season.
Kawhi Leonard is a mortal lock to return, with a cap hold of roughly $7.2 million until he signs the max contract he’s absolutely going to get even after a poor finish to the Clippers series (29.6 percent from the floor over the last three games, one block and no steals over the last four). (All indications are that Leonard has no interest in signing an offer sheet elsewhere, and wants the security of a full deal over gambling with a one-year qualifying deal in order to hit unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2016, when the cap is projected to skyrocket with the NBA’s incoming TV windfall.)
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The power forward told Northeast Ohio Media Group in January that he planned to opt in for next season and enter into free agency in the offseason of 2016. If that’s his way of showing his commitment to the organization, there’s a more profitable way of doing so. Based on his maximum salary numbers, Love could earn on the upwards of $2.5 million additional for next season if he reversed course and opted out. With the NBA’s lucrative television deal kicking in for the 2016-17 season, the salary cap is expected to jump massively, approximately in the ballpark of an $85 million-plus range.