In this case, both sides would be strongly motivated to…

In this case, both sides would be strongly motivated to figure out a reasonable cap number because underpaying the players relative to the BRI generated in that 2021-22 season would create a shortfall to the players and a cap spike in 2022. We already know the value of the national TV contract and will know all the local TV deals by then too, so expect a fair and substantial number. That is good for Antetokounmpo but also likely for the Bucks because a higher 2021-22 cap means a larger difference between what they can offer and what everyone else can bid. After all, Milwaukee can pay him 35 percent of the cap for five years with 8 percent raises while every other team can only offer 30 percent of the cap for four years with 5 percent raises.
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June 28, 2022 | 11:28 am EDT Update

June 28, 2022 | 11:13 am EDT Update
The Nets and Irving did come close to an agreement late last week, sources said, before talks stalled out. Sources said Irving had three potential opt-in-and-trade options available to pursue before making his final decision. Across the league, there are only five teams with projected salary-cap space: Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Indiana and New York, with all wanting to build around younger players or prioritizing other free agents. For their part, the Lakers were much more motivated to have Irving sign as a free agent than they were in acquiring the three-time All-NBA guard via trade, sources said. And as Irving went through his opt-in-and-trade options — as well as the potential of joining the Lakers in free agency — the decision to return to Brooklyn crystalized.
Irving’s agent, Shetellia Riley Irving, and the Nets front office held extensive and productive extension discussions over the past six days, with sources on both sides describing good-faith negotiations to reach a new deal. The Nets and Shetellia Riley Irving worked through various proposals, including a two-year max extension that included incentives based on games played as well as a four-year max that included two years guaranteed and triggers for years three and four based on the games played in years one and two, sources said. Irving showed a willingness to accept an incentive-based deal before a final counter was made to the Nets, according to sources: a short-term contract extension protecting both sides with a player option. Brooklyn declined.
Several teams are expected to continue to pursue Irving via trade, but his opt-in makes clubs consider more closely whether to trade assets in a deal for a player who will enter unrestricted free agency in 2023. Teams across the league understand Irving’s talent, and now a full season in 2022-23 allows him the opportunity to prove himself once again, then return to the market and earn a maximum contract next summer. Multiple sources with knowledge of his decision said Irving wants to prioritize winning a championship next season and show why he’s one of the best players in the league.