Washington will operate as an over-the-cap team this summer, even though it could technically carve out about $15 million if the cap hit its original 2020-21 projection of $115 million. Thing is: It’s probably not climbing so high now — and even if it did, the Wizards don’t want to dip so low below it. They are determined to bring back Dāvis Bertāns, a 27-year-old free agent who will likely command a multi-year deal.
And to hold onto his Bird rights, which allow them to go over the cap to sign him, they need to keep his cap hold on the books, which adds another $13.3 million to the team’s cap sheet. And thus, the Wizards would be right up against the cap, enough so that there are intrinsic advantages for them to operate a little bit over it.