Salary cap Rumors
By signing Deck, the Thunder moved closer to the salary cap minimum. A team’s payroll must be at least 90% of the cap without incurring a penalty. “We’re excited about the player,” Daigneault said. “Our front office and our scouting staff really like him. He’s obviously played at a high level for a number of years and he’s a multi-positional, pretty versatile player from everything I understand. “We can’t wait to get him in the fold, get to know him a little bit, learn his game and see how he can help us this year and moving forward.”
If it doesn’t work out with Oladipo, the Heat could pivot back to Lowry. League sources said if Lowry had been traded, his preference was the Heat because of his close friendship with Jimmy Butler. The Heat can realistically create about $26 million in space while retaining the restricted free-agent rights to Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, if the salary cap is $112 million as currently projected.
Teams are normally incredibly tight-lipped about the cash they put into trades, so we usually don’t find out the fine print on these deals until later. The Warriors sent $2.2 million to Charlotte to take Brad Wanamaker off their hands, and $1.85 million to the Spurs to take Marques Chriss. It was money well-spent, with the Warriors in the $5.25 range on luxury tax penalties; even with the league softening the blow this season, the Warriors spent $4 million to save about $12 million in salary and tax.
The Rockets had a $10.6 million exception from the James Harden traded that expires in roughly December (the league still has to map its calendar dates for next season), and could have maintained that. Instead, they opted to take Avery Bradley’s salary into that exception, which now has $5.1 million left, and create a new $8.2 million exception for Oladipo that runs until next year’s trade deadline.
Oklahoma City added to its staggering array of trade exceptions by creating a new one worth $9.6 million in the George Hill trade. In addition to owning every draft pick for all eternity, the Thunder now have exceptions worth $27.5 million, $12.8 million, $10.1 million, $9.5 million, $7.4 million, and $6.7 million.
The Clippers also spent $4 million, with $2.75 million going to the Kings to dump Mfiondu Kabengele’s salary and another $1.25 million going to Atlanta in the Rondo deal. Finally, the Suns sent $110,000 (the minimum legal consideration in a trade) to Milwaukee in the Torrey Craig trade.
Bought-out players typically sign for a prorated portion of the minimum salary, allowing their new teams to add talent without regard for the salary cap. “It’s a definite concern,” says another team executive working in a small market. “Without a doubt, players that are entering the buyout market will only be looking at contending teams. And most of the time, historically, their preference has been to go to the teams in the bigger markets…. And it gives teams an opportunity to sit back and add players on minimum deals that they normally wouldn’t be able to acquire.”