Teams with the best cap situations

surve's picture
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Teams with the best cap situations

The cap is complicated. Just consider all the factors that actually determine a "team salary" for each year. It's no wonder teams have to hire resident capologists to keep it all square. You can't simply add it all up. And dissecting a cap situation can feel like being handed a complex dish and asked to peg the ingredients, and amounts used. Consider some variables:

• The total includes salaries to veteran players on the current roster and money owed to players who have been waived.
• There are cap holds used to replace veteran free agents until they are signed or renounced; there are unsigned past and current first-round picks.
• A rookie minimum cap hold is also included when a roster falls below a combination of 12 players that are under contract and those that have cap holds. For example: A team with just nine players counting against the cap will get three rookie minimum salary cap holds. Those will be eliminated each time a player is signed and the roster gets back to 12.
• Then there's an offer sheet. A team's salary total also will include an offer sheet that has been signed by a restricted free agent.

Easy, right?

The new CBA is bound to have new rules moving forward and will partly determine who will have the most salary cap room. But for now, we'll use the old rules, meaning the same salary cap number ($58,044,000) for 2011-12 that was used for 2010-11. The new collective bargaining agreement will have new criteria for determining salary cap room. However, these teams should have the most to spend regardless of the rules. Listed are the likeliest scenarios for each team. Note that free agents that could be renounced by each team are not listed.

Also: just after we published this, Oklahoma City signed Nazr Mohammed to an extension, essentially eliminating them from this list.

Sacramento Kings

Nine players under contract: Omri Casspi, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Francisco Garcia, Donte Greene, Pooh Jeter, John Salmons, Jason Thompson and Hassan Whiteside
Total Payroll: $29.68 million
1 Free-Agent Cap Hold: Marcus Thornton
Total: $1,059,293
1 First-Round Cap Hold: Jimmer Fredette (No. 10)
Total: $1,923,600
1 Minimum Roster Charge
Total: $490,180
Estimated Cap Room: $24.89 million

Notes: The Kings will have the most cap room of any team, regardless of the new collective bargaining agreement, after they renounce the rest of their free agents, including Samuel Dalembert, who under the 2010-11 maximum salary slot would have a cap hold of $16,324,500. The Kings have said they'd like to retain Dalembert, however the free-agent center is expected to sign with a playoff contender. Will the team make big moves? Given the ownership situation, it all appears to be up in the air for the Kings.

Indiana Pacers

11 Players under contract: Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Dahntay Jones, James Posey, A.J. Price, Brandon Rush and Lance Stephenson
Total Payroll: $37.09 million
1 Free-Agent Cap Hold: Josh McRoberts
Total: $884,293
Estimated Cap Room: $20.06 million

Notes: The Pacers finally have cycled out of all their bad high-end contracts and will enter the 2011-12 year with the second-most cap room. Jeff Foster could be re-signed, but his cap hold of $9,982,500 will need to be renounced for the Pacers to open free agency with just over $20 million in cap room. This is a team that can be active, but it also has some nice young pieces, and might be content with the addition of Hill.

New Jersey Nets

Seven players under contract: Jordan Farmar, Damion James, Brook Lopez, Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw, Johan Petro and Deron Williams
Total Payroll: $39.81 million
1 Waived Player: Stephen Graham
Total: $100,000
1 First-Round Cap Hold: Marshon Brooks (No. 25)
Total: $954,000
4 Minimum Roster Charges
Total: $1,960,720
Estimated Cap Room: $16.09 million

Notes: Stephen Graham only has a partial guarantee for 2011-12 and is expected to be waived, so his minimum contract doesn't become fully guaranteed. Sundiata Gaines is currently under contract for next season, however his minimum salary is not guaranteed and he, under this scenario, will be waived to give the Nets a little more cap room. For now he will be listed as a renounced free agent. The Nets are expected to re-sign Kris Humphries, but the Nets will need to renounce his $6.4 million cap hold to have the $16.09 million cap room. Their cap room will be reduced if and when Humphries signs his new contract. Long term, it's obviously all about whether they can keep Williams around.

Washington Wizards

Seven players under contract: Andray Blatche, Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford, Rashard Lewis, JaVale McGee, Kevin Seraphin and John Wall
Total Payroll: $39.66 million
1 Waived Player: Mike Bibby
Total: $1,125,874
2 First-Round Cap Holds: Jan Vesely (No. 6) and Chris Singleton (No. 18)
Total: $3,910,000
3 Minimum Roster Charges
Total: $1,470,540
Estimated Cap Room: $11.87 million

Notes: The Wizards have tendered qualifying offers to Othyus Jeffers, Hamady Ndiaye, Larry Owens and Nick Young. All four players will need to be renounced to give the Wizards the $11.87 million cap room. It will decrease by $7,891,509 while Young remains on the salary cap. Given the youthful pieces on this roster, we don't expect the Wiz to be too aggressive.

Los Angeles Clippers

10 Players under contract: Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Bledsoe, Brian Cook, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman, Willie Warren and Mo Williams
Total Payroll: $44.91 million
1 Free-Agent Cap Hold: DeAndre Jordan
Total: $1,091,100
1 Minimum Roster Charge
Total: $490,180
Estimated Cap Room: $11.54 million

Notes: The Clippers could gain a little more room if they waive Warren and his nonguaranteed contract, however, it won't increase their cap room that much if they do. They will have more cap room than Washington and will move up to fourth if Nick Young and the other three free agents are not renounced by the Wizards. They could also move up to third if the Nets do not renounce Sundiata Gaines and Kris Humphries. The hole on this team is clear, and we don't expect the trade talk surrounding a fix at the 3 to subside.

Toronto Raptors

10 Players under contract: Solomon Alabi, Leandro Barbosa, Andrea Bargnani, Jerryd Bayless, Jose Calderon, Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, James Johnson and Linas Kleiza
Total Payroll: $47.18 million
1 First-Round Cap Hold: Jonas Valanciunas (No. 5)
Total: $2,900,100
1 Minimum Roster Charge
Total: $490,180
Estimated Cap Room: $7.47 million

Notes: The Raptors will end up in the top five if the Wizards don't renounce Nick Young and the Thunder don't renounce Daequan Cook and waive Royal Ivey and Robert Vaden.

Anton123's picture
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Only Casspi is no longer on

Only Casspi is no longer on the Kings, change that to Hickson

WizardofOz's picture
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Yeah, the Wizards are in a

Yeah, the Wizards are in a really good cap situation. The only bad contract we have is Lewis, and he onlyt has 2 years left, and his last year isn't guaranteed. So we could buy him out, or if there is an amnesty clause in gthe next CBA, just waive him without there being any cap hit. Even though it's a pipe dream, I think we'll make a run at Howard in 2012.

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If there is an amnesty clause

If there is an amnesty clause I would imagine the Kings would take advantage of it and get Salmons $8.5 million off the books, which would leave them with an insane amount of cap and an already relatively filled out roster of:

PG: Thornton, Jimmer, Thomas

SG: Tyreke

SF: Garcia, Greene, Honeycutt

PF: Hickson, Thompson

C: Cousins, Whiteside

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Marcus Thornton a 1?

Marcus Thornton a 1?

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I don't understand how noone

I don't understand how noone pus the Knicks on these list.

Billups and Turiaf gives them 20 plus mil off the books for next season....

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Would Dwight want to go to

Would Dwight want to go to Sacramento? Probably not, but its worth the try.

I live in San Francisco, and I dont know why the Warriors aren't as attractive to free agents, or even the Kings. Granted they are a half hour to an hour away from the city, but there is a lot ot do in the city. But I guess Oakland is not the ideal place to live.

On opening night a couple years ago, we were supposed to play Houston, so almost all teams live in SF, and take the Bus across the Bridge. Well, for that week, the bridge was under construction, and the alternative route took like 2 and a half hours! (Trust me, I went to the game.) So instead of staying in Oakland, they decided that they'd rather take the ferry boat across the bay. Yao is lucky he wasn't there, our Asian community wouldn't have left him alive.

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I had Thornton at the one simply because that is what popped into my head at the time. The Kings do not really have set positions between the guards, since they are all pretty much combo guards. I just think that it is more likely that Jimmer would be subbed in for Thornton than he would for Tyreke, and since I had Jimmer in my mind at backup PG, I put Marcus playing in front of him.

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Clippers' Search for a SF

The Clippers should stop at nothing to use their cap space to get a veteran at small forward. Shane Battier, Tayshaun Prince, and Caron Butler immediately come to mind. Part of me believes that Battier and Butler like their present situations in Memphis and Dallas, respectively, enough to resign there without the dollars that only teams like the Clippers--and the rest on this list--can throw at them, though. But, Tayshaun Prince is in a horrible situation in a rebuilding with my hometown Pistons franchise that needs to be blown up. Despite all the good memories in Detroit, I'm sure that he is gone this offseason, and the Clippers are a perfect fit. They need everything that he provides: veteran leadership, a glue guy, 3-point shooting, and--last but certainly not least--perimeter defense. Some may think he's lost a step, but I honestly think a change of scenery for Tayshaun.

If they strikeout with the veterans, there's still restricted free agents like Jeff Green or Wilson Chandler. While guys like James Jones, Daequan Cook, and Grant Hill will likely be available, as well, Jones and Cook are too one-dimensional, and Hill may not have much left in the tank to see through what it will take to build a legitimate playoff contender in Clipperland.

Bottom-line, IF the Clippers--and I still say IF cuz it's the Clippers--can get a different maker at small forward, lockup DeAndre Jordan long-term, and get a serviceable backup for Blake Griffin--like say a Kurt Thomas/Reggie Evans/Josh McRoberts/Kenyon Martin (if he takes a pay cut) type guy--look for the L.A. Clippers to be in the mix for 6-7 in the West this year

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