Over the next several weeks, we are going to post salary cap primers for every team in the NBA. You can find the teams we’ve already profiled by clicking here. For a detailed description of all that you will see from here on out, go here. Lastly, here’s just a small handful things you should keep in mind while reading through each post:
- A salary in bold indicates an option or non-guarantee that I expect to be picked up.
- An italicized salary means one that I do not expect to be picked up.
- Parentheses represent cap holds.
- A slash indicates a player that has been released through the stretch provision.
Draft picks are based on the expected lottery order. Salaries were found using Basketball-Reference’s database and are rounded to the nearest hundred thousandth. Unless it is below $1 million, in which case they are rounded to the nearest ten thousandth. Cap holds for players making less than $500,000 this season were ignored at my discretion.
These posts are designed to prepare you for the offseason by examining exactly how much cap space your team could have, actually does have, and how they might create more space should they decide to chase a superstar free agent. It will also delve into what kinds of free agents I expect each team to pursue, but more specific predictions will be posted closer to the start of free agency.
Now let’s begin, shall we?
Here’s what the Nets are working with:
Actual Cap Space: $21 million.
Functional Cap Space: $27.5 million.
Expected Roster Spots Used: 17.
Expected Cap Space: $24 million.
Path to Max Cap Space: The Nets will not make Randy Foye a priority in order to maximize their available space. If they did want to keep him, though, it would not affect their ability to sign a player to a 25 percent max contract. That is, as long as they simply wait until afterwards to sign him using the Room Mid-Level Exception. That percentage is for players who have played between four and six years in the NBA. This matters because the Nets have been largely tied to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a fourth-year player. They’d need only to trade one of their young fliers to get that much space. In that scenario, Spencer Dinwiddie would be the most likely to go.
Caldwell-Pope will be Brooklyn’s first target. But if for whatever reason they fail to sign him, their strategy under Sean Marks has been built around chasing restricted free agents. It is highly likely that whoever gets Brooklyn’s cap space will have come from that group. Otto Porter will get a strong look, and so will Nikola MirotiA�. The first offer sheet will likely go to Porter or KCP, whoever they believe they will most likely be able to actually sign (as their original teams have matching rights).
If they wanted to jump into the 10-plus year bracket and chase someone like Chris Paul, however unlikely that would be, stretching Trevor Booker and Trevor Booker gets the job done provided they also decline K.J. McDaniels’ team option.
On that note, it might behoove Brooklyn to trade or use the stretch provision on one or both of those guys anyway. Plenty of teams are going to want to use Brooklyn as a dumping ground for their own bad contracts. Especially now that Philly might actually spend some of their own space. If Toronto is willing to pony up a first-round pick to get rid of DeMarre Carroll, or San Antonio needs to get rid of Tony Parker’s salary, the Nets should explore whatever options are available to them as far as generating extra space to absorb that kind of contract without taking themselves out of the derby for whatever youngster they want to sign.
An important note for Brooklyn is that Brook Lopez is set to expire next summer and become a free agent. If the Nets wanted to keep him long-term at a salary higher than his current number, they could save some cap space for an extension that gives him a raise next season. I don’t expect that to be Brooklyn’s highest priority, of course. But, it’s something to keep in mind.