Wizenheimer wrote:the obligatory "2019 off-season isn't dome yet" out of the way....
last I saw the projected cap was going to be about 116M
Damian Lillard $31,626,953
CJ McCollum $29,354,152
Jusuf Nurkić $14,138,889
Zach Collins $5,406,255
Anfernee Simons $2,252,040
Gary Trent $1,663,861
Andrew Nicholson $2,844,429
Anderson Varejão $1,913,345
now, you have to add 6 roster charges for being 6 players under the minimum. That will be about 5.5M raising the Blazers to about 94.7M. That would leave them only 21-22M in space
if they use their 2020 first to add a player, you delete a roster charge but add the rookie scale. Probably adding about 1.2M in salary dropping Blazer cap-space to the 20-21M range
and if Portland re-signs Hood to his early-Bird max of about 10M, their cap-space would be 10-11M with 8 players under contract. Hood's player option is 6M, so between his early-Bird max and PO there's a potential 4M in additional cap-space
That's 10M in cap-space with 6 players needed for a minimum roster, and this does not account for Whiteside, Bazemore, Hezonja, Tolliver, & Skal. Skal's QO would be 3.5M and Hezonja has a 1.98M player option.
Blazers will finally have some flexibility after 4 years of being strapped because of 2016. But it will be limited flexibility because they will have so few players under contract and only limited cap-space, if any at all.
Is that the right number for Nurk? Hoopshype has him at 12.8 in 2020, not 14.1. Did he hit some incentives that maybe they aren't taking into account?
Regardless, I believe we've reached a point in time where fans care more about these cold hard cap figures than actual GM's do. If there's one thing this summer proved, having cap space at the beginning of FA really doesn't matter. If you have a player to wants to play for you, teams always find ways to make room. We talk about these numbers as though they're set in stone when in reality, they're much more fluid than that. Maybe it costs some picks or renouncing a FA on the books, but if you need to make extra room, you can do it.
I also seriously question how seriously the NBA enforces the roster charges for teams under the minimum. When was the last time that ever figured into nullifying a potential roster move? Who knows, maybe they do. That may be a question without an answer, but there's no question the NBA absolutely LOVES the player empowerment era with guys moving around the league more than ever. It creates a nearly 12mo NBA news cycle which is great for the leagues bottom line. As we saw with tampering, there are certain rules that don't strictly enforce and the league is trying to address by either changing the rules or eliminating the rules. I just can't see the NBA telling a team "No you can't sign this star player because you have a couple too many empty roster spots".
Got off on a tangent there, point being, if in some bizarro world the AD in LA experiment goes horribly wrong and Dame is able to convince AD to play for the Blazers, I believe they'd find a way to make it work even if the black and white numbers at this time aren't there. There's always bad teams willing to advantage of a team needing to cut salary for a FA, it's like clockwork every year. If the Blazers were in a position to get AD, you can't tell me there wouldn't be 4-6 teams lined up and willing to absorb Collins and Trent's contracts to open up the space for his deal.
It just feels like more than ever before, there's a TON of "coloring outside the lines" being done with how teams approach their salary cap and I think we as fans tend to think it's a lot more rigid in terms of teams ability to make things work.