Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space?

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Manolito
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Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#1 » by Manolito » Tue May 7, 2019 8:11 am

I have two very easy questions regarding cap exceptions, as I am a newbie to CBA:

1.- Signing drafted rookie is one of the possible exceptions to exceed the cap. Is it possible to spend complete space cap during offseason and afterwards sign drafted rookie, or immediately after drafting the rookie, unless team renounces his rights, is rookie salary already counted in the cap? I am thinking of Knicks, signing their rookie after spending their space gives them roughly 10M extra.

2.- Cap holds represent "placeholders" for pending free agents. They count against team cap space to allow them exceed the cap to retain their own players. But what happens if a team already has no cap space? Can they still sign their player?
Example: 109M cap limit, team with 120M guaranteed contracts for that season and player cap hold is 4M. COuld that team sign that player although they are already over the cap, or should the team be at least 4M below the limit to be able to sign him later for a greater deal?

Thank you very much in advance.
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#2 » by Smitty731 » Tue May 7, 2019 12:32 pm

Manolito wrote:I have two very easy questions regarding cap exceptions, as I am a newbie to CBA:

1.- Signing drafted rookie is one of the possible exceptions to exceed the cap. Is it possible to spend complete space cap during offseason and afterwards sign drafted rookie, or immediately after drafting the rookie, unless team renounces his rights, is rookie salary already counted in the cap? I am thinking of Knicks, signing their rookie after spending their space gives them roughly 10M extra.

2.- Cap holds represent "placeholders" for pending free agents. They count against team cap space to allow them exceed the cap to retain their own players. But what happens if a team already has no cap space? Can they still sign their player?
Example: 109M cap limit, team with 120M guaranteed contracts for that season and player cap hold is 4M. COuld that team sign that player although they are already over the cap, or should the team be at least 4M below the limit to be able to sign him later for a greater deal?

Thank you very much in advance.


1. The current CBA essentially removed the loophole of signing your first round picks after you used your cap space. Now the first round pick cap hold is 120% of the rookie scale amount, which is what 99.9% of first round picks sign for. So, to make it simple, there is no reason to wait to sign your first round picks now.

2. Teams can always exceed the cap to re-sign their own FAs. There are only two limits: 1. If you are hard capped and the deal would take you over the hard cap. Then you can't sign the player. Or 2. If team ownership has put limits on how much salary and/or luxury tax they are willing to pay.
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#3 » by DBoys » Tue May 7, 2019 2:04 pm

Smitty731 wrote:2. Teams can always exceed the cap to re-sign their own FAs. There are only two limits: 1. If you are hard capped and the deal would take you over the hard cap. Then you can't sign the player. Or 2. If team ownership has put limits on how much salary and/or luxury tax they are willing to pay.


Not disagreeing with anything you say, but it should probably also be mentioned that
(a) Smitty's note that "Teams can always exceed the cap to re-sign their own FAs" does not mean you can sign them for any amount.
(b) A team can ALWAYS offer a minimum salary contract to their own (or any other) player, even in a hard cap situation if they have 12 players or less on the roster. (In the hard cap situation with 12 or less, they would simply be replacing the charge for an empty roster slot with a player making the same).
(c) To pay more than minimum salary to go over the cap to sign their own, the team must have some sort of permission to exceed the cap to do so (such a permission is called an "exception" to the limit or cap on payroll). Such permissions use up some cap room, if there is any (which has been called a "hold" in this conversation) until they are used or discarded. If discarded, the team will have to find a different permission (if they have one) or use minimum salary if they want to sign their own FA.

cbafaq.com has a slew of information about the various permissions ("exceptions") to the cap limit and how/when they can be used.
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#4 » by Manolito » Wed May 8, 2019 2:23 pm

Thank you ver much for both answers.

But what happens the team is already over cap limit without counting player cap hold?

For example, let´s consider the Celtics. Assuming current roster, Irving opts out and Horford opts in, they have an active roster cap of 102M. As 2019 projected salary cap is 109M, they only have 7M cap space remaining. However, Irving cap hold is 30M. Are they still able to sign him although their available cap space is way lower than Irving´s cap hold?
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#5 » by DBoys » Wed May 8, 2019 2:44 pm

Manolito wrote:But what happens the team is already over cap limit without counting player cap hold?


Almost every team will begin the NBA season in July 1 OVER the cap, when you include their various exceptions, holds, and cap charges. Those holds are already there, on July 1. There is not a point at which they might decide to add another hold - each is already counted, if it exists.

And in most years, most teams will stay over the cap, and use their cap holds and exceptions to revise their roster for the year ahead.
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#6 » by Manolito » Thu May 9, 2019 9:20 am

Thank for the answer.

I don´t fully get it then. If team has some cap space available, cap hold counts agains it (example Beverley @LAC). But if they don´t, cap hold does not matter and it does not count (example Irving @BOS explained above, only 7M available, Irving cap hold is 30M)

What I am missing? Should cap hold had the same effect on all circunstamces? If not, then why does it exist?
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#7 » by Smitty731 » Thu May 9, 2019 1:58 pm

Manolito wrote:Thank for the answer.

I don´t fully get it then. If team has some cap space available, cap hold counts agains it (example Beverley @LAC). But if they don´t, cap hold does not matter and it does not count (example Irving @BOS explained above, only 7M available, Irving cap hold is 30M)

What I am missing? Should cap hold had the same effect on all circunstamces? If not, then why does it exist?


Cap holds are always the same. But once you are over the cap, it doesn't matter by how much. Over is over. At that point, it's far less about the size of the cap hold and more about the type of free agent rights you have for the player.

In your Boston example, they would still be over the cap because you have to add Guaranteed money + cap holds (FAs and draft picks) + roster charges (if applicable) + exceptions (if applicable).
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Re: Is it possible to sign the rookie after spending complete cap space? 

Post#8 » by Manolito » Thu May 9, 2019 2:42 pm

Ok, understood. CBA is fostering teams to stay over the cap as cap space is quite valuable and difficult to obtain.

Thank you very much

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