The Facts Beyond The Cap Space Gloating
We've all heard Colangelo gloat about the cap space this summer again and again. So how might it actually look and where do the Raptors stack again the league?
How much money does my team have to spend in free agency? When talking about Free Agency 2011 it becomes a bit of a loaded question due to the unsettled situation with the Collective Bargaining Agreement
The numbers below assume all player and team options are invoked, early termination options are not invoked, and no non-guaranteed contracts are waived. Basically, this is a snapshot based on today
These numbers also do not account for cap holds for draft picks, previously picked players playing overseas, or prospective free agents (restricted or unrestricted). While those cap holds have an impact, we won't delve into them here. The cap space numbers are based on the amount of dollars a team has committed as of today to the 2011-12 season.
Raptors cap space:
The first table is based on the current CBA.
There are seven teams with more cap space than them. Six out of seven of them can be deemed rebuilding teams for sure. The seventh, the Denver Nuggets might as well be considered one too even though the did well during the season for the most part after Melo left.
That's the average space for an NBA team this off-season.
Raptors cap space:
As of now - and this is a simplification – the Players have taken the stance minimal changes need to be made, while the Owners have proposed a drastic set of changes, including salary rollbacks, a hard cap (the current cap is referred to as soft because of the many exceptions), shorter contracts, and fewer guarantees.
So what might the same set of contracts look like in such a world? Let's nail down some assumptions. First, the number going around for a hard cap is $45 million. Second, the most recent proposal included tiered rollbacks based on salary. For the following table rollbacks were applied like this, based on the 2011-12 salary figures on the books:
15% cut: All contracts below the current Mid-Level Exception ($5.765 million)
20% cut: All contracts between the current MLE and current max levels (varies depending on experience)
25% cut: All contracts over current max levels
Here are the results of the formulas applied to the existing salaries and how each team falls out relative to a $45 million hard cap.
Average league cap space:
Verdict: Expect one average starter or a couple average bench players at best.