Larry, I heard that Toronto got a TPE for trading Barbosa to Indiana. If that is true how is that possible if Toronto was under the cap at the time of the trade?
Yes, they got a trade exception for $7.6 million, which expires 3/15/2013 (in other words, it will last through both the offseason and next season’s trade deadline).
Whether Toronto was under or over the cap depends on how you define “under the cap.” It’s true that their signed & waived players add up to just $46.1 million, which is $11.9 million under the cap. But when determining the amount of room a team has for signing free agents and for determining whether they get/keep their exceptions, you also have to include cap holds. The Raptors have cap holds for a number of free agents for whom they have Bird rights, including Julian Wright ($7.1 million), Rasho Nesterovic ($2.4 million) and Alexis Ajinca ($2.3 million). Their cap holds push their total high enough that they don’t lose their exceptions, so they get the $7.6 million trade exception for Barbosa.
Teams can renounce their free agents and/or exceptions, which removes their cap holds. So if the Raptors were to renounce all their free agents, they’d suddenly be below the cap — even when adding in the Barbosa trade exception — so the trade exception would go away as well.