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2017-18 Team-By-Team Salary Summary

Eric Pincus

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The NBA's salary cap for the 2017-18 season is $99,093,000.

Maximum salaries will start at approximately $24,773,250 for players with up to six years of experience, $29,727,900 for those with seven to nine and $34,682,550 for those in the league for 10 years or more.

To generate additional spending power, teams can make trades and/or buy-out (and stretch) players.

Meanwhile, the luxury tax threshold is set at $119,226,000, with the hard cap is $125,226,000, but that only applies to teams that have used their Mid-Level Exception (MLE, $8,406,000), Bi-Annual Exception (BAE, $3,290,000) or acquired a player via sign and trade.

Teams that go under the cap gain a $4,328,000 room exception but lose their MLE, BAE and any trade exceptions.

Hard-capped teams can spend the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5,192,000 but not the full MLE or BAE.

Atlanta HawksAtlanta Hawks

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

2017 Draft Picks: John Collins (19th, signed), Tyler Dorsey (41st, signed), Alpha Kaba (60th)

Acquisitions: Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, Mike Muscala, Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon, Nicolas Brussino, John Collins, Tyler Dorsey, Luke Babbitt, Quinn Cook, Tyler Cavanaugh (season twice, two-way), Josh Magette (two-way), Jeremy Evans (season, 10-day), Jordan Matthews, John Jenkins, DeAndre Liggins, Isaiah Taylor, Andrew White (two-way), Okaro White, Sheldon Mac, Antonius Cleveland (two 10-days, season), Jaylen Morris (two 10-days, season), Damion Lee (two 10-days)

Waived Players: Mike Dunleavy, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, DeAndre Liggins, Jordan Matthews, John Jenkins, Kay Felder (claimed by Chicago Bulls), Richard Jefferson, Quinn Cook, Tyler Cavanaugh, Jeremy Evans, Nicolas Brussino, Okaro White, Marco Belinelli, Sheldon Mac, Ersan Ilyasova

Traded Players: Dwight Howard, Ryan Kelly, Luke Babbitt

Expired 10-days: Antonius Cleveland (two), Jaylen Morris (two), Damion Lee (two), Jeremy Evans

Atlanta Hawks Team Salary

Boston CelticsBoston Celtics

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $0 Room (Aron Baynes)

Roster Count: 16 guaranteed, two two-ways

2017 Draft: Jayson Tatum (3rd, signed), Semi Ojeleye (37th, signed), Kadeem Allen (53rd, signed to two-way), Jabari Bird (56th, signed to two-way)

Other First-Rounders: Guerschon Yabusele (2016-16th, signed), Ante Zizic (2016-23rd, signed)

Acquisitions: Marcus Morris, Gordon Hayward, Abdel Nader, Aron Baynes, Paul Pierce, Daniel Theis, Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen (two-way), Guerschon Yabusele, Ante Zizic, Shane Larkin, Kyrie Irving, Jabari Bird (two-way), L.J. Peak, Andrew White, Jonathan Holmes, Devin Williams, Daniel Ochefu, Daniel Dixon, Jarell Eddie (10-day), Greg Monroe, Xavier Silas (10-day), Jonathan Gibson

Waived Players: Tyler Zeller, Jordan Mickey, Demetrius Jackson, Paul Pierce, L.J. Peak, Andrew White, Jonathan Holmes, Devin Williams, Daniel Ochefu, Daniel Dixon

Expired 10-days: Jarell Eddie, Xavier Silas

Traded Players: Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic

Boston Celtics Team Salary

Brooklyn NetsBrooklyn Nets

Current: Up to $3.1 million in cap space

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room, $1,889,040 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

2017 Draft Picks: Jarrett Allen (22nd, signed) and Aleksandar Vezenkov (57th)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Randy Foye ($3,000,000)

Acquisitions: D'Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, DeMarre Carroll, Yakuba Ouattra (two-way contract), Allen Crabbe, Jarrett Allen, Milton Doyle (season, two-way), Jeremy Senglin, Tyler Zeller, Jacob Wiley (two-way), Akil Mitchell, Kamari Murphy, Tahjere McCall, Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas, James Webb (two-way), Rashad Vaughn, Dante Cunningham

Waived Players: Archie Goodwin, Milton Doyle, Jeremy Senglin, Akil Mitchell, Kamari Murphy, Tahjere McCall, Sean Kilpatrick, Yakuba Ouattara (two-way), Jacob Wiley (two-way)

Traded Players: Brook Lopez, Justin Hamilton, Andrew Nicholson, Trevor Booker, Tyler Zeller, Rashad Vaughn

Brooklyn Nets Team Salary

Charlotte HornetsCharlotte Hornets

Current: Over the cap.

Exceptions: $4,890,385 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual

Roster Count: 14 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Malik Monk (11th, signed), Dwayne Bacon (40th, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Brian Roberts ($1,471,382), Christian Wood ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Dwight Howard, Michael-Carter Williams, Malik Monk, Dwayne Bacon, Antonio Blakeney (two-way), T.J. Williams, Isaiah Hicks, Marcus Paige (two-way), Mangok Mathiang (two-way), Julyan Stone, Terry Henderson, Luke Petrasek, Guillermo Hernangomez

Waived Players: Briante Weber, Terry Henderson, Isaiah Hicks, T.J. Williams, Luke Petrasek

Traded Players: Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, Johnny O'Bryant

Charlotte Hornets Team Salary

Chicago BullsChicago Bulls

Current: Over the cap but can get to $8.9 million under; hard-capped.

Exceptions: $3,790,615 Mid-Level (Justin Holiday), $3,290,000 Bi-Annual, $861,893 Trade (expiring 6/22/18), $8,994,767 Trade (expiring 2/1/19), $1,429,818 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Lauri Markkanen (2017-7th, signed)

Acquisitions: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Cristiano Felicio, Justin Holiday, David Nwaba, Lauri Markkanen, Antonio Blakeney (two-way), Ryan Arcidiacono (two-way), Quincy Pondexter, Diamond Stone, Jarell Eddie (season, 10-day), Jaylen Johnson, Nikola Mirotic, Bronson Koenig, Kay Felder, Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen, Willie Reed, Noah Vonleh, Jaylen Johnson, C.J. Fair, Sean Kilpatrick

Waived Players: Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Canaan, Dwyane Wade, Jarell Eddie, Diamond Stone, Jaylen Johnson, Bronson Koenig, Kay Felder, Quincy Pondexter, Willie Reed, Jaylen Johnson, C.J. Fair

Traded Players: Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, Jameer Nelson

Expired 10-day: Jarell Eddie

Chicago Bulls Team Salary

Cleveland CavaliersCleveland Cavaliers

Current: Over the cap and tax threshold, repeat tax eligible

Exceptions: $2,549,143 Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception (Cedi Osman), $5,811,114 (expiring 8/22/18), $2,500,000 (expiring 10/14/18), $1,312,611 (expiring 10/14/18), $1,471,382 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster count: 13 guaranteed, one 10-day contract, two two-ways

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Bird: James Jones ($1,471,382)
  • Non-Bird: Deron Williams ($1,471,382), Derrick Williams ($1,471,382), Dahntay Jones ($1,471,382), Shawn Marion ($1,471,382 cap hold*)

* Cannot be used in a sign and trade because they were not active players in
the NBA last season.

Acquisitions: Kyle Korver, Jose Calderon, Cedi Osman, Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, John Holland (two-way), Kendrick Perkins, Jacorey Williams Dwyane Wade, London Perrantes (two-way), Isaac Hamilton, Dwyane Wade, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood, Marcus Thornton (10-day), Okaro White (10-day)

Waived Players: Jacorey Williams, Isaac Hamilton, Kendrick Perkins, Edy Tavares

Traded Players: Kyrie Irving, Kay Felder, Richard Jefferson, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder

Expired 10-days: Marcus Thornton, Okaro White

Cleveland Cavaliers Team Salary

Dallas MavericksDallas Mavericks

Current: Under the cap by $13.9 million.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Dennis Smith (9th, signed)

Acquisitions: Dirk Nowitzki, Josh McRoberts, Johnathan Motley (two-way), Maxi Kleber, Dennis Smith, Maalik Wayns, Brandon Ashley, Gian Clavell (converted to two-way), Nerlens Noel, Jeff Withey, P.J. Dozier, Jameel Warney, Antonius Cleveland (two-way), Kyle Collinsworth (two-way, two 10-day contracts, season), Jalen Jones (two-way), Doug McDermott, Scotty Hopson (10-day), Jameel Warney (10-day), Aaron Harrison (10-day, season)

Waived Players: Nicolas Brussino, P.J. Dozier, Jameel Warney, Maalik Wayns, Brandon Ashley, Gian Clavell (waived, $50,000 guarantee), Jeff Withey, Antonius Cleveland (two-way), Kyle Collinsworth, Josh McRoberts

Traded Players: DeAndre Liggins, Jarrod Uthoff, A.J. Hammons, Devin Harris

Expired 10-days: Kyle Collinsworth (two), Scotty Hopson, Jameel Warney, Aaron Harrison

Dallas Mavericks Team Salary

Denver NuggetsDenver Nuggets

Current: Spent over the cap.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Tyler Lydon (24th, signed), Vlatko Cancar (49th), Monte Morris (51st, two-way)

Acquisitions: Trey Lyles, Paul Millsap, Torrey Craig (two-way), Tyler Lydon, Monte Morris (two-way), Josh Childress, Mason Plumlee, Richard Jefferson, Gary Harris (extension), Devin Harris

Waived Players: Mike Miller, Josh Childress, Jameer Nelson

Traded Players: Danilo Gallinari, Emmanuel Mudiay

Denver Nuggets Team Salary

Detroit PistonsDetroit Pistons

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $0 Mid-Level (Langston Galloway, Eric Moreland), $0 Bi-Annual (Anthony Tolliver), $874,636 Trade (expiring 6/28/18), $7,000,000 Trade (estimated, expiring 1/30/18), $1,471,382 Trade (expiring 2/8/19), $1,331,160 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Luke Kennard (12th, signed)

Acquisitions: Avery Bradley, Langston Galloway, Eric Moreland, Anthony Tolliver, Reggie Bullock, Luis Montero (two-way), Luke Kennard, Jason Maxiell, Larry Nnoko, Derek Willis, Beno Udrih, Dwight Buycks (two-way, season), Reggie Hearn (two-way), Kay Felder (two-way), Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson, Jameer Nelson, James Ennis

Waived Players: Michael Gbinije, Jason Maxiell, Larry Nnoko, Derek Willis, Beno Udrih, Luis Montero (two-way)

Traded Players: Darrun Hilliard, Marcus Morris, Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson

Detroit Pistons Team Salary

Golden State WarriorsGolden State Warriors

Current:  Over the cap, in the tax

Exceptions: $0 Taxpayer Mid-Level (Nick Young)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Jordan Bell (38th, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Matt Barnes ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Stephen Curry, Andrew Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia, David West, Nick Young, Omri Casspi, Chris Boucher (two-way), Jordan Bell, JaVale McGee, Georges Niang, Antonius Cleveland, Michael Gbinije, Alex Hamilton, Quinn Cook (two-way, season), Trevor Thompson

Waived Players: Antonius Cleveland, Alex Hamilton, Michael Gbinije, Georges Niang, Trevor Thompson, Omri Casspi

Traded Players: None

Golden State Warriors Team Salary

Houston RocketsHouston Rockets

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: None

Roster Count: 14 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Isaiah Hartenstein (43rd)

Acquisitions: Ryan Kelly, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Tim Quarterman (trade, season), Shawn Long, Chris Paul, Jarrod Uthoff, Zhou Qi, Nene, P.J. Tucker, James Harden (extension), Cameron Oliver, Luc Mbah a Moute, Tarik Black, Troy Williams, Demetrius Jackson (two-way), Bobby Brown (twice), Christapher Johnson, George de Paula, Isaiah Canaan, Danuel House, Gerald Green, R.J. Hunter (two-way), Markel Brown (two-way), Brandan Wright, Joe Johnson, Le'Bryan Nash (10-day)

Waived Players: Ryan Kelly, Jarrod Uthoff, Shawn Long, Christapher Johnson, Isaiah Taylor, George de Paula, Tim Quarterman (twice), Cameron Oliver, Isaiah Canaan, Danuel House, Bobby Brown (twice), Briante Weber (two-way), Demetrius Jackson (two-way), Troy Williams (stretched), Brandan Wright

Traded Players: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, Kyle Wiltjer

Expired 10-days: Demetrius Jackson, Le'Bryan Nash

Houston Rockets

Indiana PacersIndiana Pacers

Current: Up To $5.4 million in cap space

Exceptions: $4,328,000

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: T.J Leaf (18th, signed), Ike Anigbogu (47th, signed), Edmond Sumner (52nd, two-way), Darren Collison, Cory Joseph

Acquisitions: Domantas Sabonis, Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison, T.J. Leaf, Edmond Sumner (two-way), Cory Joseph, Bojan Bogdanovic, Damien Wilkins, Ben Moore (season, two-way), Alex Poythress (two-way, season), Damien Wilkins, Ben Moore, DeQuan Jones, Trey McKinney-Jones, Jarrod Uthoff, Trey McKinney-Jones (10-day), Trevor Booker

Waived Players: Monta Ellis (stretched), Georges Niang, Rakeem Christmas, Kevin Seraphin, Ben Moore, DeQuan Jones, Trey McKinney-Jones, Jarrod Uthoff, Damien Wilkins

Traded Players: Paul George

Expired 10-days: Trey McKinney-Jones

Indiana Pacers Team Salary

Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Clippers

Current: Over the cap, hard-capped and repeater tax eligible

Exceptions: $399,770 Mid-Level; $7,273,631 Trade (expiring 6/28/18), $1,577,230 Trade (expiring 9/25/18), Trade $1,471,382 (expiring 1/29/19), $1,331,160 (expiring 1/29/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Jawun Evans (39th, signed), Sindarius Thornwell (48th, signed)

Acquisitions: Lou Williams (trade, extension), Patrick Beverley, Sindarius Thornwell, Jawun Evans, Montrezl Harrell, Blake Griffin, Sam Dekker, Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard, Milos Teodosic, Willie Reed, Marshall Plumlee, Tyrone Wallace, C.J. Williams (converted to two-way, multi-year), LaDontae Henton, Ike Iroegbu, Jamil Wilson (two-way), Tyrone Wallace (two-way), Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Sean Kilpatrick (two 10-days)

Waived Players: Kyle Wiltjer, Darrun Hilliard, Paul Pierce, Tyrone Wallace, Marshall Plumlee, LaDontae Henton, Ike Iroegbu, Jamil Wilson (two-way)

Traded Players: Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone, DeAndre Liggins, Blake Griffin, Willie Reed, Brice Johnson

Expired 10-days: Sean Kilpatrick (two)

Los Angeles Clippers Team Salary

Los Angeles LakersLos Angeles Lakers

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Lonzo Ball (2nd, signed), Kyle Kuzma (28th, signed), Josh Hart (30th, signed), Thomas Bryant (42nd, signed)

Acquisitions: Brook Lopez, Alex Caruso (two-way contract), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyler Ennis, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Thomas Bryant, Vander Blue (contract and two-way contract), Stephen Zimmerman, V.J. Beachem, Briante Weber, Andrew Bogut, Travis Wear (season twice, two 10-days), Gary Payton II, Nigel Hayes (10-day contract), Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Derrick Williams (10-day), Andre Ingram

Waived Players: Tarik Black, David Nwaba, Stephen Zimmerman, Briante Weber, V.J. Beachem, Briante Weber, Travis Wear, Andrew Bogut, Vander Blue (two-way), Corey Brewer

Traded Players: D'Angelo Russell, Timofey Mozgov, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr.

Expired 10-days: Nigel Hayes, Travis Wear (two), Derrick Williams

Los Angeles Lakers Team Salary

Memphis GrizzliesMemphis Grizzlies

Current: Spent over the cap and hard capped

Exceptions: $490,385 Mid-Level (Ben McLemore, Rade Zagorac, Dillon Brooks, Ivan Rabb), $0 Bi-Annual (Tyreke Evans), $3,408,520 Trade (expiring 9/22/18), $1,697,250 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Ivan Rabb (2017-35th, signed), Dillon Brooks (2017-45th, signed)

Acquisitions: Wayne Selden, Jeremy Morgan, Tyreke Evans, Rade Zagorac, Ben McLemore, Mario Chalmers, Kobi Simmons (two-way), Vince Hunter (two-way), Ivan Rabb, JaMychal Green, Durand Scott, Myke Henry (two-way), Brice Johnson, Xavier Rathan-Mayes (10-day), Briante Weber (10-day), Marquis Teague (10-day, season), MarShon Brooks (10-day), Omari Johnson

Waived Players: Jeremy Morgan, Durand Scott, Wade Baldwin, Rade Zagorac, Vince Hunter, Brandan Wright, Brice Johnson, Marquis Teague

Traded Players: Troy Daniels, James Ennis

Expired 10-days: Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Briante Weber, Marquis Teague, MarShon Brooks

Memphis Grizzlies Team Salary

Miami HEATMiami HEAT

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room; $5.5 million Disabled Player Exception (Dion Waiters); Trade $1.3 million (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Bam Adebayo (14th, signed)

Acquisitions: Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Derrick Walton Jr. (two-way), Matt Williams (season, converted to two-way), A.J. Hammons, Jordan Mickey, Larry Drew II, Josh Richardson (extension), Erik McCree, Tony Mitchell, Derrick Jones, Luke Babbitt, Dwayne Wade

Waived Players: Chris Bosh, Larry Drew II, DeAndre Liggins (claimed by Milwaukee Bucks), Erik McCree, Tony Mitchell, Matt Williams two-way), A.J. Hammons (stretched)

Traded Players: Okaro White

Miami HEAT Team Salary

Milwaukee BucksMilwaukee Bucks

Current: Over the cap

Exceptions: $7,590,385 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $3,384,176 Trade (expiring 11/7/18), $179,502 Trade (expiring 2/5/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: D.J. Wilson (17th, signed), Sterling Brown (46th, signed)

Acquisitions: Tony Snell, JeQuan Lewis, Sterling Brown, D.J. Wilson, Bronson Koeing (two-way), Jalen Moore (two-way), James Young, Jason Terry, Brandon Rush, Kendall Marshall, Gerald Green, Joel Anthony, DeAndre Liggins (waiver claim), Gary Payton II (two-way), Joel Bolomboy (two-way, conversion to NBA contract), Xavier Munford (season, two-way), Eric Bledsoe, Sean Kilpatrick (two-way, season), Marshall Plumlee (two-way), Tyler Zeller, Brandon Jennings (two 10-days, multi-year), Shabazz Muhammad

Waived Players: Spencer Hawes (stretched), Jalen Moore (two-way), Bronson Koenig (two-way), JeQuan Lewis, James Young, Kendall Marshall, Brandon Rush, Joel Anthony, Gerald Green, Gary Payton II, Xavier Munford, DeAndre Liggins, Joel Bolomboy, Mirza Teletovic (stretched), Sean Kilpatrick

Traded Players: Greg Monroe, Rashad Vaughn

Expired 10-day: Brandon Jennings (two)

Milwaukee Bucks Team Salary

Minnesota TimberwolvesMinnesota Timberwolves

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $0 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Justin Patton (16th, signed)

Acquisitions: Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, Jamal Crawford, Justin Patton, Antony Brown (two-way), Marcus Georges-Hunt, Shabazz Muhammad, Amile Jefferson (season twice, two-way), Melo Trimble, Aaron Brooks, Shawne Williams, Andrew Wiggins (extension), Derrick Rose

Waived Players: Nikola Pekovic, Jordan Hill, Shawne Williams, Amile Jefferson, Shabazz Muhammad

Traded Players: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Ricky Rubio

Minnesota Timberwolves Team Salary

New Orleans PelicansNew Orleans Pelicans

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $2,190,385 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $2,090,000 Trade (expiring 6/21/18), $3,853,931 (expiring 9/1/18), $1,471,382 (expiring 2/1/19), $1,429,818 (expiring 2/1/19); $2,300,00 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Space: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Frank Jackson (31st, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Donatas Motiejunas ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, Frank Jackson, Darius Miller, Ian Clark, Jalen Jones (two-way), Charles Cooke (two-way), Perry Jones III, Tony Allen, Martell Webster, Dante Cunningham, Cliff Alexander, Jameer Nelson, Josh Smith, Mike James (two-way), DeAndre Liggins (two 10-days, season), Nikola Mirotic, Emeka Okafor (10-day, 12-day, season), Rashad Vaughn, Walter Lemon Jr. (two 10-days), Larry Drew II (two 10-days), Jordan Crawford

Waived Players: Axel Toupane, Quinn Cook, Martell Webster, Perry Jones III, Cliff Alexander, Jordan Crawford, Josh Smith, Jalen Jones (waived, claimed by Dallas Mavericks), Rashad Vaughn, Mike James (two-way)

Traded Players: Tim Frazier, Quincy Pondexter, Omer Asik, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, Dante Cunningham

Expired 10-days: DeAndre Liggins (two), Emeka Okafor (10-day, 12-day), Walter Lemon Jr. (two), Larry Drew II (two)

New Orleans Pelicans Team Salary

New York KnicksNew York Knicks

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room (likely saved for Ron Baker); $2,381,965 Trade (expiring 9/25/18), $1,435,750 (expiring 2/7/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Frank Ntilikina (8th, signed), Damyean Dotson (44th, signed), Ognjen Jaramaz (58th)

Acquisitions: Tim Hardaway Jr., Ron Baker, Ramon Sessions, Michael Beasley, Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Nigel Hayes, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Jamel Artis, Jarrett Jack, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Trey Burke (twice), Isaiah Hicks (two-way), Luke Kornet (two-way), Johnny O'Bryant, Emmanuel Mudiay, Troy Williams (two 10-days, season)

Waived Players: Maurice Ndour, Marshall Plumlee, Jamel Artis, Chasson Randle, Nigel Hayes, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Trey Burke, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Ramon Sessions, Johnny O'Bryant

Traded Players: Carmelo Anthony, Guillermo Hernangomez, Doug McDermott

Expired 10-days: Troy Williams (two)

New York Knicks Team Salary

Oklahoma City ThunderOklahoma City Thunder

Current: Over the cap and tax threshold

Exceptions: $0 Taxpayer Mid-Level; $2,550,000 Trade (expiring 7/6/18); $1,491,042 Trade (expiring 7/6/18)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Terrance Ferguson (2017-21st, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Norris Cole ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Paul George, Patrick Patterson, Raymond Felton, Nick Collison, Dakari Johnson, Terrance Ferguson, Andre Roberson, Daniel Hamilton, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook (extension), Rashawn Thomas, Bryce Alford, Markel Brown, Yannis Morin, Chris Wright, P.J. Dozier (two-way), Corey Brewer

Waived Players: Isaiah Canaan, Markel Brown, Semaj Christon, Rashawn Thomas, Bryce Alford, Yannis Morin, Chris Wright

Traded Players: Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott

Oklahoma City Thunder Team Salary

Orlando MagicOrlando Magic

Current: Under the cap by $3.6 million.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Jonathan Isaac (2017-6th, signed), Wesley Iwundu (2017-33rd, signed)

Unsigned Draft Picks: Fran Vazquez (2005-11th)

Acquisitions: Shelvin Mack, Jonathon Simmons, Arron Afflalo, Khem Birch, Jonathan Isaac, Wesley Iwundu, Marreese Speights, Adreian Payne (two-way), Troy Caupain, Kalin Lucas, Damjan Rudez, Jamel Artis (two-way), Rodney Purvis, Rashad Vaughn (two 10-days), Rodney Purvis (two 10-days, multi-year)

Waived Players: Stephen Zimmerman, C.J. Watson (stretched), Patricio Garino, Marcus Georges-Hunt, Damjan Rudez, Kalin Lucas, Troy Caupain, Rodney Purvis, Adreian Payne (two-way), Elfrid Payton

Traded Players: Elfrid Payton

Expired 10-days: Rashad Vaughn (two), Rodney Purvis (two)

Orlando Magic Team Salary

Philadelphia 76ersPhiladelphia 76ers

Current: Spent over the cap.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Markelle Fultz (2017-1st, signed), Anzejs Pasecniks (2017-25th, cap hold $1,516,200), Jonah Bolden (2017-36th)

Other First-Rounders: Furkan Korkmaz (2016th-26th, signed)

Acquisitions: Markelle Fultz, Furkan Korkmaz, J.J. Redick, Amir Johnson, James McAdoo (two-way), James Blackmon Jr., Jacob Pullen (converted to two-way), Kris Humphries, Emeka Okafor, Joel Embiid (extension), Marc Loving, James Webb, Andrew Andrews, Robert Covington (extension), Trevor Booker, James Young (two-way), Demetrius Jackson (two-way), Larry Drew II (10-day), Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova, Derrick Rose

Waived Players: Gerald Henderson, James Blackmon Jr., Kris Humphries, Emeka Okafor, Marc Loving, James Webb, Andrew Andrews, Jacob Pullen (two-way), James McAdoo (two-way), Trevor Booker, Shabazz Muhammad, James Young (two-way)

Traded Players: Shawn Long, Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas

Expired 10-days: Larry Drew II

Philadelphia 76ers Team Salary

Phoenix SunsPhoenix Suns

Current: Under the cap by $6.6 million.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Josh Jackson (2017-4th, signed), Davon Reed (2017-32nd, signed), Alec Peters (2017-54th, signed)

Acquisitions: Mike James (two-way contract, season), Alan Williams, Josh Jackson, Davon Reed, Peter Jok, Anthony Bennett, Alex Len, T.J. Warren (extension), Alec Peters (two-way contract), Tidjan Keita, Greg Monroe, Isaiah Canaan, Danuel House (two-way), Josh Gray (10-day, 12-day), Elfrid Payton, Shaquille Harrison (two 10-days, multi-year)

Waived Players: Leandro Barbosa, Peter Jok, Anthony Bennett, Elijah Millsap, Tidjan Keita, Derrick Jones, Mike James, Greg Monroe, Isaiah Canaan

Traded Players: Eric Bledsoe

Expired 10-days: Josh Gray (10-day, 12-day), Shaquille Harrison (two)

Phoenix Suns Team Salary

Portland Trail BlazersPortland Trail Blazers

Current: Over the cap

Exceptions: $8,406,000 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $543,471 Trade (expiring 6/28/18), $12,969,502 Trade (expiring 7/25/18), $3,505,233 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: Zach Collins (10th, signed), Caleb Swanigan (26th, signed)

Acquisitions: Andrew Nicholson, C.J. Wilcox (two-way), Archie Goodwin, Isaiah Briscoe, Anthony Morrow, Wade Baldwin (two-way, multi-year), Brandon Rush (10-day), Georgios Papagiannis (10-day, multi-year)

Waived Players: Festus Ezeli, Andrew Nicholson (stretched), Archie Goodwin, Anthony Morrow, Isaiah Briscoe

Traded Players: Tim Quarterman, Allen Crabbe, Noah Vonleh

Expired 10-days: Brandon Rush, Georgios Papagiannis

Portland Trail Blazers Team Salary

Sacramento KingsSacramento Kings

Current: Up to $3.5 million in cap space.

Exceptions: $4,328,000 Room

Roster Count: 14 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: De'Aaron Fox (2017-5th, signed), Justin Jackson (2017-15th, signed), Harry Giles (2017-20th, signed), Frank Mason (2017-34th, signed)

Other Unsigned Draft Picks: Bogdan Bogdanovic (2014-27th, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Ty Lawson ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, George Hill, Jack Cooley (two-way), JaKarr Sampson (two-way), Matt Jones, Marcus D Williams, David Stockton, Reggie Hearn, Joe Johnson, Bruno Caboclo

Waived Players: Antony Tolliver, Aaron Afflalo, Marcus D Williams, Matt Jones, David Stockton, Reggie Hearn, Georgios Papagiannis, Joe Johnson

Traded Players: George Hill, Malachi Richardson

Sacramento Kings Team Salary

San Antonio SpursSan Antonio Spurs

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $0 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Derrick White (29th, signed), Jaron Blossomgame (59th)

Other
Unsigned Draft Picks: Nikola Milutinov (2015-26th, cap hold $1,465,920)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: David Lee ($1,471,382)

Acquisitions: Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Pau Gasol, Brandon Paul, Joffrey Lauvergne, Derrick White, London Perrantes, Darrun Hilliard (two-way), Amida Brimah, LaMarcus Aldridge (extension)

Waived Players: Amida Brimah, London Perrantes

Traded Players: None

San Antonio Spurs Team Salary

Toronto RaptorsToronto Raptors

Current: Over the cap and hard-capped

Exceptions: $469,491 Mid-Level; $3,290,000 Bi-Annual; $328,000 Trade (expiring 2/23/18); $11,800,000 Trade (expiring 7/13/18); $6,125,440 Trade (expiring 7/14/18); $2,451,225 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one-way

Draft Picks: OG Anunoby (2017-23rd, signed)

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Early Bird: Nando De Colo* (RFA, $1,901,900)
  • Non-Bird: Jason Thompson* ($1,471,382)

* Cannot be used in a sign and trade because they were not active players in
the NBA last season.

Acquisitions: Justin Hamilton, Kyle Lowry, C.J. Miles, OG Anunoby, Aflonzo McKinnie, Serge Ibaka, Kennedy Meeks, K.J. McDaniels, Lorenzo Brown (two-way, season), Kyle Wiltjer, Davion Berry, Malachi Richardson, Nigel Hayes (two 10-days)

Waived Players: Justin Hamilton (stretched), Kyle Wiltjer, Andy Rautins, K.J. McDaniels, Kennedy Meeks, Davion Berry

Traded Players: DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Bruno Caboclo

Expired 10-day: Nigel Hayes (two)

Toronto Raptors Team Salary

Utah JazzUtah Jazz

Current: Spent over the cap

Exceptions: $1,128,000 Room, $3,708,883 Trade (expiring 2/8/19), $2,386,864 Trade (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, two two-ways

Draft Picks: Donovan Mitchell (13th, signed), Tony Bradley (28th, signed), Nigel Williams-Goss (55th),

Acquisitions: Trey Lyles, Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles, Thabo Sefolosha, Donovan Mitchell, Royce O'Neale, Jonas Jerebko, Ekpe Udoh, Tony Bradley, Eric Griffin (two-way), Naz Long (season, two 10-days), Nate Wolters (two-way), Taylor Braun. Torian Graham, Kendall Pollard, Erik McCree (two-way), Georges Niang (two-way), Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, David Stockton (two 10-days, multi-year)

Waived Players: Boris Diaw, Joel Bolomboy, Naz Long (twice), Taylor Braun, Torian Graham, Kendall Pollard, Eric Griffin (two-way), Nate Wolters (two-way), Derrick Rose

Traded Players: Joe Johnson, Jae Crowder

Expired 10-day: Naz Long (two), David Stockton (two)

Utah Jazz Team Salary

Washington WizardsWashington Wizards

Current: Currently over the cap and in the tax

Exceptions: $1,902,000 Taxpayer Mid-Level; Trade $1,312,611 (expiring 2/8/19)

Roster Count: 15 guaranteed, one two-way

Draft Picks: None

Free Agents (with Cap Holds)

  • Non-Bird: Brandon Jennings ($1,440,000)

Acquisitions: Tim Frazier, Otto Porter, Jodie Meeks, Mike Scott, Michael Young (two-way), Devin Robinson (two-way), John Wall (extension), Donald Sloan, Carrick Felix, Ramon Sessions (two 10-days, season), Ty Lawson

Waived Players: Donald Sloan, Daniel Ochefu, Mike Young (two-way)

Traded Players: Sheldon Mac

Washington Wizards Team Salary

Salary and team data change quite often. If you notice a discrepancy,
please notify

Basketball Insiders Senior Writer Eric Pincus
.

(Updated on 5/11/18)

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NBA

NBA Daily: The Lakers’ Path Back to the NBA Finals

In the wake of Jamal Murray’s season-ending knee injury, Bobby Krivitsky examines the Los Angeles Lakers’ path back to the NBA Finals.

Bobby Krivitsky

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It’s been 15 games since a high ankle sprain sidelined LeBron James. 

With the Western Conference standings congested and Anthony Davis already out due to a right calf strain and a re-aggravation of his right Achilles tendinosis, the Los Angeles Lakers faced the threat of a fall that would require their participation in the play-in tournament.

However, the Lakers have fought admirably in the absence of their two stars, going seven and eight. As a result, their fall in the standings has been painless, going from third at the time of James’ injury to now occupying fifth place in the West.

The primary reason the Lakers have been able to tread water without their two stars is they’ve remained stingy on defense. Since James’ injury, they have the fourth-best defensive rating in the league. That’s despite facing four teams who rank in the top five in offensive rating and six of the categories’ top-10 members.

Right now, the Lakers are 2.5 games ahead of the sixth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, with a 4.5-game cushion between them and the Dallas Mavericks, who are seventh in the conference. That should be a large enough gap to keep Los Angeles out of the play-in tournament, but the two teams are going to converge for a two-game series starting Thursday. For the Lakers, getting swept would re-open the possibility of having to compete in the play-in tournament.

Fortunately for them, even splitting that series would make it unlikely the Mavericks finish ahead of the Lakers in the standings. And help might be on the way for the Lakers: Davis may soon rejoin the lineup, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, meaning there’s a distinct possibility he’s active for at least one of those two matchups. As for James, he’s on track to return in three weeks.

While Los Angeles’ stars are getting closer to making their returns, the Denver Nuggets got dealt a more severe blow when Jamal Murray tore his ACL in a recent game against the Golden State Warriors. Denver is 10-2 since acquiring Aaron Gordon at the trade deadline and looked the part of a legitimate title contender prior to Murray’s injury. 

Denver is fourth in the West, 1.5 games ahead of Los Angeles. But even if the Nuggets have home-court advantage, they’re the preferable opening-round opponent, not just for Los Angeles, but any team with a legitimate chance at the fourth or fifth seed.

Fortunately for the Lakers, that’s the place in the Western Conference pecking order where they’re most likely to finish this season. So long as the Nuggets don’t freefall in Murray’s absence, Los Angeles will likely start the playoffs against an opponent that’s gone from having the potential to present the greatest challenge to the defending champions’ quest to get back to the Finals to becoming a desirable first-round matchup.

After that, the Lakers may have to get past the Utah Jazz and or the Los Angeles Clippers to make a return trip to the NBA Finals. The former has the best record in the league this season, but locking horns with the defending champions in a best of seven series is a far more challenging and potentially rewarding proving ground.

The Jazz have a deep, reliable rotation, they have the best net rating in the NBA, they’re in the top five in points for and against per 100 possessions, and they’re attempting the most threes per game, but also rank in the top five in three-point shooting percentage. However, the Lakers would have the two best players in a series against Utah. Usually, an opponent doesn’t overcome that disadvantage.  

As for the Clippers, Rajon Rondo has quickly proven to be an impactful acquisition. Los Angeles is seven and one with him in the lineup, generating the highest net rating in the league during that span. Last season, the Lakers saw first-hand how impactful playoff Rondo can be. Now, the Clippers are hoping he can bring structure to their offense, something they sorely lacked last postseason and was at the forefront of them blowing a 3-1 series lead over the Nuggets. Doing so would go a long way towards maximizing the production of a team that has the talent to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time in franchise history.

If this is the year the battle of LA takes place in the postseason, it figures to be a slugfest. Still, the Clippers have their doubters after last year’s meltdown in the playoffs. There’s also a large contingency who are skeptical about how far the Jazz can go in the postseason, given their lack of a top-tier superstar. Despite the validity of those concerns, both teams can beat the Lakers in a best of seven series. That no longer appears to be the case for the Nuggets, which is a shame for them and people who want to see the best possible matchups in the playoffs. But Murray’s injury, as unfortunate an occurrence as it is, makes it easier for the Lakers to get through the gauntlet that is the Western Conference and have a chance to claim an 18th championship, which would break their tie with the Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history.

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NBA

NBA AM: The Play-In Game – West

With the season winding down, Ariel Pacheco takes a look at how the play-in tournament is shaping up in the Western Conference.

Ariel Pacheco

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With the regular season’s end in sight, teams are making their last push to make the playoffs in what has been a condensed season. But the new play-in tournament is providing more teams than ever a chance at a coveted playoff spot.

Here is what the new play-in tournament will look like: Teams that finish with the Nos 7 and 8 seeds will face off against each other. The winner of this game will be No. 7. The Nos. 9 and 10 seeds will also play and the winner will play the loser of the first game. The winner of this game will be the No. 8 seed. 

The play-in tournament provides intrigue and adds pressure on teams in both conferences to finish in the top six and avoid the play-in altogether. The Western Conference, in particular, is shaping up to have a rather exciting finish. There are a number of teams who could find themselves fighting for their playoff lives in this year’s tournament – all below in tiers.

Teams Likely To Avoid Play-In

Portland Trail Blazers (32-24)
Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: 8
Games Against Teams Over .500: 12
Games Against West: 11

The Trail Blazers are currently the sixth seed in the West meaning, for now, they are safe from the play-in tournament. However, they are just two games above the Mavericks from possibly dropping down a place. They’re the team most likely to secure that sixth seed because they have more talent than the teams below them – hello, Dame – and they also have an elite offense. However, the defensive concerns are very real and if they were to slip, it would likely be because of their struggles on that side of the ball.

Likely Play-In Teams

Dallas Mavericks

Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: 9
Games Against Teams Over .500: 5
Games Against West: 8

On paper, the Mavs have a really easy schedule as the season winds down. They have just five games against teams over .500 and two against the Los Angeles Lakers, who may be without their two stars for those games. However, they are just 10-12 this season against sub .500 teams and are coming off a disappointing loss to the Sacramento Kings. There’s still a pretty good chance they get the sixth seed and avoid the play-in, but it also wouldn’t be surprising to see them in it as well.

Memphis Grizzlies
Games Left: 17
Home Games Left: 7
Games Against Teams Over .500: 8
Games Against West: 12

The Grizzlies are often overlooked, but they are about as well-coached as any other team in the NBA. It is likely they will be in the play-in game, but don’t be surprised if they are able to sneak into the sixth seed. They lost last year’s play-in game in the Bubble to the Blazers, so they do have experience in this type of setting. They may be getting Jaren Jackson Jr. back soon which should help. 

Golden State Warriors
Games Left: 15
Home Games Left: 9
Games Against Teams Over .500: 6
Games Against West: 13

The Warriors are getting just other-worldly performances from Stephen Curry on an almost nightly basis at this point. However, they continue to struggle to win games, in large part due to the struggles when he sits on the bench. Their schedule is pretty light to close the season, which bolsters their chances. The talent on this team isn’t great, but Curry’s play should be enough to get them in the play-in tournament. 

San Antonio Spurs
Games Left: 17
Home Games Left: 6
Games Against Teams Over .500: 12
Games Against West: 7

The Spurs have struggled of late, especially after the All-Star break. Their defense has dropped off badly, but if there’s any reason to be positive, it’s that they are still coached by Gregg Popovich and their young guys continue to show improvement. They have been really good on the road this season and a majority of their games are on the road. It won’t be easy, but the Spurs should find themselves in the play-in tournament.

Outside Looking In

New Orleans Pelicans
Games Left: 15
Home Games Left: 6
Games Against Teams Over .500: 9
Games Against West: 11

The Pelicans have been hit with the injury bug of late, but their inconsistent play this season continues to be a huge problem. Their defense continues to bleed three-pointers and while point Zion Williamson has worked, there just isn’t enough shooting to maximize him just yet. It seems unlikely the Pelicans make a late-season run to the play-in game.

Sacramento Kings

Games Left: 15
Home Games Left: 8
Games Against Teams Over .500: 8
Games Against West: 14

The Kings are the least likely team to make the play-in tournament. Their defense is still problematic and they just recently ended their 9-game losing streak. It’ll take a huge late-season push and the Kings just haven’t shown that they are capable of putting it all together for a long enough stretch. 

The play-in tournament adds a new layer of competition that will bring excitement at the end of the season. Be sure to check out how the play-in tournament is shaping up in the Eastern Conference.

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NBA

NBA Daily: The Play-In Game — East

With the play-in tournament just around the corner, Matt John previews who in the Eastern Conference might qualify for it.

Matt John

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It’s official: we’re entering the regular season’s endgame. Every game from here on out will have much bigger consequences, a statement even truer in 2021 than perhaps any other season thanks to the NBA’s new play-in tournament.

If you’re not familiar, the play-in tournament will consist of two matchups within each conference. The seventh and eighth seeds of both conferences will face off against one another, while the ninth and 10th seeds shall do the same. The winner of the seven-eight matchup will take their conference’s seventh seed, while the winner of the nine-10 game will face the aforementioned match’s loser for the eighth and final spot in the postseason. It’ll serve as a nice appetizer before the playoffs get underway.

So, now that we have 15 games left give or take, it’s time to get a full scope of who we’re most likely to see in this year’s play-in, starting with the Eastern Conference. There’s really no need to go over teams that have all but clinched their playoff spots like Philadelphia, Brooklyn, or Milwaukee. Just like there’s no need to mention teams that are way too out of a reach for a playoff spot like Detroit and Orlando.

But that does leave ten teams in the Eastern Conference that we could potentially see in the play-in. At first glance, it would sound ridiculous to say that Boston and Cleveland could be in the play-in seeing how they are separated by ten and a half games, but Boston is only two and a half games ahead of Miami for that seventh seed while Cleveland is only three games behind Chicago for the tenth seed.

The best way to evaluate is to divide these into tiers. One for playoff teams who are likely to avoid the play-in, one for teams that are most likely to be in the play-in, and those that are likely to miss out on the play-in.

Likely to Avoid

Atlanta Hawks (30-26)
Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: 11
Games Against Teams Over .500: Six
Games Against East: 13

Replacing Lloyd Pierce with Nate McMillan proved to be a genius move by Atlanta’s front office, as the Hawks have won 16 of their last 23 games. They may have had that stretch where they lost four of five, but that was on a West Coast Trip. Seeing how almost 75 percent of their remaining games will be at home, it’s hard to see Atlanta collapsing. They may be decimated by injuries right now, but the schedule seems a little too easy for them to blow this.

Boston Celtics (31-26)
Games Left: 15
Home Games Left: Eight
Games Against Teams Over .500: Four
Games Against East: 10

Much like Atlanta, Boston’s really hit their stride over the past few weeks. Getting healthy and making a few roster changes have helped them rediscover the team that started out so well at the beginning of the season. It’s hard seeing Boston folding down the stretch primarily because they won’t be facing too many strong opponents from here until the regular season’s end. Given their recent strong play, don’t expect an appearance at the play-in tournament.

Likely Play-In Teams

New York Knicks (30-27)
Games Left: 15
Home Games Left: Nine
Games Against Teams Over .500: Eight
Games Against East: Six

Give credit where credit is due. The Knickerbockers are not going away. They’ve stayed the course when many thought this was going to be another wasted year for them. They’ve given no reason to indicate that they’re stopping now. The reason they’re not as sure of a thing as Atlanta or Boston is because, over this last stretch, they’re going to face off against several Western Conference contenders looking for the highest seeding possible. As tough as that’s going to be, the Knicks are going to make each one of them earn those wins, guaranteed.

Miami HEAT (28-28)
Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: Eight
Games Against Teams Over .500: Seven
Games Against East: 11

It’s been difficult to get a read on the reigning Eastern Conference champions. They go on stretches that basically even out each other. After starting out 11-17, they win 12 of their next 13, then follow that up by losing their next six games, then win six of their next seven, then finally and most recently, they lose their next three games. No one really knows what Miami’s ceiling is right now. Odds are, the HEAT will probably be in the play-in. It’s just a matter of where. Also, why have we still not gotten any updates on Victor Oladipo?

Charlotte Hornets (27-28)
Games Left: 17
Home Games Left: 11
Games Against Teams Over .500: Eight
Games Against East: 13

What’s happened to the Hornets over the past few weeks is just straight up not fair. If LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward were playing, they’d solidly be in the same tier as Boston and Atlanta. With their squad fully healthy, Charlotte’s a playoff team, but being down their two best players definitely takes them down a peg. They deserve props that they haven’t rolled over since losing those two, but sadly they’re nowhere near as good as they were with their whole squad. Their schedule is easy enough that it shouldn’t knock them out of the play-in. If LaMelo and Hayward are back by then, then it’s hard not seeing the Hornets get into the postseason.

Indiana Pacers (26-29)
Games Left: 17
Home Games Left: 11
Games Against Teams Over .500: Seven
Games Against East Teams: 11

It hasn’t been talked about enough how injuries have really shaken up Indiana’s season. TJ Warren’s foot injury was a substantial season-long setback and Caris Levert’s cancer, as miraculous of a story as that was, was another prolonged absence. Overall, Indiana’s injuries have led to a rather underachieving season compared to past results. Luckily their schedule for the rest of the season shouldn’t be too tough, so making the play-in seems realistic.

Outside Looking In

*One of these teams will get the play-in as the 10th seed.

Toronto Raptors (23-34)
Games Left: 15
Home Games Left: Eight
Games Against Teams Over .500: Nine
Games Against East Teams: Seven

That’s right, the same Raptors, who only weeks ago were in serious talks to trade Kyle Lowry to the highest bidder, have suddenly found themselves in the fight for the final spot for the play-in. It’s not that they’ve suddenly turned it all around. It’s that the competition is too weak for them to bow out completely. Their schedule may allow them to go all-in on the tank, but maybe one last hurrah with the franchise’s greatest player isn’t the worst way to go.

Chicago Bulls (23-33)
Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: Seven
Games Against Teams Over .500: Nine
Games Against East Teams: 16

Good news: Nikola Vucevic looks like he’s fitting in splendidly. Bad news: The team has been on a downward spiral since his (and others) acquisition. Chicago has only won four of their last 13 games since the trade deadline and their remaining schedule is not going to be a breeze. On paper, they should be a shoo-in for the 10th seed, but the roster holes right now appear to be too glaring for Chicago to take the next step. If they don’t at the very least make the play-in, that’s not going to be a good look after all the moves they made.

Washington Wizards (23-33)
Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: Eight
Games Against Teams Over .500: Five
Games Against East Teams: 10

Remember when Washington was one of the worst teams in the league record-wise? And how they managed to only slightly improve themselves over the course of the season? Well, apparently that was enough to get them into the conversation for the play-in because, lo and behold, they’re now tied with Chicago for that 10th seed. It gets better too. They only face two tough challenges from here on out – Lakers and Bucks – but after that, it’s honestly easy enough that they might be the favorite to get that last play-in spot.

Cleveland Cavaliers (20-36)
Games Left: 16
Home Games Left: Nine
Games Against Teams over .500: Six
Games Against East Teams: 12

This sounds the most ludicrous seeing how the Cavs are currently the East’s 13th seed, but being three games behind Chicago while facing only six teams over .500 gives them a fighting chance. If the Cavaliers are actually able to get the play-in, that’s a big stepping stone for their future. It’s an accomplishment to build off of in an era with no LeBron James to speak of, which they haven’t been able to do since Friends was on the air.

As you can see, the play-in has, in a way, brought a new dimension to the NBA season. In any previous season (excluding the last one) no one would bat an eye at the 10 through 13 seeds. Their season at this point would be all but done and no one would care, but because of the possibility of going to a play-in tournament, teams suddenly have the chance to make something of what usually would have been a lost season.

Some teams may get annoyed by it because their time is coming to a close and there’s no need to delay the inevitable. For others, the play-in signifies that it could just be the beginning.

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