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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: Ivica Zubac Rounding Into Form For Clippers

David Yapkowitz writes about Ivica Zubac and his strong bubble performances for the Los Angeles Clippers – is he the key for a deep postseason run?

David Yapkowitz

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The Los Angeles Clippers have no shortage of star power. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George form one of the most dangerous duos in the NBA, and both Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell are averaging close to 20 points a game each while coming off the bench.

But there is one player on the roster who might be the team’s X-Factor, one player who could hold the key to being able to withstand the imposing frontline of the Los Angeles Lakers – and that’s Ivica Zubac.

Zubac was once a Laker before he was casually tossed aside to the Clippers at last season’s trade deadline. He had shown flashes of his capabilities with the Lakers but spent most of his first couple of seasons in the league with the Lakers’ G League affiliate. Upon his arrival to the Clippers, he immediately became a key player and has since settled into the starting center role.

His arrival to the NBA’s restart bubble in Orlando was initially held up as he had tested positive for COVID-19. He has since joined the team after a mandatory quarantine period and is looking ready to help the team as they gear up for a playoff run.

He admitted that although he only experienced mild symptoms from the virus, he still felt winded and not quite up to speed as he tried to ease himself back into regular game flow.

“It’s much better, it’s much better than when I got here. I can feel it getting better with each practice, each game,” Zubac said on a recent conference call with media.

“After I first started getting back in shape, after I was cleared, I felt like I was out of shape. My chest was a little tighter when I would do some stuff. But I feel great right now. I don’t feel anything. I’m getting back into shape, I’m almost there. It’s going to take some more time.”

Zubac feeling like his old self again has been evident with each passing game. He started slow, only finishing with two points and three rebounds against the Lakers while being outworked by Anthony Davis. Against the New Orleans Pelicans, he looked a bit better, especially with his effort on the glass.

In the Clippers’ third game of the restart against the Phoenix Suns, Zubac put up 18 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 77 percent from the field. He followed that up with his best bubble game to date with 21 points on a perfect 10-for-10 shooting and 15 rebounds against the Dallas Mavericks.

Zubac equated his increased production with gradually regaining his conditioning and mobility and getting the feel again for regular game speed.

“I’m getting the feel, I’m starting to remember what guys like, what are the best spots on the court for me. My conditioning is getting better each practice, each game,” Zubac told media after the Mavericks game. “I’m feeling like I can stay on the floor for a while, I can run the floor, I can fight in the post with guys, I can rebound. Everything with my conditioning getting back, I can get on another level in every aspect of my game.”

Before his performance against the Mavericks, Zubac had a pretty solid game against the Suns – but the center was obviously still readjusting to his teammates and being able to make the right reads and be in the correct spots on the floor. He played solid defense on Deandre Ayton, but he also ended up having a costly turnover late in the game that set up Devin Booker’s eventual game-winner.

Following the Suns game, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers had mentioned there were a few areas that Zubac could use improvement in, and he was much more effusive in his praise after his performance against the Mavericks.

“He was phenomenal. We talked about it, he did all the things we needed, he really ran the floor, that didn’t show up statistically, but what it did, it created space, it created mismatches,” Rivers told media after the game.

“I loved that our guys were looking for him. I thought his rebounding was fantastic. Really coming off the way we ended the game the other day with Zu, then coming back, playing like that, that was fantastic for his confidence.”

Throughout the season, Zubac has been a player that doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. He does have a soft touch around the rim and can establish a strong position in the post, but he does a lot of damage when he’s rolling to the rim, cutting and moving without the ball and catching lobs from his teammates.

He’s also a good rebounder who gets points off of offensive putbacks, and he’s a solid defender who acts as the team’s interior defensive anchor. He’s also usually on the bench at the end of games when Harrell is in with the starters. But depending on potential matchups, perhaps against the Denver Nuggets and Nikola Jokic, or even the Lakers and Davis, Zubac could find himself finishing some games.

What is certain though, is he’s proving his importance to the team and he’s showing that come playoff time, he could end up being the X-factor. He knows that his teammates are going to look for him and he’s ready for that.

“It’s just communication on the floor, knowing what Kawhi and P.G like, knowing how to get a better angle on a screen, just the plays we run, got to have a better understanding what’s good at the time. It’s mostly communication on the floor,” Zubac said. “It feels great to get rewarded by my teammates after doing all the hard work.”

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NBA

Free Agency Update: Changes In The Bubble

Drew Maresca explores the free agency implications of the first week of play in the bubble as the NBA continues its return to post COVID-19 play.

Drew Maresca

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Free agency is always a fun time for the NBA and its fans, but particularly so in 2020. Most free agents have usually earned their next deal by the 65th game of any given season – but this year is far from typical. Instead, the NBA has returned, sans its eight worst teams, meaning that competition is consistently better. And with limited competition for our attention, every game is a major event that draws more eyes and has a greater effect on the paydays of to-be free agents.

We’re still only three or four games into the official return of the NBA, but there have already been some changes to how we perceive some players. Take T.J. Warren, for example, who’s averaging over 39.7 points per game through three contests. Or Michael Porter Jr., who looks more like the focal point of a team than a player in his first year of professional action.

This article will focus explicitly on the changes in perception of free agents to-be as a result of their play in the bubble in Orlando.  We understand that the players listed below can still hurt their standings and that teams rate free agents differently. While the sample size is small, we’ve seen deals made based on an equally small body of work (e.g., Jerome James to the New York Knicks).

One caveat to keep in mind is the unprecedented fiscal challenges facing the NBA and its club in 2020. Not only will the COVID-19 pandemic inevitably hurt the 2020-21 salary cap, but there’s also still a conclusion to be had with the preseason China situation.

With all of that in mind, let’s explore the players that have made the loudest cases for a payday come this offseason.

The Stars

Mike Conley Jr., Utah Jazz – Player Option

Conley Jr. has a player option for 2020-21 – but he played poorly enough through March, relative to what we’ve come to expect from him, that it was more than reasonable to assume he would opt-in at $34.5 million.

But wait, there’s a chance that Conley does us all a favor and makes free agency 2020 more interesting. Conley’s averaged 19.8 points and 5.8 assists per game, way, way up from 13.8 points and 4.3 assists per game prior to the stoppage in March. If Conley keeps this going – and especially if he performs well in the playoffs – he might want to test the market considering the lack of elite talent that’s anticipated to hit it – assuming he’s unhappy in Utah, that is.

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans – RFA

Ingram’s looked similar to the guy we saw in 2019-20 before the play stoppage – he’s averaging 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game when playing 30 or more minutes. While he was less effective in a loss against the Clippers (14 points and two rebounds in 24 minutes), he’s demonstrated growth in how decisively he makes his move and how seamlessly he then scores on the move.

Ingram was probably going to get max offer as of the All-Star break – especially after reaching his first All-Star team at 22 – but COVID-19 probably altered the ability for teams to dole out lucrative deals. But then play resumed and Ingram picked up right where he left off – and with a confidence to use it liberally. Ingram is nearly a lock for a max deal now.

Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors – UFA

VanVleet started off his time in the bubble with a solid performance (13 points and 11 assists), but he really showed out in his second game against the Miami HEAT. VanVleet led the Raptors to a win against Miami with a career-high 36 points. And then he got right back to being Mr. Consistent for Toronto by posting 21 points and 10 assists in a win against Orlando.

So ultimately, VanVleet has led the Raptors to a 3-0 (re)start, and he’s either scored a career-high or dropped 10-plus assists. James Dolan and Leon Rose are somewhere together – albeit socially distanced, we’re sure – drooling – as are all of the teams in need of a lead guard, like Detroit. VanVleet can only increase his value from here. He’s not assumed to be a max-level player, but if he plays well enough through the playoffs, it’ll be interesting to see just how high he can reach.

 DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs – Player Option

It’s hard to imagine DeRozan’s value increasing much at this point in his career. After all, he’s an 11-year veteran that has been named to the All-Star Game four times and an All-NBA team twice.

But still, there’s always been presumed limitations to his game, namely his inability to shoot three-pointers. Since being traded to San Antonio, he’s fallen out of the national spotlight a bit. As a 31-year-old capable of reaching unrestricted free agency, DeRozan is at a major inflection point in his career. He could attempt to a final big deal or snag a smaller one if the market for his services doesn’t meet expectations. Or he could just opt-in.

But DeRozan has done his part to remind everyone that he has loads of high-quality basketball left in him. He tallied 30 points on 11-for-20 shooting on Tuesday in a close loss to the 76ers and he’s averaged 22.3 points, 7.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game since the Spurs resumed play last Friday. While those averaged mostly coincide with what he did this season, it also represents a decent boost in assists. But more importantly, it solidifies that DeRozan should still receive a serious look as a lead star. And he’ll probably get interest from a number of teams.

The Known Commodities

Marcus Morris Sr., Los Angeles Clippers – UFA

While Morris Sr. is a known commodity, teams could use additional poor performances against him in negotiations. He’ll probably still have the option to sign for a veterans minimum or mid-level exception with a contender like the Clippers or Lakers. But if he’s eyeing another payday that pays him an annual salary equal to what he made in 2019-20, it would behoove him to make his mark on the stat book. 

Making A Case

Trey Burke, Dallas Mavericks – UFA

Burke hasn’t been overly consistent since NBA play resumed last week. But he did have a huge breakout game against the Rockets, scoring 31 points on 8-for-10 for three-pointers in only 30 minutes, while also dishing six assists.

Yes, Burke is averaging just 5.5 points in 18 minutes in the two games since, but the fact that he scored 31 in an NBA game will be enough to get looks as an off-the-bench scorer. And it’s a narrative that can be supported by his past work, too. Remember, Burke is still just 27-years-old  and he has a 42-point career-high. He’s also exploded for 30 four times and eclipsed the 20-point mark on 38 occasions in his 389 career games. So even if it’s just a reminder, it’s good to know that Burke can still get it done offensively – and teams are always looking for ways to manufacture offense.

Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz – UFA

Clarkson’s shot only 40 percent from the field since play resumed last Thursday, with an even worse 20 percent from three-point range. Still, scorers are as valuable as ever. It’s what made J.R. Smith so much money in this league, as well as Lou Williams and countless others – and rightfully so. Ultimately, it’s about putting the ball in the hoop. And with that being said, a franchise is going to pay Clarkson and they’ll end up paying more than they would have as of March.

Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers – UFA

Jackson has less to prove than most guys in this part of this list – but given his injury history, he does have to make a statement.

On the whole, Jackson has looked good – but not necessarily great. He averaged 12.5 points, seven rebounds and two assists in his first two contests, but he regressed in the Clippers’ most recent game against the Suns. But on a positive note, Jackson received only 23 minutes on Tuesday versus Phoenix and his 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals accumulated in just 20 minutes.

If Jackson continues to be a contributor to the contending Clippers, someone will overspend on him. After all, good point guards are few and far between.

The Unknowns

Harry Giles III, Sacramento Kings – UFA

Giles III only played four minutes in the Kings’ first game back against the Spurs and he didn’t fare much better over 12:55 versus the Mavericks on Tuesday. But when you’re a fringe player that had injury concerns throughout your young career, any positive outings are good – especially those that come in a contract year. Giles tallied 23 points and eight rebounds in only 20 minutes against the Orlando Magic – a significant jump from his 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds averages this season.  And that’s probably enough to generate interest amongst a number of teams.

The Kings curiously declined Giles’ fourth-year option, making him an unrestricted free agent as of the end of this season. That’s an interesting decision because the option was relatively cheap given that he was only the No. 20 overall pick (2017). Further confusing matters is the idea that by passing on the fourth-year option, they also lost matching rights – so Giles won’t even be restricted.

To make matters worse, the Kings can’t even bid more than $3.9 million to retain his services. So the Kings ultimately wasted a first-round draft pick on Giles for a grand total of 14.5 minutes per game across 99 games – and he’ll walk before they even know what they had in him.

But this all works out nicely for Giles, who will absolutely get an opportunity elsewhere – and he’ll be paid more than he would have received in Sacramento for it. How good is still an unknown, but he’s shown enough for a team to take a flyer on considering his size, skill set and versatility. He was the No. 1 overall recruit coming out of high school according to ESPN just four short years ago.

Free agency is going to be different than ever before and, up until very recently, that was assumed to be a bad thing. But with some of the above players changing the narratives around them, it could become even more exciting than it’s been in the recent past. Add in the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Davis Bertans, Christian Wood – and we’re looking at an under-appreciated free-agent class.

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NBA

NBA Daily: Breaking Down The Bubble’s Race For 8th

Ben Nadeau analyzes the race for the No. 8 and 9 spots in the Western Conference – who will make the cut?

Ben Nadeau

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As the NBA inched toward its inevitable rebirth, the instant drama surrounding the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed became a conversation wildfire.

Was the league rolling out the red carpet in hopes of a Zion Williamson-LeBron James showdown in the first round? Could the healthier Portland Trail Blazers make another historic run toward history? De’Aaron Fox, the Sacramento franchise cornerstone, took umbrage over a lack of Kings-related faith, while the Memphis Grizzlies had more than enough ground to protect their standing in the current hierarchy.

Three or so games in to our bubbled adventure, everything has changed – and fast.

The Pelicans, still worrisome over Williamson’s health and conditioning, played him about 15 minutes in each of their first two contests – coincidently, New Orleans went 0-2. With their backs against the wall and slowly losing traction in a muddied race, the Pelicans played the future superstar for 25 minutes, where he racked up 23 points, seven rebounds and used a personal 6-0 run to clinch a much-needed win. Not only did the victory signify an important swing in momentum for the veteran-laden squad, but it was another crushing defeat for Grizzlies, who fell to 0-3 and further loosened their once-gridlocked hold on the final playoff seed.

Long perceived to be a five-team fight for the right to face Memphis in the play-in game(s), the Grizzlies’ early struggles have now nearly opened both spots up. All the more interesting, the San Antonio Spurs have begun 2-1, alongside the Phoenix Suns’ 2-0 effort. Although invited without much media afterthought, both the Spurs and Suns – who boast two of the most reliable constants of the bunch, Gregg Popovich and Devin Booker, respectively – are within the four-game window needed to force a play-in too.

So then: Thanks to the Grizzlies’ scuffles, who’ll be the two franchises to reach that play-in showdown?

Let’s start with the Pelicans, a team that’ll be better the more Williamson is allowed on the floor, obviously. While that variable remains up in the air, New Orleans’ remaining schedule is not. They’ll finish with the Kings twice, plus winnable matchups against the Spurs, Wizards and Magic. Although that opening day loss versus Utah stings, there’s no shame in falling to the Clippers, so the opportunity is certainly still there for the Pelicans to reach Nos. 8 or 9 in the coming days.

The Spurs, following a hard-fought effort against Philadelphia on Monday, unfortunately, have a much harder path forward: Denver, Utah, New Orleans, Houston and Utah. No Magic, no Nets, no Kings, even. Just New Orleans and three teams currently fighting for ‘home court’ advantage in the first round. Of course, betting against Gregg Popovich is beyond stupid and that is a lesson some select few must re-learn every spring – but they still seem like the least likely of six to leapfrog into a spot.

Likewise, it isn’t much better for Phoenix. They’ll conclude with the Clippers, Indiana Pacers and T.J. Warren’s supernova act, Miami HEAT, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks. Thankfully, Mikal Bridges’ efforts in Orlando and Ricky Rubio’s trusty playmaking have served as great foils for Deandre Ayton and the aforementioned Booker. Overall, their offensive rating just cracks the top half (15th, 110.4) and their defense remains in the lower half – but stars win games and Booker fits the bill.

Even the Kings, losers to the Spurs and Magic to open their bubble campaign, get the Pelicans twice but also a downright bad Brooklyn Nets squad and a potentially-resting Los Angeles Lakers team in four of their final five games – so don’t count them out either. With their destiny firmly in hand, expect the Kings to make a run of their own. Fox put up 39 points against San Antonio before tallying just 13 versus Orlando – and, in the latter, Sacramento’s only scorer above 15 went to Harry Giles’ 23. Given the context and a very winnable schedule, the next week or so bodes well for the Kings’ hopes.

As for Portland, the squad with the most bankable 1-2 punch of the collection, have an impossibly-tough Rockets-Nuggets-Clippers-76ers run-in before ending with the Mavericks and Nets. Worse, that stretch of difficult opposition will come fast and furious – a classic three games in four days slog. But above all, their defense leaves too much to be desired, even with the return of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. Before the shutdown, Portland’s defense was only better than the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards at 113.6 in the ratings department.

In the two games back, well, it’s actually been even worse and their putrid 132.0 defensive rating is a whopping 7 points behind the Kings’ 29th-rated unit. It’s early and the sample size is certainly small – but with only six games left, they’ll need to figure it out in the against some of the league’s best. Still, Damian Lillard is a big-moment killer – he did, after all, break up the Thunder core on his own last April – and he’s capable of hot streaks that few others are.

Lillard and Nurkic put up 30 points apiece against Boston – plus 17 from CJ McCollum and 21 notched by Gary Trent Jr. – and totaled 124 as a team… yet it still wasn’t enough. The heroics of Portland’s stars will be relentless, but if they can’t stop the opposition – they’ll come up short.

In the end, even guessing at Nos. 8 and 9 is a fool’s errand. The Bubble has provided shock after shock already – and the added hurdle of rested players for locked-in seeds are soon to come – but six teams will be whittled down to two before long. Despite the slow start, Memphis remains in the driver’s seat – if they can pick up a win on Wednesday versus a seriously-slumping Jazz side, it’ll go a long way toward clinching their place.

And they’d better hope so: If they don’t, they’ll need to hope for some load management with the Thunder, Raptors, Celtics and Bucks to end the mini-campaign. It’s one of the tougher schedules left in the Western Conference, but their cushion, no matter how rapidly it is shrinking, is still reason to believe they’ll limp into the do-or-die scenario.

As for the second spot, it still feels like the Pelicans’ to lose. Between Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, Brandon Ingram and, duh, Williamson, there’s too much firepower here to completely struggle through an easier-than-most schedule.

But, sure, bet against Gregg Popovich, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Devin Booker at your own risk – conventional wisdom suggests that at least one of them will crash the party, no matter how unlikely it seems today.

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