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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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Nuggets, Analysis and Predictions for This Year’s All-Star Festivities

Bobby Krivitsky shares his analysis, noteworthy nuggets and predictions for this year’s All-Star festivities.

Bobby Krivitsky

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This year marks the 70th edition of the NBA All-Star Game, an event that began in 1951. Atlanta, for the third time and first since 2003, is set to host the festivities; one of the league’s more memorable All-Star games, the Eastern and Western All-Stars combined for more than 300 points as the East prevailed 155-145 in the lone double-overtime game in the contest’s history. Despite the awkward circumstances surrounding the event, here’s hoping the 2021 iteration can be just as eventful!

So, without further ado, here’s a primer on this year’s All-Star Sunday, featuring noteworthy nuggets, matchup analysis and predictions.

Slam Dunk Contest, 3-Point Shootout and Skills Challenge Predictions

Let’s start with the festivities taking place before and at halftime of the All-Star Game, beginning with the Skills Challenge. It’s always fun to pick a dark horse to win the obstacle-course competition that tests players’ dribbling, passing, agility and three-point skills — of the group, Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic and Robert Covington (the lone non-All-Star participant) of the Portland Trail Blazers best fit that description.

But who has the best chance to come away with the award? It would seem Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks’ wunderkind, would be best suited to take home the hardware versus the field.

Later, the Three-Point Contest is expected to be a flurry. Among the participants is a former champion: Stephen Curry, who won the contest back in 2015. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Boston Celtics’ two young stars, are entrants this year, as is Donovan Mitchell, who’s shooting a career-high 38.2 percent from beyond the arc this season. With Devin Booker, another former champion, expected to miss the contest due to a left knee sprain, Mike Conley has been tabbed to replace him. In a crowded field, Curry, inarguably the greatest shooter the game has ever seen, is deservedly the favorite. That said, this writer is backing first-time All-Star Zach LaVine, who’s shooting a career-best 43.5 percent from three — the highest mark among this season’s participants — on well over eight attempts per game.

For the Slam Dunk Contest, which is set to take place during half time of the main event, the three participants are all taking part in the event for the first time. New York Knicks’ rookie Obi Toppin evokes comparisons to Amar’e Stoudemire, thanks in large part to leaping off two feet to throw down the thunderous dunks when he rolls to the rim after setting a screen.

There’s a difference, however, between being a powerful in-game dunker and one whose pageantry can captivate the audience and earn the top spot in the competition. 

Trail Blazers’ guard Anfernee Simons stands at six-foot-three, making him the shortest participant in this year’s contest — some might argue that an advantage, given the added excitement of jams from smaller entrants. That said, Indiana Pacers rookie Cassius Stanley should be considered the favorite; Stanley registered a maximum vertical leap of 44 inches at the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, tied for the third-highest mark since 2000. And, at six-foot-five, the elevation he gets on his dunks will still stand out – case and point:

 

Noteworthy Nuggets

  • The Phoenix Suns are the fourth franchise Chris Paul has been named an All-Star for; the only other NBA players to accomplish that feat are Moses Malone and Shaquille O’Neal. 
  • LeBron James is making his 17th All-Star Game appearance, the third-most behind Kobe Bryant (18) and Kareem Abdul Jabbar (19). Odds are, three years from now, there will be a new record holder.
  • At 20-years-old, Zion Williamson will become the fourth-youngest player in league history to not only participate, but start in an All-Star Game. Bryant, James and Magic Johnson are the only players who took part in an All-Star Game at a younger age.
  • LeBron wisely chose Giannis Antetokounmpo with the first pick in this year’s All-Star draft. The two-time league MVP has the highest scoring average in All-Star Game history, producing 27.3 points per game over his first four appearances. By the way, LeBron’s 385 points are the most in the event’s history.
  • A record six European players got selected to this year’s All-Star Game: Antetokounmpo (Greece), Doncic (Slovenia), Rudy Gobert (France), Nikola Jokic (Serbia), Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania) and Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro).
  • There are a record nine international All-Stars, while five were voted starters, also a first: Antetokounmpo, Doncic, Gobert, Jokic, Sabonis, Vucevic, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons.
  • The Duke Blue Devils and Kentucky Wildcats are the two universities best represented at this year’s event, with three alums from both schools earning a spot in this year’s matchup. The former Blue Devils — Tatum, Irving and Williamson suit up for Team Durant along with former Wildcat Julius Randle. Booker and Anthony Davis, the other Kentucky products, are both out due to injury. Six All-Stars — Curry, Sabonis, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Damian Lillard — did not play at a Power Five school.

Matchup Analysis

Unfortunately, Embiid and Simmons join Davis and Booker, though the Philadelphia 76ers duo is out due to contact tracing, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Their health — and the health of the greater All-Star group — is what matters most. But how could their absence affect the game?

On the surface, it’s a devastating blow for Team Durant, who will now play without their starting center and defensive anchor. Expect Team Durant to experiment with units exclusively composed of guards and wings. Expect Williamson, who was moved into the starting group in Embiid’s absence, to play heavy minutes at center, too. On offense, expect Leonard, Irving, Bradley Beal, James Harden and Donovan Mitchell to shoulder the load.

As for Team LeBron, expect more of a group attack. James’ group is made up of the NBA’s elite facilitators — Doncic, Jokic, Paul, etc. — and should be able to easily find the open man for the easy basket. Further, James snagged some of the league’s best from distance, including Curry, Lillard and George. Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, is a matchup nightmare himself; expect Team Durant to have their hands full with him.

Team LeBron projects to be more cohesive and dynamic than Team Durant, which is why they should be considered the favorite.

The Return of the Elam Ending 

Last year’s festivities sparked a new trend where the fourth quarter is untimed and, in honor of Kobe Bryant, 24 points are added to the leading team’s total after three quarters to establish a target score. It made for a thrilling final frame and, to little surprise, the Elam Ending is back this season.

Nick Elam created the alternate ending in 2007; the idea was born from a determination to see more action at the end of games rather than the trailing team fouling to extend the contest, the leader stalling to protect a lead and or players launching low-quality shots out of desperation.

Who Wins the Game? MVP?

LeBron James is 3-0 since the NBA switched formats to have the two All-Star captains draft their rosters. Sizing up this year’s respective rosters, he seems poised to earn his fourth-straight victory.

James has put together what should be considered one of the greatest passing teams in the event’s history; he’s flanked by Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Chris Paul. Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo James’ first pick, has the highest scoring average in the history of the All-Star game: 27.3 points per game. Adding to his team’s dynamic composition is a bevy of lethal three-point shooters such as Curry, Lillard and Doncic. When it’s time for the final frame and the intensity ramps up, Team LeBron would seem able to get a bucket by any means, a fact that should easily position them to emerge the victor.

As for All-Star MVP, James taking over in the game’s final stages is a distinct possibility. The same could be said for Antetokounmpo, who has yet to earn the award in his five appearances. Doncic, dazzling with his passing and long-range prowess, or Jokic, delivering dimes with surgeon-like precision and scoring from all levels of the floor, could also come up big and earn the honor. 

That said, the prediction here is a hot shooting performance from Curry should earn him the award for the first time in his career, while also leading Team LeBron to the win.

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NBA Daily: Sixth Man of the Year Watch — March 6

With the All-Star break upon us, the Sixth Man of the Year award would appear to have a heavy favorite. Ariel Pacheco examines.

Ariel Pacheco

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With the All-Star break upon us, it’s a good time to take a look at the candidates for Sixth Man of the Year. In comparison to other award races, the race for the Sixth Man is a lot more clear-cut in terms of the favorite and their competitors. 

There are certainly plenty of players that are having great seasons off the bench but, due to a variety of reasons, are out of contention for the award. Still, their play is deserving of recognition: Terrence Ross is averaging 15.5 points per game for an Orlando Magic team that has fallen out of playoff contention due to terrible injury luck. Montrezl Harrell, last year’s winner, has seen his numbers dip significantly with the Los Angeles Lakers this season — he’s still productive, but his 13.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game just won’t cut it this season. Tyrese Haliburton has been a surprise, but the rookie and his 13.2 points, 5.4 assists and 43.3 three-point percentage off the bench has been a bright spot for an otherwise bad Sacramento Kings squad.

That said, while they’ve performed well, none of those players — and many others — have a real chance to compete for the award. In fact, barring a major mixup in the season’s second half, the race to the award might come down to just three individuals.

3. Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of what is currently the longest losing streak by any team this season. They’ve lost 13 in a row and have completely fallen out of the playoff picture. Houston’s poor record hurts Gordon’s case, but the 32-year-old is still putting up big numbers and, despite a hefty salary over the next few seasons, may even be a guy teams look to add at the trade deadline.

Gordon is averaging 17.8 points per game, the second-most by any bench player this season. He hasn’t been as consistent from beyond the three-point line as in years past, or when he won the award back in 2017, but Gordon’s still more than capable from distance and has been one of the league’s best at attacking the rim. Gordon has also provided some excellent on-ball defense.

Gordon has become a perennial candidate for the award — and for good reason. Still, at this point, it’s hard to justify him over the other two candidates in these rankings.

2. Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors

The opposite of a household name prior to the 2020-21 season, Boucher has burst onto the scene and been a revelation for the Toronto Raptors. His play has been a needed spark for a team that struggled mightily out of the gate but has since turned their season around. So far this season, Boucher has, by far, been Toronto’s most consistent and important big — and he’s been so despite the fact that he plays just 23.8 minutes per game.

Averaging 13.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, Boucher has slid nicely into a role similar to what Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol fuflilled a season ago. And, despite a janky-jumper, Boucher has made his presence felt on the outside, hitting 44.5 percent of his 3.8 three-point attempts per game and clearing major space down low for Toronto’s offense.

In almost any other season, Boucher would have a strong case for the top spot on this list. But, as it stands, may not even garner any first place votes for the 2020-21 iteration of the award.

1. Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz

Because Jordan Clarkson has just been that good.

This year’s runaway favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year award, there just aren’t many arguments that stand up to what Clarkson’s been able to do this season. He’s scoring the most of any candidate and doing so on great efficiency. Further, he’s proven the offensive fulcrum for the bench of the best team in the NBA.

Clarkson is averaging 17.9 points with a true shooting percetnage of 58.1 percent. He’s been consistent yet forceful offensive punch for the Jazz and their second unit, scoring in double digits in all but one of Utah’s games this season, including a 40-point outburst agaisnt the Philadelphia 76ers’ top-tier defense and 10 games with 20 or more. While All-Stars Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley deserve a lion’s share of the credit for the team’s success this season, Clarkson has also played an integral role.

Were the vote cast today, Clarkson’s selection for the Sixth Man of the Year award would likely be unanimous — again, he’s been that good. Utah recently gave him a four-year, $52 million deal and, if Clarkson can continue to play at this level, he’ll prove that deal a steal for the Jazz in short order.

For now, this is where the race to the Sixth Man of the Year award stands — but anything could happen in the second half of the season. With that in mind, keep on the lookout for Basketball Insiders’ next peek at the race.

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NBA Daily: Washington’s Positionless Rebuild

Drew Maresca explains why the Washington Wizards’ are closer to legitimacy than you might think

Drew Maresca

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Upon first glance, the Washington Wizards look like an absolute train wreck. They traded away a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick to swap out John Wall for Russell Westbrook – whose contract will haunt them through the end of 2022-23 – and they are on the verge of chasing away their 27-year-old, thirty-point per game scoring guard, Bradley Beal. So insert your “Washington can’t get their stuff together” comment here while you can, because the opportunity won’t be here for long.

Before getting too far ahead of ourselves, it’s worth acknowledging that the Wizards have, in fact, botched the opportunity to build a winner around Beal thus far. But, when John Wall opted to have heal surgery and subsequently ruptured his Achilles, the door shut on that option, anyway.

There is an obvious silver lining – Beal is signed through the end of next season with a player option for 2022-23. Given what the Milwaukee Bucks gave up for Jrue Holiday last offseason, one could assume that the Wizards would get more than enough to jump-start a rebuild in exchange for Beal.

But a look closer at Washington’s roster would reveal they’ve quietly laid a foundation for the future. Specifically, the Wizards’ last two lottery picks, Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija, embody position-less basketball, as versatile, highly skilled players who can be plugged into almost any lineup. Both were recently named to the Rising Star challenge — although it won’t be played due to inherent limitations in the arrangement of the 2021 All-Star Weekend, NBA coaches clearly agree. Sure, there’s international appeal given Hachimura’s Japanese background and Avdija’s Israeli heritage, which one could surmise was a major motivator in naming one or both to the team, but coaches aren’t known for playing politics.

So let’s take a closer look at the young Wizards hoping to lead Washington into the future.

Avdija is a top-flight, Israeli prospect who played on for EuroLeauge’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv – alongside former pros Amare Stoudemire and Omri Casspi – as a teenager for the past two seasons. He entered the NBA as a highly-touted playmaker, capable of playing and defending multiple positions. Somewhat surprisingly, Avdija fell to the Wizards with the ninth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as he was rated as the fourth-best prospect by the Wizards’ front office prior to the draft, according to sources.

The comparisons between Avdija and Luka Doncic were inevitable, as both are big, point forward types with a flair for the dramatic. That put obvious pressure on the young forward and, while he’s struggled for much of his rookie season – Avdija is averaging just 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while connecting on 35.6% of his three-point attempts – his ceiling is obviously sky-high. He’s shown flashes of his greatness, like in a game in early March in which he recorded 10 points, 7 rebounds; or an early January game in which he collected 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Further, no one should be discouraged by Avdija’s struggles. First, he shot just 27.7% on three-point attempts last season in the EuroLeague – so his three-point percentage this season should come as a huge relief. Further, Avdija is averaging just 21.4 minutes per game, often deferring to Beal and Westbrook (and, to a lesser degree, Hachimura and Thomas Bryant). So, as much as everyone wanted him to be the next Doncic, the opportunity simply hasn’t been there.

But the potential is.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks explained some of what’s went wrong for Avdija’s thus far: “It’s normal to have some good moments and some tough moments. Every player, every single player in this league. I’m sure Michael [Jordan] had a couple of bad games in his rookie year. Every player. Russell [Westbrook], I coached him his rookie year. He’s had a handful.”

“Deni’s gonna be a good player,” Brooks continued. “For all the rookies in the league, it’s never happened where you had no Summer League, really no training camp and then with the safety protocol, he missed three weeks in the middle of the season. That’s hard to overcome.”

To Brooks’ point, the lack of preparation has definitely made the transition for Avdija even harder. What’s more, it’s not just Avdija who’s struggled; Obi Toppin (New York) and Devin Vassell (San Antonio), two of the more refined prospects, have also struggled to get carve out a consistent role.

Further, Avdija isn’t the first lanky foreigner who needed more than a third of a season to acclimate to the NBA; Dirk Nowitzki averaged just 8.2 points in 20.4 minutes per game as a rookie; Manu Ginobili averaged just 7.6 points in 20.7 minutes per game; Danilo Gallinari averaged just 6.1 points in 14.6 minutes per game. The list goes on.

Once he gets an actual opportunity, Avdija’s bandwagon should fill up quickly.

If Avdija is Washington’s future facilitator, then Hachimura is its finisher. And, while questions plague Avdija’s performance, Hachimura is being praised for his.

To be fair, Hachimura is farther along in his development, with one NBA season already under his belt (and three years at Gonzaga). Hachimura, already 23, is a bit more refined and it shows in his output: 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists this season.

That said, a closer look at Hachimura’s play shows room for improvement – with a below league-average 12.9 PER and a 29.2% three-point percentage serving as his most glaring weaknesses. But, like with Avdija, the upside is clear as day. We’re talking about a second-year player who scored 15 or more points 11 times so far this season – just 26 games. He’s strong, polished and bouncier than advertised prior to the 2019 draft.

Further, a closer examination of his shooting numbers reveals that while his three-point shooting clearly needs work, his mid-range game is spot on. Hachimura is connecting on 41.2% of his shots from between 16 feet and the three-point arc – better than noted midrange expert Carmelo Anthony (37%) and just hair behind All-Star forward Jayson Tatum (42.9%).

But Hachimura’s offensive abilities have been known for what feels like forever, partially due to the ridiculously long 2019-20 season. What’s surprising, though, is how he’s continued to improve on the defensive end – so much so, in fact, that Brooks specifically called out his defensive development after a recent game.

But no one should be that surprised. Hachimura’s combination of speed and strength, along with his high motor, is tailor-made for defensive success. And, again, like Avdija, the 6-foot-8 Hachimura’s versatility is his major selling point. He boasts size, dexterity, touch and handle. And, while his skill set has become far more common in the NBA, plug-and-play guys of Hachimura’s build are still relatively rare. And, most importantly, they allow teams to get creative in roster construction, enabling the addition of players whose deficiencies could be covered up by players like Hachimura.

Ultimately, neither Avdija nor Hachimura is a guarantee. Both possess serious upside and could grow into perennial All-Stars, but neither is a sure thing. Their attitudes and approaches will be a major determining factor in their success, or lack thereof.

The Wizards could look very different as soon as next season. But, as of now, Washington looks ready to tackle its rebuild — and, between these two, they may already have a headstart.

Blink and you might just miss their entire rebuild.

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