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$17.4 Million in Cash Swapped in 2014-15

Salary cap guru Eric Pincus looks at the cash that teams swapped during the 2014-15 season.

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Prior to the NBA’s 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams could send up to $3 million in cash out in trades, multiple times a season.

To level the playing field and limit rich franchises, teams are capped in the amount of money they can send out and receive over the course of a season (from July 1 to June 30).  Last year’s limit of $3.3 million has climbed to $3.4 million for the 2015-16 season.

Some teams have already swapped cash in deals including the $75,000 the Portland Trail Blazers paid the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Brendan Haywood swap.

The Boston Celtics have received $3.1 million, just $300,000 short of the maximum, getting $1.5 million from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Perry Jones III swap, and $1.6 million from the Miami HEAT with Zoran Dragic.

Miami also sent $1.1 million to the Orlando Magic to take on the contract of Shabazz Napier, limiting the HEAT to just $721,000 in available cash to send out in future trades.

The Magic also received $100,000 from the New York Knicks for Kyle O’Quinn via sign and trade.  The Houston Rockets sent $440,000 to the Denver Nuggets for Ty Lawson, and the Golden State Warriors gave the Philadelphia 76ers $1 million for Jason Thompson.

Through the 2014-15 season, a total of $17,428,653 was exchanged.  Miami was the biggest spender, while the New Orleans Pelicans received just $41 short of the $3.3 million maximum.

The following details the final tally in cash transactions for the 2014-15 season:

Team Spent Received
Miami HEAT $2,539,424 $0
Houston Rockets $2,500,000 $0
Brooklyn Nets $1,880,000 $0
Oklahoma City Thunder $1,701,000 $0
New York Knicks $1,500,000 $0
Portland Trail Blazers $1,500,000 $0
Memphis Grizzlies $1,319,236 $0
Cleveland Cavaliers $1,300,000 $0
Chicago Bulls $1,000,000 $0
Los Angeles Clippers $930,000 $0
Washington Wizards $839,431 $0
Dallas Mavericks $0 $0
Denver Nuggets $0 $0
Detroit Pistons $0 $0
Golden State Warriors $0 $0
Indiana Pacers $0 $0
Los Angeles Lakers $0 $0
Milwaukee Bucks $0 $0
San Antonio Spurs $0 $0
Toronto Raptors $0 $250,000
Atlanta Hawks $0 $550,000
Sacramento Kings $0 $839,341
Minnesota Timberwolves $344,562 $1,000,000
Orlando Magic $0 $1,000,000
Charlotte Hornets $0 $1,299,562
Boston Celtics $0 $1,319,236
Phoenix Suns $0 $2,170,465
Utah Jazz $0 $2,800,000
Philadelphia 76ers $0 $2,900,000
New Orleans Pelicans $75,000 $3,299,959

The Thunder spent $900,000 just to generate trade exceptions, and another $801,000 to reduce their tax bill.

Both New York (35th) and Portland (54th) spent $1.5 million to buy draft picks.

Miami’s included $2.2 million to the Suns in the Goran Dragic deal.  The Rockets shelled out $1 million to acquire Corey Brewer, and $1.5 million to dump Omer Asik.  Memphis included $1.3 million for Jeff Green.

Brooklyn bought the 39th pick from the Hornets for $880,000, while previously sending $1 million to the 76ers to take on Andrei Kirilenko.

The Clippers needed $630,000 to buy the 56th pick, while also shipping off Jared Cunningham to Philadelphia with $300,000.

As part of the complicated process to acquire Kevin Love from the Wolves, the Cavaliers sent $1.3 million to the Jazz for three players on non-guaranteed contracts.

The Pelicans were creative as well, spending $75,000 to bring in Scotty Hopson, only to ship him out days later in the Asik trade with Houston.

Minnesota included $345,000 to bring in Gary Neal from the Hornets, while Washington included $839,000 in the Ramon Sessions/Andre Miller swap with the Kings.

Finally, the Bulls paid the Magic $1 million to take on Anthony Randolph’s contract.

Eric Pincus is a Senior Writer for Basketball Insiders, with a focus on the business side of the game.

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