The NBA and NBPA recently ratified the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), providing labor peace for years to come and a projected salary cap of $102 million for the 2017-18 season.
For next season, players with up to six years of experience can earn salaries projecting to start at $25.5 million. Those between seven and nine are at $30.6 million, while veterans of 10 or more seasons can sign for $35.7 million in the first year.
Teams may have to choose between going under the cap or staying over, with the Mid-Level Exception climbing to $8.4 million and the Bi-Annual Exception to $3.3 million.
A team that can get to $11.7 million in cap space would have the same spending power if they stay over the cap and use their exceptions. The most they’d be able to pay a single player would be $8.4 million in the first year, but they may have more flexibility above the cap.
Players who qualify as designated veterans, while entering their eighth or ninth seasons, can re-sign with their existing teams to the highest max tier ($35.7 million), provided they reach certain qualifications (MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA Team etc.).
Empty roster charges for every open spot under 13 will be the rookie minimum salary of $815,615.
The following is an estimate of the maximum cap space teams would have if they let all their free agents go, with a draft order based on the standings as of the All-Star break, with minor creative license.
|Potential Free Agents (notable cap holds listed, in parenthesis and in millions)|
|Sacramento Kings||$61.1||Rudy Gay ($20.0 or player option of $14.3), Tyreke Evans ($16.0), Ben McLemore ($10.0), Arron Afflalo (partially-guaranteed $12.5), Anthony Tolliver (partially-guaranteed $8.0), Darren Collison ($9.9), Langston Galloway ($6.2 or player option of $5.4), Ty Lawson|
|Philadelphia 76ers||$57.7||Nerlens Noel ($11.0), Ersan Ilyasova ($12.6), Sergio Rodriquez ($9.6), Gerald Henderson (non-guaranteed $9.0), Richaun Holmes, Robert Covington, T.J. McConnell — projection does not include the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-rounder|
|Golden State Warriors||$57.0||Stephen Curry ($18.2), Kevin Durant ($31.8 or player option of $22.7), Andre Iguodala ($16.7), Shaun Livingston ($11), Zaza Pachulia, David West, Ian Clark, James McAdoo, Anderson Varejao, JaVale McGee|
|Chicago Bulls||$52.9||Dwyane Wade ($27.8 or player option of $23.8), Rajon Rondo (partially-guaranteed $13.4), Taj Gibson ($13.4), Nikola Mirotic ($8.7), Michael Carter-Williams ($8.0), Isaiah Canaan, Cristiano Felicio|
|Denver Nuggets||$44.4||Danilo Gallinari ($22.6 or player option of $16.1), Mason Plumlee ($5.8), Mike Miller|
|Miami HEAT||$43.7||Wayne Ellington (non-guaranteed $6.3), Josh McRoberts ($11 or player option of $6.0), Udonis Haslem ($7.6), James Johnson ($4.8), Dion Waiters ($3.5 or player option of $3.0), Luke Babbitt, Willie Reed, Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Okaro White — projection assumes Chris Bosh is a medical retirement|
|Brooklyn Nets||$39.8||Bojan Bogdanovic ($6.8), Luis Scola ($6.6), Randy Foye, Sean Kilpatrick, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, Quincy Acy|
|Los Angeles Clippers||$38.1||Chris Paul ($34.3 or early termination option of $24.3), Blake Griffin ($30.2 or early termination option of $21.4), J.J. Redick ($11.1), Luc Mbah a Moute, Marreese Speights, Brandon Bass, Raymond Felton, Alan Anderson, Paul Pierce (retiring)|
|Dallas Mavericks||$34.3||Dirk Nowitzki ($36.1 or team option of $25.0), Andrew Bogut ($16.5), Deron Williams ($11.7), Devin Harris, Salah Mejri, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Brussino, Yogi Ferrell|
|Atlanta Hawks||$33.1||Paul Millsap ($30.1 or player option of $21.5), Tiago Splitter ($12.8), Kyle Korver ($10.0), Kris Humphries ($5.2), Mike Dunleavy (partially-guaranteed $5.2), Thabo Sefolosha ($7.3), Mike Scott ($6.3), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5.7), Mike Muscala|
|Utah Jazz||$31.7||Gordon Hayward ($25.1), George Hill ($12.0), Boris Diaw (non-guaranteed $7.5), Shelvin Mack, Joe Ingles, Jeff Withey, Raul Neto|
|Boston Celtics||$30.4||Amir Johnson ($15.6), Tyler Zeller (non-guaranteed $8.0), Jonas Jerebko ($9.5), Kelly Olynyk ($7.7), James Young, Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey, Gerald Green — maximum scenario assumes Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic stay overseas|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||$29.4||Jordan Hill (non-guaranteed $4.2), Brandon Rush, Shabazz Muhammad, Adreian Payne — projection assumes Nikola Pekovic is a medical retirement|
|Los Angeles Lakers||$29.2||Jose Calderon ($11.6), Nick Young ($8.2 or player option of $5.7), Tarik Black (non-guaranteed $6.7), Marcelo Huertas, Metta World Peace, Thomas Robinson — maximum projection assumes do not have a first-round pick|
|Phoenix Suns||$28.5||P.J. Tucker ($10.1), Alex Len ($12.1), Leandro Barbosa, John Jenkins, Alan Williams, Derrick Jones|
|Indiana Pacers||$24.5||Jeff Teague ($13.2), Rodney Stuckey ($10.5 or player option of $7.0), C.J. Miles ($8.7 or player option of $4.8), Lavoy Allen ($4.8 or team option of $4.0), Aaron Brooks, Kevin Seraphin, Joseph Young, Rakeem Christmas, Glenn Robinson III, Georges Niang|
|San Antonio Spurs||$23.9||Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, Dewayne Dedmon, David Lee, Jonathon Simmons, Bryn Forbes, Joel Anthony|
|Toronto Raptors||$21.1||Serge Ibaka ($18.4), Kyle Lowry ($18 or player option of $12.0), Patrick Patterson ($9.1), Jared Sullinger ($6.8), Norman Powell, Fred VanVleet|
|New York Knicks||$20.7||Derrick Rose ($30.1), Brandon Jennings ($6.0), Justin Holiday, Sasha Vujacic, Maurice N’dour, Mason Plumlee, Ron Baker|
|Orlando Magic||$15.7||Jeff Green (18.0), Jodie Meeks ($12.4), C.J. Watson (partially-guaranteed $5.0), C.J. Wilcox, Damjan Rudez, Stephen Zimmerman|
|Milwaukee Bucks||$15.2||Greg Monroe ($22.3 or player option of $17.9), Spencer Hawes ($11.4 or player option of $6.0), Tony Snell ($5.9), Roy Hibbert ($6.0), Michael Beasley, Jason Terry|
|New Orleans Pelicans||$15.2||Jrue Holiday ($16.9), Dante Cunningham ($5.6 or player option of $4.1), Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas|
|Houston Rockets||$12.1||K.J. McDaniels ($4.3 or team option of $3.5), Tyler Ennis, Nene, Kyle Wiltjer, Bobby Brown|
|Memphis Grizzlies||$7.5||Zach Randolph ($15.5), Tony Allen ($10.5), Vince Carter, JaMychal Green|
|Charlotte Hornets||$0||Ramon Sessions ($7.2 or team option of $6.3), Brian Roberts, Christian Wood, Treveon Graham|
|Cleveland Cavaliers||$0||DeAndre Liggins, Jordan McRae, Kay Felder, James Jones|
|Detroit Pistons||$0||Aron Baynes ($8.5 or player option of $6.5), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($9.2), Reggie Bullock ($5.6), Beno Udrih, Darrun Hilliard, Michael Gbinije|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||$0||Andre Roberson ($5.5), Nick Collison ($7.1), Anthony Morrow, Joffrey Lauvergne, Jerami Grant, Semaj Christon|
|Portland Trail Blazers||$0||Festus Ezeli (partially-guaranteed $7.7), Pat Connaughton, Tim Quarterman|
|Washington Wizards||$0||Otto Porter ($14.7), Trey Burke ($8.5), Marcus Thornton, Daniel Ochefu, Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan|
Teams can make trades or buy out players to open additional cap space. Several players have non-guaranteed salary, or team/player options. In most cases, to get to maximum cap room, the assumption is that nearly all players lacking a full guarantee are off the books.
Note: Updated on February 21 for Lakers/Rockets trade.
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