NBA Salary Cap Update

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Kevin Love has officially changed teams, now a Cleveland Cavalier, but restricted free agents Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe remain unsigned.

Spending power in the NBA has tightened up. Few of the teams with money to spend are willing to part with it.

Monroe is expected to take the Detroit Pistons’ $5.5 million qualifying offer, although Detroit will need to open a roster spot since they already have 15 guaranteed players.

The Phoenix Suns still hope to bring back Bledsoe on a long-term deal, but are reportedly open to a sign and trade.  The athletic guard may also choose to take the Suns’ $3.7 million qualifying offer for a year.

Both Monroe and Bledsoe, if they return to their respective teams on one-year deals, can block any trade this coming season and would be unrestricted in 2015.

Few high-level free agents remain on the market, although Ramon Sessions, Andray Blatche, Jordan Crawford, Michael Beasley, Elton Brand and Jermaine O’Neal among others are still available.

A few teams who can offer sizable contracts do remain.

The Atlanta Hawks may have up to $8 million in cap space.  The Pistons have $8.7 million, but that would shrink to about $3 million with Monroe.

Phoenix is a rare team with spending power, up to $19.9 million without Bledsoe and $16.2 million if he decides to stay for the qualifying offer.

The Milwaukee Bucks have 15 players locked in (and $7.7 million to spend) but still needs to open a spot for Kendall Marshall (non-guaranteed), who they claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Orlando Magic are also at 15 players with up to $8.4 million in space, although Dewayne Dedmon’s contract isn’t guaranteed.

The Utah Jazz are also about $6.1 million under the cap.

Of course, the Philadelphia 76ers can max out their cap space at a massive $32.5 million, although the franchise seems to have no interest in spending any of that in free agency.  Look for the Sixers to bring in other squads’ unwanted contracts, with draft picks being the fee.

A few teams have of their Mid-Level Exception ($5.3 million) available, including the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics — although some of the Celtics’ exception is believed to be earmarked for Evan Turner.  The Denver Nuggets have $4.8 million of their MLE left.

The Indiana Pacers have a $5.3 million Disabled-Player Exception for Paul George but may not be likely to use much of it, preferring to stay below the luxury tax threshold.

The Houston Rockets have an $8.4 million Traded-Player Exception for Jeremy Lin.  The Minnesota Timberwolves are likely to have a $6.3 million TPE for Love.  A few other franchises have TPEs in the $4 million range as well.

The Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers are the only three teams currently committed over the luxury tax line of $76.8 million.