In a memo announcing next season's salary cap and luxury-tax threshold, sent out shortly before the league's annual July moratorium on signings and trades was lifted at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, NBA teams also received tentative projections from the league warning that the cap is estimated to drop to somewhere between $50.4 million and $53.6 million for the 2010-11 season.
The official league memorandum, obtained by ESPN.com, forecasts a dip in basketball-related income in the 2009-10 season of 2.5 percent to 5 percent, which threatens to take the 2010-11 cap down some $5 million to $8 million from last season's $58.7 million salary cap.
A significant drop for the luxury-tax threshold is also projected going into the summer of 2010. If basketball-related income drops by 2.5 percent in 2009-10, league officials are projecting a 2010-11 salary cap of $53.6 million and a luxury-tax line of $65 million. If BRI, as it is referred to in the NBA, decreases by five percent, teams would be looking at a $50.4 million salary cap and a luxury-tax line of $61.2 million in 2010-11.
This to me is very significant news this year, next year and in the future. What this means to me is that if Presti and Co. believe this core is what we need going forward then we can actually use news like this to a substantial advantage for the next two offseasons. Teams that want to make move like PHX did with Kurt Thomas can pay us with 1st round picks to save them luxury tax money or clear additional cap space now that the cap has just dropped b/w 4 and 7 million from where it is this year and probably more like 10-12 from where teams were projecting it to be just 12 months ago.
This makes me more hesitant to take on a salary like Millsap and desire even more to build this team through the draft. I also believe that the true fallout of this is not going to be felt by the stars of the league but the tier 2-3 players and the role players that were currently be overpaid. If you are looking at a 50 million dollar cap there is no way that players like David Lee can be taking up 20% of it so it will bring him back down where he should be in the 6-7.5 million dollar range.
One way for Presti and Co. to take better advantage of this kind of plan would have to be to move a contract like Nick this summer to create more cap space next summer to either take on deals for picks or sign players if he wants to do that.
I did a workup last night on our basic salary cap situation going into the 2010-11 season which puts the Thunder at 21.16 million dollars for KD, Green, RW0, Harden, White, Weaver and Mullens. If Nenad picks up his option at 5.8, Ibaka comes over for his salary of approx 1 million that would put us at approx 28 million. Having the PHX pick and our pick i presume we will have two lottery picks next year and the cheapest outcome of that is another 3 mil but more realistically like 5 million. If we can trade Nick's salary then we are at 31-33 million with a decision to make on Thabo. I like Thabo, think he is a great defender but i wouldnt sign him to a long term deal at more than his qualifying offer of 3.8 mil a year. If a player like Ariza only gets the MLE and imo is a significantly better all around player then i think the market on Thabo is about right at that price point. That would leave the thunder at 35-37 million in contracts which gives us 13-18 million depending on where the actual cap is. If Nick is still here we have 6.75 million less and while i know he is very well liked by the community and a lot of people here i will admit to not knowing him as well so having less allegiance to him.
Moves i would make this year to set up next year.
Collison and Atkins to LAC for Camby
Watson to MIA for Haslem
Antonio Daniels from NO to us for 1st round pick (they desperately need to save money and this will save them 13 mil is salary and luxury taxes)
2010 Draft: Needs: PF, C, Backup PG, Backup 2/3 (Thabo replacement?)
2010 Draft: Strong on Bigs, weak on pg's.
Players to watch: Favors, Monroe, Evan Turner, Avery Bradley, Xavier Henry.
I personally love Larry Sanders because he is my boy and is blowing up the lebron james camp right now, but with Ibaka we have a rebounder, shot blocker so i dont think he fills a need.
If we can get a player like Evan Turner out of Ohio State then i would let Thabo walk and not think twice about it which if nick is gone as well would leave us with 17-22 million in salary cap space.
Westbrook-Livingston (can resign if stays healthy)