I created a post here on Blazer's Edge back in December after Canzano made the point that:
"Assuming the Blazers make their expected qualifying offers to their young players, and assuming they'll take on another lottery pick next June, Portland will still have a minimum of $15 million, and as much as $20 million, in salary-cap room two summers from now."
The point of my post was to point out exactly what 'sacrifices' that the team would have to make to get to that point. Now, it's Jason Quick's turn. He wrote this past week:
"Now that Miles' $9 million salary for the next two seasons is off the books, the Blazers will have between $25 million and $33 million to lure free agents in 2010, placing them among teams with the most cap flexibility that summer."
Is Quick wrong (other than saying 2010 instead of 2009, a mistake he has already corrected)? Not per se. Now that Miles is off the books, the prospects for the Blazers to have significant cap room in the summer of 2009 have improved dramatically. However, by not qualifying his statement at all, he makes it sound as though the Blazers don't have to make any 'sacrifices' (ie, releasing and renouncing players) in order to get that cap space. And this is absolutely not true, as I hope to show in this post.
Let's start with the cap itself. The salary cap was $53.135 million in 2006-07 and $55.630 million in 2007-08, representing an increase of 4.7%. Assuming that the cap increases each of the next two seasons at that same 4.7%, that would put the salary cap at $60.982 million in July of 2009.
Now, assuming there are no trades of the following players, these 5 players will count against the cap in the following amounts in July of 2009:
Joel Przybilla - $6,857,725
LaMarcus Aldridge - $5,844,827 (I assume the team option will be picked up)
Greg Oden - $5,361,240 (I assume the team option will be picked up)
Brandon Roy - $3,910,816 (I assume the team option will be picked up)
Sergio Rodriguez - $1,576,696 (I assume the team option will be picked up)
That's $23,551,304 for those 5 players.
Now, I'm assuming that the Blazers make the following signings between now and July 2009:
Rudy Fernandez - $1,165,320
1st round pick in 2008 - $1,934,160 (assuming #13)
So add another $3,099,480 for a subtotal of $26,650,784 for 7 players.
Now, add in the cap hold for the Blazer's 1st round pick in 2009 (I'm assuming #20), which adds another $1,099,100 to that figure.
Giving the Blazers a team salary of $27,749,884 (for 8 players) in July of 2009. That's about $33 million in cap room, right? Right.
However, in order to get to that point, the Blazers would have to renounce the following players and let them walk away with no compensation (that is to say, no compensation that would count against the cap in 2009 - they could theoretically be traded for draft picks in 2010 or later):
Raef LaFrentz (no new contract)
James Jones (no new contract)
Josh McRoberts (no new contract)
Channing Frye (no qualifying offer)
Martell Webster (no qualifying offer)
Jarrett Jack (no qualifying offer)
Steve Blake (no picking up his team option in 2009)
Travis Outlaw (no picking up his team option in 2009)
The draft rights to Peteri Koponen
The draft rights to Joel Freeland
Any 2nd round picks signed between now and July of 2009
Any free agents signed between now and July of 2009
This is the 'sacrifice' to be made. Each and every one of these players would have to be renounced.
Now, the Blazers can choose to keep the rights to any of these players, however, it would cut into their cap space in the following amounts:
Raef LaFrentz - $19,083,750 cap hold as an UFA.
James Jones - $6,300,00 cap hold as an UFA if he picks up his player option OR the amount of his new contract if he doesn't pick up his player option and is given a new contract this summer
Josh McRoberts - $1,000,497 cap hold as a RFA if he is given a qualifying offer
Channing Frye - $9,491,307 cap hold as a RFA if he is given a qualifying offer OR the amount of his new contract if he is given an extension this summer
Martell Webster - $11,313,399 cap hold as a RFA if he is given a qualifying offer OR the amount of his new contract if he is given an extension this summer
Jarrett Jack - $6.007,869 cap hold as a RFA if he is given a qualifying offer OR the amount of his new contract if he is given an extension this summer
Steve Blake - $4,930,000 which is the amount of the team option
Travis Outlaw - $4,000,000 which is the amount of the team option
Peteri Koponen - $824,200 cap hold as an unsigned 1st round pick (I'm assuming he won't be signed in 2008-09)
Joel Freeland - $824,200 cap hold as an unsigned 1st round pick (I'm assuming he won't be signed in 2008-09)
So, feel free to create your own scenarios for cap room!
My point is not that it is impossible for the Blazers to have $33 million in cap room. My point is that in order to get $33 million in cap room, a lot of players would have to be renounced. This is the 'detail' that Quick did not mention this last week. And since I have read a number of posts on this board and on other boards in which fans seem to be under the misconception that the team can keep all of their core players and still have $33 million in cap room, I decided to post the numbers so that we avoid ignorance about the facts.
I do believe that the Blazers are shooting for cap room, which will mean that some of the current core players have to go. But I don't believe for one moment that the team will try for $33 million in cap room by making all those cuts.