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2012 Blazer Salary Cap Update (July 11 Free Agency Edition)

Free Agent Season is well under way, so it is time for another Blazer Salary Cap Update.

Much has happened since the last Blazers' Salary Cap Update.

1. The Blazers have signed Victor Claver to play here next season. His reported salary is $4M total for 3 years. We don't have the year to year breakdown of his salary yet, so I will just assume an even spread of $1,333,333 per year for this analysis until we get another number.

2. In a real surprise, the Blazers re-signed J.J. Hickson after not making him a Qualifying Offer earlier. He signed a 1 year deal for a reported $4M. (This will allow us to keep his Bird Rights next summer.)

3. Joel Freeland was signed (July 13) for a reported $9M over 3-years. I will assume it is evenly distributed at $3M per year.

4. The law firm of Lillard and Leonard has been signed to a contract. I will assume they received 120% of the rookie salary scale, which is customary in the NBA these days. (Their cap holds before signing in earlier analysis were set at 100% per NBA rules, but they now count per their actual salaries).

5. Will Barton signed his contract (July 14), but terms are not known yet. 2nd round picks are typically signed for the league minimum, so that is assumed in the salary table.

6. Shawne Williams was finally waived. We do not know if the Blazers and Williams settled on a buy-out number less than the $3.135M he was owed for next year. So I will use that maximum $3.135M in this analysis until we hear differently.

The Blazers have the option of spreading the salary cap hit from waiving Williams over 1 year or 3 years. If they want to maximize their remaining salary cap room this year, then they will spread the cap hit. If they want the maximum cap room next year and the following year, then they will take the entire hit this year. I will show both numbers in the table.

The Big Unknown is still what will happen to Nic Batum? The Blazers are still carrying a $5.4M cap hold in their team salary so they can match any offer sheet received. The also have Bird Rights to they can go over the cap to match or re-sign Batum to a separately negotiated contract with the Blazers.

If Batum receives an offer sheet (currently only in discussion with Minnesota) it is rumored to be in the range of $11.0M the first year, so I will use that number in the table as his new salary.

About the table:

1. Teams must have 13 players on the roster. There is a minimum player charge to cap space of $474K for every player less than 12 players (since signing a free agent with the cap space gets you to 13 players). We now have more than 12 players signed, so there are no roster charge slots in the table.

2. It is crucial to our cap room that we use the room (sign other free agents) before we sign or match an offer to Batum because we have Bird Rights for Batum, which means we can go over the Salary Cap to retain him. Until we re-sign or match a Batum offer sheet, he only counts against our cap room as a $5.4M cap hold.

3. The 1st column of the table shows our cap room if we re-sign or match a Batum offer sheet AFTER we finish using our cap space on other free agents. The 2nd column shows our cap room if we re-sign or match Batum for $11M BEFORE we finish using our cap room on other free agents. Note the effect is about $5.6M ($11M-$5.4M) on our cap room.

All salary data of existing contracts from Storyteller's excellent contracts site. Salary data of newly signed players from various reports.

Sign FA's Sign Batum
Before Batum Before FA's
1 LaMarcus Aldridge 14,000,000 14,000,000
2 Wesley Matthews 6,505,320 6,505,320
3 Kurt Thomas 1,352,181 1,352,181
4 Luke Babbitt 1,892,280 1,892,280
5 Elliot Williams 1,442,880 1,442,880
6 Nolan Smith 1,365,720 1,365,720
7 Damian Lillard 3,065,040 3,065,040
8 Meyers Leonard 2,126,520 2,126,520
9 Will Barton 473,604 473,604
10 Batum 5,388,413 11,000,000
11 Joel Freeland 3,000,000 3,000,000
12 Victor Claver 1,333,333 1,333,333
13 JJ Hickson 4,000,000 4,000,000
14
Subtotal 45,945,291 51,556,878
[Shawne Williams] 1,045,000 1,045,000
Total w/stretch 46,990,291 52,601,878
Salary Cap 58,044,000 58,044,000
Cap Room w/stretch 11,053,709 5,442,122
[Shawne Williams] 3,135,000 3,135,000
Total w/o stretch 49,080,291 54,691,878
Salary Cap 58,044,000 58,044,000
Cap Room w/o stretch 8,963,709 3,352,122

Bottom line:

1. If the Blazers stretch the cap hit from waiving Shawne Williams to maximize their cap room this year, they currently have about $11.1M to sign other free agents before matching or signing Batum. If they sign Batum for $11M before signing additional free agents they will have about $5.4M of cap room remaining.

2. If the Blazers do NOT stretch the cap hit from waiving Shawne Williams to maximize their cap room next year and the year beyond, they currently have about $9.0M to sign other free agents before matching or signing Batum. If they sign Batum for $11M before signing additional free agents they will have about $3.4M of cap room remaining.

I would remind you to please rec this post if you want to see it stick around as a reference for more than a day.

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