Salary Conversions for an Exploding Cap Era

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Long-time Blazer's Edge reader douglast looks at the upcoming changes in the salary cap, and how it will change our views on this summer's offers. Don't miss the table below. Blazer's Edge will have more about the salary cap this week as well. -- Tim

So, I’ve been noodling on this over the past few days as we prepare to enter an unprecedented era of salary cap growth over the next two years. This is going to change the current way in which we all have to think about contract amounts in terms of value. What seems like absurd in today’s market ($15 million to player X for example), really isn’t when you look at it through the lens of the 2016 or 2017 market. And a number of teams are going to be willing to pay the premium (overpay by current market standards) this summer to lock guys up, knowing that in one year’s time that contract will be at value, and in two year’s time it may be a bargain even.

So, I came up with this conversion chart. The first column represents the "current landscape" we have all mentally conditioned ourselves to know and accept. we understand roughly what a $10MM player looks like, what an MLE (~$6MM) player looks like, and so on. The middle and right columns represent equivalent value in summer 2016 and summer 2017. for baselining purposes I used % of the total cap. For example, a guy making $10MM now gets 14.9% of a $67.1MM cap. Getting the same equivalent share of a 2016 $89MM cap would equate to making $13.3MM. And so on

	(in millions)		
Description	2015	2016	2017
35% Max	         $22.1 	 $28.8 	 $35.3 
30% Max	         $18.9 	 $24.7 	 $30.3 
25% Max	         $15.8 	 $20.6 	 $25.2 
Sub-Max	         $12.0 	 $15.9 	 $19.5 
Mid-Tier	 $10.0 	 $13.3 	 $16.2 
Above MLE	 $8.0 	 $10.6 	 $13.0 
MLE	         $6.0 	 $8.0 	 $9.7 

so yeah it may sound crazy to think of paying a guy like Green or Wesley $14MM a year right now. But next summer that would be equivalent to paying them about $11MM in today’s landscape. And in two summers, that contract is equivalent to about $9MM in today's money, which is a number no one would think is too much.

Paradigm shift.