As the regular season gets underway for the NBA, countless pundits are making their predictions known for the year ahead. John Hollinger of the Athletic has one such prediction for the Portland Trail Blazers: they will get under the luxury tax by moving someone. Unlike the few teams that are well above the line, the Blazers are only $3 million over it, and being above the line means missing out on money due to divvying up the penalties paid.
There’s no way any of those three are missing out on a $10 million payout with non-contending teams (sorry) when they can easily move off fungible players to put themselves below the line. In the absence of any other moves between now and then, Boston and Portland can fairly simply unload one fungible expiring contract (Juancho Hernangomez in Boston, Anfernee Simons in Portland) at the trade deadline to get below the tax. Toronto doesn’t even need to do that; the Raptors can easily put themselves under by waiving either Isaac Bonga or Sam Dekker, both of whom have partially guaranteed deals until November.
It certainly makes things interesting.
You can read all of Hollinger’s predictions here (subscription required).