Maximizing free cap space in '15 while re-signing Bledsoe; Poll included

If we re-sign Bledsoe (and Tucker) this offseason, we should be wary about making any other moves in the offseason that would bring in long-term salary.

That way in the summer of 2015, we will have a chance to have lots of cap space available by renouncing some players' FA/Bird rights. So if we'll think we have a chance at getting some high-profile free agents, we'll have the cap space. Cap level in 2015 is estimated to be around 66.5m$.

Ultimately, by renouncing our free agents or trading them for future picks, we could have between 24.50m$ and 29.50m$ free cap space and a mid-level exception of 5m$ to sign FAs, while retaining at least the core of Dragic, Bledsoe, Len, Goodwin and 5 1st round picks in 2014 and 2015.

Some links with FA&CBA-related information:




Bledsoe's and Tucker's cap hits:

If we re-sign Bledsoe for the max to a 5 year contract with standard annual increases, his cap hold will be around 15.75m$.

His yearly salaries will be:

1st year salary – 13,701,250$

2nd year salary – 14,728,843$ (13,701,250$ + increase of 1,027,593$ (7.5% of 13,701,250$ ))

3rd year salary – 15,756,436$ (14,728,843$ + increase of 1,027,593$)

4th year salary – 16,784,029$ (15,756,436$ + increase of 1,027,593$)

5th year salary – 17,811,622$ (16,784,029$ + increase of 1,027,593$)

I'm assuming we re-sign Tucker for no more than 4.5m$ per year, so that would be his cap hit.

I'm also assuming we're going to use all three of our draft picks in 2014 and two 1st round picks in 2015.

Cap situation at the start of summer of '15:

That would leave us with the following cap hits or cap holds:

Bledsoe - 15.75m$

Markieff Morris – cap hold 7.8m$(250% of 3.153m)

Marcus Morris - cap hold 7.8m$(250% of 3.153m)

Frye – cap hold 10.2m$ (150% of 6.8m$)

Dragic - 7.5m$

Green - cap hold 6.65m$

PJ Tucker – 4.5m

Len - 3.8m team option

Plumlee –2.1m team option

Goodwin – 1.1m team option

So far, 67.2m$. Then if we include drafted player's salaries:

Our #14 pick from 2014 – 1.64m$

Our #18 pick from 2014 – 1.38m$

Our #27 pic from 2014 - 0.93m$

Draft picks from 2015 – let's say around 2.5m$

Total cap hit: 73.65m$.

Maximizing available cap space by renouncing our free agents:

If we renounce Bird rights to the Morrii brothers, Frye and Green, we are left with the following salary cap situation:

Bledsoe: 15.75m$

Dragic: 7.5m$

PJ Tucker: 4.5m$

Len: 3.8m$

Plumlee: 2.1m$

Goodwin: 1.1m$

Up to here a 34.75m$ cap hit.

Our #14 pick from 2014 – 1.64m$

Our #18 pick from 2014 – 1.38m$

Our #27 pic from 2014 - 0.93m$

2 Draft picks from 2015 – let's say around 2.5m$

Cap hold 0.8m$ for the empty 12th place on the roster.

Including draft picks from 2014&2015: around 42m$ cap hit.

That means we'd have 24.50m$ free cap space, plus a mid-level exception (MLE) of around 5m$.

So we'd have a core of:

Bledsoe (PG), Dragic (SG), Tucker (SF),

Goodwin (2nd SG), Len (2nd C), Plumlee (3rd C)

Five rookies/sophmores: #14 pick from 2014, #18 pick from 2014, #27 from 2014, 2 picks (PHO, LAL or MIN) from 2015 draft.

We could add at least three players to that via free agency. Two for a combined cap hit of 24.50m$ (so let's say one for 18m$, one for 7.75m$), and another for 5m$ (MLE, perhaps Gerald Green).

So by adding FAs, we would have:

Bledsoe, Dragic, Tucker, FA PF, FA C

Goodwin, MLE PG/SF/PF (depends on how the draft picks pan out), Len, Plumlee

5 rookies/sophmores.

So that's the basic idea. There are different tweaks possible, if we want to have more cap space available, so we could sign two max players, if the difference of a couple of m$ would we be the difference between getting the desired FA or not.

Further maximizing cap space by trading away Plumlee and Tucker:


One more step would be to trade away Plumlee for a future 1st round pick. That would save us 2.1m$ cap space, but would incur a 0.8 cap hold for an empty roster spot, and would leave us with 25.80m$ availaible cap space.


One final option for increasing the available cap space for the summer of 2015 is trading away Tucker for a future draft pick (mid-season or off-season trade) or not re-signing him this offseason (if we fear no one would help us gather cap space by later trading us a draft pick for him), saving us 4.5m$ in cap space. Since then we'd have only 9 players on the roster, that would mean another cap hold of 0.8m$ for the empty roster spot. So we would actually save 3.7m$ in cape space. That would leave us with 29.5m$ cap space.


So ultimately, we'd have 29.50m$ free cap space and a MLE of 5m$, and a roster of:

Bledsoe, Dragic, FA, FA, FA (MLE)

Goodwin, Len, #14 pick, #18 pick, #27 pick

2015 draft pick, 2015 draft pick

After that, we could try to get some players under the veteran minimum (up to 2m$ each) to come to our contender. Then, we could do some trades as well.

Final note/warning: I'm not sure what happens and what Dragic's cap hit/hold is until he decides to either use his player option or renounce it. It's either 7.5m$ (value of his player option) or 11.25m$ (150% of his salary). If it's the latter, then we wouldn't have 29.50m$ free cap space, but 3.75m$ less (difference between 11.25 and 7.5), so 25.75m$ free cap space. But in that case, I hope that we'd quickly come to some sort of a deal with Dragic so the cap hit of the new deal would be less than 11.25m$, and we'd have a bit more free cap space.

Thanks for reading, the comments and the votes in the poll.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Dave King for two corrections. Copy-pasted from his comment:

"1) if you have cap space, you don’t get the bigger MLE exception. You only get a $2.5 mill exception once you hit the cap.

2) the starting salary for Bledsoe is a percentage of the new cap, which I am pretty sure puts his max starting value at more than 14 mil. That’s if he gets the max."

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