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Creating Cap Space?

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With fire sales and nuclear options being all the rage these days, CSTH asked in a comment earlier today how much space, exactly, the Sixers would free up if they made a big move or three. After the jump, I'll break down what the Sixers would be left with if certain guys were dealt by the trade deadline.

For sanity's sake, I'm going to keep this as simple as possible. The scenarios below assume the Sixers take nothing but expiring contracts in return for the players sent out. If they do take a player back, you can just add his 2010-2011 salary to the number you see and that would be the team's financial commitment. Also, keep in mind that the salary cap has been rumored to be anywhere between $50M and $56M next season, meaning the luxury tax would be somewhere between $59M and $67M.

Here we go:

  • If the Sixers trade Iguodala alone for expiring contracts, they will be left with $56M+ committed to 11 players (including their first-round draft pick) for 2010-2011. They will most likely be over the cap, possibly with enough room to afford a full mid-level exception for a free agent.
  • If the Sixers trade Iguodala and Dalembert for expiring contracts, they will be left with $43M+ committed to 10 players (includin their first-round draft pick) for 2010-2011. So they could have anywhere from $7M to $13M in cap space, probably somewhere in the middle.
  • If the Sixers trade Iguodala and Brand for expiring contracts, they will be left with $40M+ committed to 10 players (including their first-round draft pick) for 2010-2011. So anywhere between $10M and $16M in cap space. Still not enough for a max contract, but getting closer.
  • If the Sixers trade Iguodala, Brand and Dalembert for expiring contracts, they will be left with $27M+ committed to 9 players (including their first round draft pick) for 2010-2011. So anywhere between $23M and $29M in cap space. Enough for one max contract and then some.
  • If they trade Brand alone for cap space, they will be left with $52M+ committed to 11 players (including their first-round draft pick) for 2010-2011. They would be able to afford an MLE-level signing and stay under the luxury tax.
  • If they trade Dalembert alone for cap space, they will be left with $55M+ committed to 11 players (including their first-round pick) for 2010-2011. They'd be over the cap and it's questionable as to whether they'd be able to afford an MLE-level contract.
Here's the two-year outlook to each trade. Assuming no free agent was signed this summer, this is how much money they would have committed heading into 2011-2012 (two first-round picks are factored in):

  • AI9 alone - $37M+ committed to 8 players.
  • AI9 + Sam - $37M+ committed to 8 players.
  • AI9 + Brand - $20M+ committed to 7 players.
  • AI9 + Brand + Sam - $20M+ committed to 7 players
  • Dalembert alone - $51M+ committed to 9 players
  • Brand alone - $34M+ committed to 8 players


If I had my druthers, the Sixers would find a way to move Lou and Brand by the summer of 2011, which would leave them with Jrue, Iguodala, Thad (as a restricted free agent), Jason Smith (as a restricted free agent), Speights and two first-round draft picks for $29M+. Unfortunately, it would take a minor miracle to rid yourself of Brand and Lou without taking a dollar of long-term money back in a deal, if you could move those two at all without including another piece.
by Brian on Feb 8 2010
Tags: Basketball | Luxury Tax | Salary Cap | Sixers |