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Updating the Sixers Cap Situation

With a couple of new contracts for leftover players, the departure of most of last season's roster, and the new additions headlined by Andrew Bynum, it's time to take a look at the Sixers' salary cap situation for this season, and going forward.

The good news in the short term is the team is not over the luxury tax threshold, and they don't have any meaningful exceptions left, so they probably won't near the $70M mark. The bad news is Spencer Hawes is the third-highest paid player on the roster, and the second year of his contract (along with Kwame Brown's) will preclude the Sixers from making a meaningful free agent signing next summer. If you need some more good news on this front, at least they most likely won't be paying a guaranteed contract for a first round pick over the next couple of seasons (because they won't have a first round pick).

In the chart above, I put down the figures for Andrew Bynum including a the new five-year contract he will sign next summer after declaring for free agency. As you can see, it becomes very pricey toward the end.

So the nitty gritty...the only moves they can make this summer would have to involve Jrue, Turner, Thad, Bynum or Wright. Hawes, Kwame, Nick Young and Lavoy can't be moved until some time in December. They can only add guys on veteran's minimum contracts if they're looking to add via free agency. Next summer, they're already right up against the cap, and that's not including Jrue's qualifying offer (or extension). They're probably going to have to shed either Hawes, Kwame or both to create any kind of cap space at all (they could use the stretch provision on Hawes to create a bit of wiggle room. The stretch provision would move Hawes' cap number down to about $2.2M, a savings of $4.3M).

Two summers from now, they could have a decent amount of cap space, depending on how much Jrue gets in his extension. They'll certainly have the full, non-taxpayer's MLE at their disposal next summer, barring a trade bringing in a big chunk of salary.

In short, they aren't in terrible shape, they're probably going to war with the group they have, at least until December. They could be in much, much better shape had they not jumped the gun on Hawes, Kwame and Nick Young, but they pretty clearly didn't see the Bynum move coming, no one did. This signing makes me wish they'd gone after Ryan Anderson or Ersan Ilyasova even more, but let's not dwell on what could've been when what is seems so hopeful.
by Brian on Aug 10 2012
Tags: Andrew Bynum | Basketball | Salary Cap | Sixers |