NBA Roundtable

2010 Cap Space: New Jersey

In Free Agency, General NBA, Trade Talk on November 26, 2009 at 7:00 am

New Jersey Nets Salaries

Contracts above $5 million

  • Devin Harris – $8.98 million

Devin Harris is the only contract above $5 million on the Nets books at the moment. He has three more years left on his contract.

Rest Of Team’s Salaries

  • Yi Jialian – $4.05 million
  • Brook Lopez – $2.41 million
  • Terrence Williams – $2.21 million
  • Courtney Lee – $1.35 million
  • Chris Douglas Roberts – $850k

Chris Douglas Roberts has a non-guaranteed contract but at that salary he’s a lock to be picked up so I included him here. CDR will be entering the final year of his deal.

The five players will be coming off their rookie contracts, with the other four being former first round picks. Yi will be entering the final year of his deal, while Lopez and Lee enter the third seasons of their contracts, and Williams will be entering his second season.

Those contracts amount to $10.87 million and bring the Nets total up to $19.85 million.

Others Costs

  • Draft Picks — The Nets will likely finish with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Overall, they look like likely to finish with a bottom six record in the NBA so let’s assume that they get a top six pick in next year’s draft. That draft pick will be due $2.5-to-$4.2 million.
  • Draft Picks — The Nets also own the Mavericks first round draft pick from the Jason Kidd trade. That pick will likely be somewhere in the twenties which will come with a cap hold of $850k-to-$1.1 million.
  • Non-Guaranteed Contracts — The Nets have two non-guaranteed deals. Eddie Najera and Keyon Dooling. Najera and Dooling are due to be paid $3 million + $3.83 million respectively but only $2.5 million + $500k of their contracts are guaranteed. Both are likely to be cut loose, particularly Dooling.
    • Najera is due to be paid $3 million and is guaranteed $2.5 million. If the Nets waived him they’d have to pay the guaranteed portion of his salary + open roster spot charge which is pretty much the same figure as $3 million. The Nets may not waive Najera as a result. If they do, it doesn’t make a significant difference to the figures.
  • Open Roster Spots — The Nets will have six players + two draft picks on their books. If they waive Dooling and Najera as expected that would leave them with four open roster spots resulting in a charge of around $1.9 million.

The Nets two first round draft picks will be due to earn somewhere between $3.35-to-$5.3 million. If they waive Najera and Dooling the Nets will be charged an additional $3 million + open roster spot charge of $1.9 million. That would create an extra cost of $8.25-to-$10.2 million.

That gives us a new total of $28.15-to-$30.05 million.

The Cap

The league sent out a memo at the beginning of free agency this year citing these numbers as possible cap figures for 2010

The NBA’s ballyhooed free-agent summer of 2010 might have quietly taken another hit late Tuesday night.

In a memo announcing next season’s salary cap and luxury-tax threshold, sent out shortly before the league’s annual July moratorium on signings and trades was lifted at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, NBA teams also received tentative projections from the league warning that the cap is estimated to drop to somewhere between $50.4 million and $53.6 million for the 2010-11 season.

2010 Cap Space

That Nets have $28.15-to-$30.05 million in salaries which means they’ll have around $20.35-to-$25.5 million in cap space in 2010.

That’s a large difference, unfortunately, we won’t be able to hammer that down until we have a better understanding of where the cap ends up + where NJ pick in the lottery.

Nets Free Agency Options

The Nets have an interesting mix to build around

  • An All-Star caliber center in Brook Lopez
  • A point guard, Devin Harris, who is considered an All-Star
  • A high lottery pick on the way
  • $19-to-$24 million in cap space

The Nets could add a maximum contract player ($16.57 million) and possibly have enough cap space leftover to add a high level role player ($3.75-to-$8.75 million).

That’s a very good core to build around. An appetizing situation to tempt free agents with.

  1. This doesn’t leave them with a lot to bargain with if the free agent demands a S&T to maximize their salary. Which every max FA will.

    Good for non-max FA.

  2. The only thing I really hope is that they don’t get rid of Frank. I always liked the way he coaches and the his approach to the game. This guy is good and it’s not his fault (alone) that this team is a mess this season.

    If I’m a free agent, I’d like to go to a team where I think the coach is capable of getting things done if he has the right personal and not as many injuries as this year – for me, he is one of those rare coaches.

  3. Hey Brothersteve,

    I think the Nets have more to offer in a sign and trade than anyone else … but that’s beside the point … nobody is going to offer a large trade package in a sign and trade.

    There is only way that a max contract player decides to leave his team and that is if he has been pushed to an extreme and feels that he cannot win with the team he is already on. If said player leaves his team he will only be willing to join a team that has a legitimate shot at a title.

    If a sign and trade removes too much talent from a team then this new team cannot contend for a title anyway and the deal will fall apart.

    Similar to Kobe squashing the trade to Chicago because Luol Deng was involved in the deal. There simply wasn’t enough talent left on the roster, post-trade, for the Bulls to be a contender so there was no value in Kobe leaving the Lakers for Chicago (same situation, different city). It will be the same situation for any elite player looking to leave their team and join a contender next offseason.

    There won’t be much talent available in a sign and trade.

    Hey dunkonu,

    I’ve never been the biggest fan of Lawrence Frank.

    A great details man (in game coaching) but I’ve always felt his team’s lacked something in the grand scheme of things … an identity, an understanding of who they where, how they play, and how they win games.

    Although, in fairness to the man, he did a good job in both areas last season. Maybe he’s still growing as a coach.

  4. Najera’s Contract

    There’s a couple of different figures out there for Eddie Najera’s partially guaranteed contract. I’m not sure which one is accurate.

    It may be that only $500k of his contract is guaranteed which would make Najera a near certainty to be waived. It would also clear an extra $2 million in cap space for the Nets.

    I won’t change the figures up above until I’m more certain about the details of Najera’s contract. For now, it’s just something worth noting.

    Trade Yi

    The Nets could gain another $3.5 million in cap space by trading Yi for expiring contracts. That would be a good situation for the Nets.

    Another good possibility would be trading Yi for a player who is also on their rookie scale contract — who will likely be cheaper than Yi considering how high Yi was drafted — or by trading Yi for future first round draft pick(s).

    I doubt that the Nets could get a superior veteran player in a Yi trade than they could get via free agency with their cap space … so I wouldn’t consider that a good option for them. More likely than not they’d just waste a better opportunity.

    The Nets got three good options there for ways on how to improve their team by trading Yi. That added cap space could prove quite valuable.

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