NBA Roundtable

2010 Salary Cap: Milwaukee Bucks

In Free Agency, General NBA, Trade Talk on May 11, 2010 at 7:07 am

Milwaukee Bucks Salaries

Contracts above $5 million

  • Michael Redd – $18.3 million
  • Andrew Bogut – $11.0 million
  • Dan Gadzuric – $7.25 million

That gives us a sub-total of $36.55 million for a total of three players.

Michael Redd and Dan Gadzuric are expiring contracts ($25 million). Andrew Bogut has four years left remaining on his contract.

Rest Of Team’s Salaries

  • Charlie Bell – $3.85 million
  • Carlos Delfino – $3.5 million
  • Brandon Jennings – $2.33 million
  • Ersan Ilyasova – $2.32 million
  • Richard Luc Mbah a Moute – $850k

That gives us a sub-total of $12.85 million for a group of five players.

Carlos Delfino has a partially guaranteed deal with only $500k guaranteed but he is a lock to be kept around. Too talented a player with too large of a role on a cost effective contract. No way Milwaukee chooses to push him out the door.

Brandon Jennings will be entering the second year of his rookie scale contract. Mbah a Moute is an expiring contract and will be a restricted free agent next season, and, due for a solid payday ($3-4 million per annum). Charlie Bell has two more seasons on his contract with the second being a player option which he is a certainty to use (to opt into his contract). Delfino and Ilyasova have two years remaining on their contracts with partially guaranteed contracts for the second season.

Others Costs

  • Draft Picks — The Bucks hold a mid first round pick, the #15 selection, which would come with a cap hold of around $1.4 million.
  • Buyouts — Roko Ukic — Ukic was scheduled to earn $1.45 million this coming season but I am not sure how much of that he gave up in the buyout. Since he immediately signed with a pro team in Europe, it is possible that he gave up everything. But it is also possible that the Bucks are still on the hooks for most of, and perhaps all of, Ukic’s salary.
  • Non-guaranteed — Darnell Jackson — Jackson’s deal is worth $850k which is comparable to a veteran’s minimum contract. It’s unclear what the Bucks intentions are … but I would say they are more likely to waive him than keep him. Hence, I am not including him below in the open roster spot computations.
  • Open Roster Spots — The Bucks have eight players plus their draft picks on their books so they’ll need another four players to reach the minimum roster size of 13. That would add another $3.4 million should the Bucks add veteran minimum contract signings.

The gives us a sub-total of $4.8 million to $6.25 million.

Which gives us a new total of $54.2 million to $55.65 million.

Note: There is more on the John Salmons situation down below.

The Cap

David Stern recently announced

NBA commissioner David Stern said on Friday that the league is projecting the cap to come in at about $56.1 million. The actual number won’t be determined until early July, before teams can begin officially signing players.

Though that figure would still be lower than this season’s $57.7 million cap, it’s far better than estimates from last summer, when the league sent a memo to teams warning them of a potential sharp drop to between $50.4 million to $53.6 million.

The luxury tax threshold for a $56.1 million cap is $68 million.

2010 Cap Space

That means that the Bucks are right around the salary cap line and will have the MLE and LLE available to them this offseason.

Summer Options

Bucks Roster

What roles are already filled on the Bucks roster?

  • Starting center and defensive anchor — Andrew Bogut
  • Power Forwards — Ersan Ilyasova and Mbah a Moute
  • Starting PG — Brandon Jennings
  • A rotation wing player — Carlos Delfino
  • Deep Reserves — Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric and preferably Michael Redd

So, the Bucks need a backup point guard + at least two wing players + a backup big men who can play the five.

Important Free Agents

The Bucks have at least two free agents entering the market this summer

  • Luke Ridnour — likely looking for a multi-year contract in the $4-5 million range
  • Kurt Thomas — a one year deal for close to the veterans minimum and possibly as high as $2.5 million. A good candidate for the LLE.

John Salmons

As well as a third player who may or may not enter the market place

  • John Salmons has an opt out clause on his contract in which he could earn $5.81 million next season.

The Bucks have reportedly offered Salmons an extension worth $27 million over four years including next season’s pay. There is a very good chance that Salmons chooses to accept this deal.

That $5.81 million would take the Bucks up to $60 million in total payroll.

Milwaukee’s Best Move

Milwaukee needs to keep their franchise in a good position to add a much needed star quality talent to add to their promising core of Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings. They need to be wary of paying role players long money because their best chance to add that player is via their cap flexibility (either through a trade or free agency) so they should not sign Salmons or Ridnour to a long term deal.

If the Bucks choose to sign Salmons, Ridnour and Thomas to new contracts they will likely end up with a payroll of around $65 million. Some solid movement below the luxury tax threshold but not enough to spend their MLE.

Mid-Level Exception

The Bucks will likely concentrate more on their own roster and with cheaper signings than a full MLE signing.

A full MLE signing comes with the same warnings as above and should only be used if they feel that player has vast potential beyond that pay status (such as Ty Thomas).

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  1. John Salmons has opted out of his contract — link

    This makes no real difference to Milwaukee’s financial situation. They are still right around the cap line and are left only with the MLE to upgrade their roster.

    They also have Salmons’ bird rights so they could yet resign him and do so without touching their MLE leaving the MLE to sign someone else.

    If Salmons does leave though, the Bucks will likely turn their attentions to a wing player or a scorer … or preferably a wing player who is a scorer to re-balance their team.

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