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A quick look at Sacramento's cap situation heading into the offseason

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the most important summers in Kings history and because of the disappointment of last season, I expect that we'll see some pretty drastic moves.  To get a better understanding of what the Kings are potentially capable of doing, let's first take a look at the team's cap situation.

(All numbers courtesy of basketball-reference)

Player Salary
DeMarcus Cousins $15,756,438
Rudy Gay $13,333,333
Kosta Koufos $8,000,000
Marco Belinelli $6,333,333
Darren Collison $5,229,454
Willie Cauley-Stein $3,551,160
Ben McLemore $4,008,882
Omri Casspi $3,000,000
Caron Butler $1,551,659
James Anderson $1,139,123
Quincy Acy $1,050,961
Seth Curry $1,015,696
Wayne Ellington* $923,670
Duje Dukan** $874,636
TOTAL: $65,768,345

Bolding indicates Player Options
*Wayne Ellington's salary hold from using the stretch provision. This is the final year this hold will be on the Kings cap.
** Duje Dukan apparently does NOT have a player option for next season and his contract for next year is fully unguaranteed.

Player Options will come into play for the Kings before Free Agency with four current Kings having to make a decision before July 1st.  If I had to guess on their decisions, I think James Anderson would opt in while Caron Butler, Quincy Acy and Seth Curry would all opt out.  For Anderson, it's an easy decision as he's not going to be making more money elsewhere.  For Butler, he probably wants to be on a team that's actually playoff ready as he ends his career, and he'll make the same amount elsewhere.  Both Acy and Curry will probably make more on the Free Agent market than what their options are worth, even if it's only a little bit.  Acy will have the added benefit of being fully unrestricted.

Per a recent memo from the NBA, the projected salary cap for the 2016-17 season is going to be about $92 million, the first of two big jumps ($107 million projection in 2018) from last season as the NBA's new television deal kicks in.  At first blush, that puts the Kings at about $26.2 million in cap space for next season.  However there are also several cap holds to consider:

  • Rajon Rondo's cap hold of $11,400,000
  • The Mid-Level Exception cap hold of $5,628,000
  • The Bi-Annual Exception cap hold of $2,203,000
  • Sacramento's First Round Draft Pick cap hold of about $2,900,000

That cuts Sacramento's cap room to just $4,069,000.  Of course the Kings could renounce their exceptions to gain more space, and other players not picking up their options will free up more space, but if the Kings want to sign someone like a Ryan Anderson (a heavily rumored offseason target), they're going to have to free up some space through trades or decide not to bring Rajon Rondo back.

My hope is that Vlade Divac and the Kings bring in someone with extensive knowledge of the salary cap as soon as possible, because it's going to take some tricky and savvy maneuvering to make the room necessary for the Kings to make the moves necessary to improve.