Fans often get mad because their favorite team doesn’t sign a free agent who they wanted to join their respective team, but signing a player isn’t all there is to it. Plenty of times this off-season I have seen posts on my Twitter stating that the Portland Trailblazers must sign a free agent and that they should go after big name free agents. There’s only one thing wrong with that, they have ZERO (0) cap space. According to HoopsHype, if the salary cap stays the same, the Blazers will be capped out until the 2020-21 NBA season.
Now, I’m no a salary cap expert but I am really good at math. The salary cap is set at roughly $99M for this upcoming season and the Nuggets are currently sitting at $65M with Mason Plumlee’s $5.8M cap hold and before Paul Millsap’s contract is official. Millsap’s deal will pay him approximately $30M average per year and will hold a $28.5M cap hold for the first year as per Spotrac. The Nuggets have also signed rookie Tyler Lydon to a 2-year $3.45M contract which would impact their cap another $1.5M for this upcoming season. All of this added up will leave the Nuggets at $95.5M.
Bobby Marks of ESPN recently put out a statement with the Nuggets’ salary cap info but I have reason to believe he didn’t add the Nuggets’ rookie to his information as he has the Nuggets with $5M worth of cap space.
The Nuggets have roughly $3.5M in cap space unless they renounce the rights to Mason Plumlee which would clear another $5.8M. They could free up a total of $9.3M which would certainly help in their search for a point guard. The Nuggets ran with Jameer Nelson as their lead guard for a majority of last season and although he was fairly productive, I don’t expect them to take the same route next year. Nelson just isn’t good enough defensively to guard the new wave of athletic point guards and his offense leaves plenty to be desired.
PS – this article does not include Roy Hibbert’s $6M free agent cap hold.