NBA Off Season Update
Midnight July 9th, ushered in the new salary cap which was approximately $3 million higher than anticipated at $70M with a luxury tax ceiling of $84.7M. Scott Howard Coopers article provides more specific details. Many pundits expected this would be a relatively quiet free agency year, but the escalating salary cap had immediate effects with a glut of swift activity. To that end, most rosters are already full and therefore we are able to provide an early comprehensive NBA off season update for all 30 teams.
When the moratorium ended teams began to legally sign free agents who they had verbal agreements with. Aside from the DeAndre Jordan soap opera, things went pretty much according to plan. Between this initial phase of abundant activity there was a bit of a lull when second tier players became the focus. As the Vegas Summer League wrapped up there was yet another surge of signings.
The NBA salary cap has risen to $70M for the 2015-'16 season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2015
In anticipation of the new TV money scheduled to kick in next year, this summer’s contracts reached unparalleled ceilings even for middle tier players. The public is still adjusting to what appears to be bloated figures, but will soon seem like bargains. To wit, next July negotiations will escalate as Kevin Durant enters free agency and a plethora of franchise players opt out of their contacts. Typically few teams have excess cap space, so recruiting players of Durant’s ilk requires careful roster and contract management. However, with the salary cap expected to edge closer to the $100 million mark every team should have cap room. Suffice to say the NBA is literally entering uncharted waters.
With the inevitable increase on tap it was surprising so many free agents opted out of their contracts this year. To date, close to 125 free agents have signed contracts, many of whom changed teams or renegotiated their existing terms.
Today marks exactly 6 weeks since the moratorium ended, and only Tristan Thompson remains on the list of top end free agents unsigned. Limited trades and signings remain as each team now shifts their focus to working with their existing rosters leading up to training camp in October.
Given the sheer number of signings most teams are well ahead of schedule in fulfilling their summer tasks. To that end, I offer a comprehensive 6 part series which breaks down all roster moves including draft picks, trades and all free agent movement. Each part within the series isolates a division and it’s 5-teams along with my analysis of the best move each squad made this summer..
I begin the 6 part series in the Eastern Conference with the Atlantic Division and end in the Western Conference with the Southwest Division. Here is a link to each Divisional update:
Part 1 Atlantic Division:
Part 2 Central Division:
Part 3: Southeast Division:
Part 4: Pacific Division:
Part 5: Northwest Division:
Part 6: Southwest Division: