Lots of talk of the Wolves not using cap space until 2011. Not sure where it's really coming from as I haven't seen anything concrete printed anywhere about it. Regardless, I thought I'd look and see just how feasible it might be to make any kind of blueprint to see if and how much cap space we could have in 2011.
Contracts committed (or sure to be) for 2011-12:
- Al Jefferson $14,000,000
- Ramon Sessions $4,257,974
- Kevin Love $4,609,701
- Jonny Flynn $3,414,720
- Wayne Ellington $1,154,040
- Ricky Rubio (cap hold) $3,023,100
- 2010 Lotto pick est. $4,700,000
- 2010 Utah pick est. $1,300,000
- Total $36,459,535
Contracts possibly on the books:
- Ryan Gomes $4,602,500
- Ryan Hollins $2,483,334
- Cap Hold for Charlotte pick 2011 est. $2,200,000
- Cap Hold for Wolves mid lotto pick 2011: $2,900,000
- Total $12,185,834
Grand Total: $48,645,369
Notice that Corey Brewer isn't included. We'd have to deal with him that summer, renouncing him or signing him to an extension that would further eat into the cap.
Assuming the cap goes down this year ($53,000,000) and stays about at that level we're looking at the MLE at best.
The obvious kicker is that we can alter these numbers greatly. Kahn has show us that he's adept at making deals in this regard. Sessions could be moved. Gomes could be bought out or traded. I'm afraid we're stuck with Hollins. We could go drastic and trade Al in a deal for a young prospect like A. Randolph and expirings. The problem though with all of this is that free agency in itself isn't a panacea. It's a nice tool, but we're likely overpaying anyone that comes via free agency anyway. The idea of using our cap space to acquire young prospects (Gallo via Curry) could be just as effective as spending the money on Rudy Gay.
If the Wolves are willing to do what is necessary with guys like Gomes and Sessions (I really wish we were using him more) and be willing to let Brewer walk if necessary to preseve cap space for 2011, we could continue to accumulate assets and maintain flexability. I don't know much about the 2011 class of FAs though. Aside from the impossible to acquire Kevin Durant, is there anyone out there?