A couple of questions have come up about the Cap situation to which I have responded. It occurred to me to do a post about the Wolves cap situation over the next couple of years.
(Ed note: Eric in Madison put together a wonderful post below the fold. Also, don't forget to check out Hoopus' salary cap page.)
For the 2008-09 season, the salary cap was between $58-59 million. I don't think it's going to change materially next season (We should know on July 7th--there's a moratorium on transactions between July 1st and 7th while they figure out next year's cap).
Right now, including Flynn Ellington, and Rubio, they have roughly $57 million in committed salaries for this season. That is for 15 players (including those 3 rookies). The salary commitments for the 3 rookies are 100% of their rookie scale contracts. Once they sign actual contracts, those real numbers are counted (and will usually be 120% of the rookie scale).
A lot salary is expiring after this year. Roughly $24 million in contracts that simply end after this season, with no options. This includes Thomas ($7.35M), Cardinal ($6.75M), Gomes (3.8), Madson (2.84), Smith (2.5) and Brown (.736).
There is another roughly $6 million in team options that I could imagine them not exercising (Brewer, Pecherov, though Brewer is unlikely). Decisions about these 2 2010-11 team options have to be made at the beginning of THIS season, I believe.
Assuming they keep Brewer, let Pecherov go, keep Flynn and Ellington, and all player options are exercised, you are looking at roughly $33 million in salary committments for 2010-11. Not including Rubio. Around $37M including Rubio. The two player options for 2010-11 are Darius Songalia ($4.8M) and Bassy Telfair ($2.7M). I am assuming they both exercise those options, though I suppose that if Bassy is still around, I could see him opting out. For this exercise, I assume he stays.
They will have a couple of million under the cap next week, but not a ton, The cap flexibility comes in having so much expiring salary for next year. They can keep it, and be well under the cap next off-season. Of course, we've discussed the issues with using cap space for free agents in the circumstances of the Wolves. More likely is that some of these expiring contracts get traded sometime between now and the trade deadline for longer-term pieces. It is difficlut to get young quality players that way, however.