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NBA Salary Cap Now Expected to be $94M

A new report has the NBA salary cap for 2016-17 to be $94 million, an increase from earlier expectations.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Shams Charania of The Vertical reports that:

The expected cap figure continues to rise as the league estimates its revenue for next season, signaling an even bigger sea change in salaries than we have been expecting. The exact figure will be determined during an audit conducted jointly by the league and the NBPA during the first week in July when there is a moratorium on player movement.

The cap figure has several ramifications: It means the luxury tax figure is expected to be roughly $113M and the minimum team salary should come in just over $84M (the floor is 90% of the cap).

It also affects maximum salaries.  With a $94M cap, maximum salaries in the first year of contracts should look like this:

0-6 years: $22M
7-9 years: $26.4M
10+ years: $30.8M

The Wolves currently have 11 players with contract guarantees that total $63,600,000 (the dollar figure includes Kevin Martin's buyout figure).  Damjan Rudez has a non-guaranteed contract for $1.2M that is not included in the figure above. (Figures thanks to Hoopshype).

Actually, let's get it on paper:

Ricky Rubio $13,400,000
Nikola Pekovic $12,100,000
Kevin Garnett $8,000,000 
Andrew Wiggins $6,006,600
K-A Towns $5,960,160
Nemanja Bjelica $3,800,000
Zach LaVine $2,240,880
Bazz Muhammad $3,046,299
Gorgui Dieng $2,348,782
A. Payne $2,022,240
Tyus Jones $1,339,680
Kevin Martin $3,336,000
Damjan Rudez $1,199,000

The fifth pick in the draft will have a cap hold of somewhere above $3M, and once that player is signed, the contract will be for close to $4M for his rookie year. So making the following assumptions:

a) The Wolves use the 5th pick themselves (no trades)
b) They waive Rudez
c) Kevin Garnett does NOT retire

The Wolves will have about $67M in committed salary after the draft, and about $68M after they sign their draft pick, meaning they will have roughly $26-27M in cap space heading into the summer. Of course trades could change these numbers, but we'll have to await events.

The Wolves also don't have any free agents of their own to re-sign (unless they choose to explore bringing back Tayshaun Prince).

Without doing an exhaustive survey, for which you people don't pay me nearly enough, that appears to be about a median cap figure for the summer. There are a bunch of teams with roughly similar cap situations heading into the summer, with only a few that will struggle for significant cap space: The Cavs, Spurs and Clippers among them. Teams with even more to spend will include the Sixers, Lakers, and Celtics among others.

Going forward, the Wolves can try to work out extensions for Gorgui Dieng and/or Shabazz Muhammad. Such extensions would start in 2017-18, when the cap is expected to rise again well over $100M. (I believe the current assumption is $107M). The following year Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine will be eligible for extensions that would take effect in 2018-19.

There is definitely money to spend this summer, and the new salary figures are going to take some getting used to.

What would you do with the cap space?