Originally Posted by joyner
You're probably right then -- I didn't realize those are different. I do have a question, though. If we can't exceed $58 million to sign free agents, but we can exceed it to sign our own players, then does that suggest that order matters when we're signing players? Do we have to sign the free agent first for them to count against the $58 million rather than the $70 million?
What I mean is, imagine if we sign all our own players first and that puts us at $60 million -- theoretically we couldn't use the extra $10 million to sign a FA. But, if we signed the FA first, then signed our own players, that puts us at $70 million, which is okay because the jump from $60 to $70 million was our own players. Is that right?
I don't imagine that's right because that'd be silly, I'm just curious how the differentiate who's counting toward the $70 million and who's counting toward the $58 million.
You ask an excellent question.
First, the way I understand the cap structure to work, restricted free agents and players that a team has "Bird rights" to have a "cap hold" on their salary equal to their previous salary plus a pre-determeined raise amount that is added to a teams cap number unless the team relinquishes their rights to re-sign that player. So in other words, unless the Spurs make a declaration that we will not sign so and so player, they count against the salary cap. (Note: Larry Coon , aka salary cap GOD, has written an extensive FAQ on everything related to the cap. It is located here: NBA Salary Cap FAQ
. READ IT! It can answer all questions).
What does this mean for the Spurs? Manu Ginobili made $14M last season. The Spurs own the "Bird Rights" to him. This means that until the Spurs re-sign or renounce Manu, they will have $14M plus some amount added to their cap number. If I am mus-understanding this please lete me know, but I think this is right, and it will prohibit the Spurs from signing any free agents with their current salary cap space until this situation is resolved either by resigning or renouncing Manu.
So what does this ultimately mean? Go to hoopshype.com and you can see the current salary for Spurs players this year. They are at $70M. The Spurs will renounce Bird rights to Stephen Jackson which will free up $10M+ from their cap number. The rest of the restricted and unrestricted FAs (Manu, Splitter, Mills, Blair, and Neal) will continue to count against the Spurs until their situation is resolved. I think we can all agree Blair is gone so take his $1M off the books. Also, the Spurs will also have about $1M reserved for their first round draft pick. That means the Spurs will have $64M on the books already (remember, all those Spurs FAs have raises built in to their cap holds). In addition, the rules add the MLE and Bi-Annual exception numbers to that cap amount so you can't sign a FA with your cap space then add a player with the exceptions. Traditionally, those exceptions have been about $5M and $2M. So ultimately, I think the Spurs will have a cap number around $70M going into free agency.
As far as the cap number, it has been frozen at $58M for the last two years. I think that this number is about to jump up significantly and it wouldn't surprise me if the new cap number is $70M. So in conclusions, the Spurs will be capped out and only able to use the MLE and Bi-Annual exception to sign any free agents. Even if the Spurs immediately re-sign Manu to something in the relm of $6M per year, they will still have more space available under the MLE and Bi-Annual exceptions, so those will apply.
In ultimate conclusion, the Spurs are capped out for the 2013 FA period.