How NBA Official Salary Cap Numbers Affect Orlando
The NBA has announced the official salary cap numbers for the upcoming 2014-2015 season. How does that affect the Orlando Magic?
Per @NBAPR, Salary Cap for 2014-15 $63.065 million … tax level is $76.829 million … minimum team salary is $56.759 million …
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 9, 2014
The great news is that the $63.065 million salary cap – bumped up 7.5% from last year – is only $135,000 less than what has been estimated, so none of the 30 NBA teams should be caught off guard by this figure. Thanks to the slicing and dicing that Magic GM Rob Hennigan has done over the past 2 years, Orlando fans don’t need to worry about their team surpassing the salary cap. Looking at current Magic salaries – assuming Orlando is signing Ben Gordon to $4.5 million and Channing Frye to $8 million per season – Orlando is at $49.5 million in salary for the ’14-’15 campaign. That puts the team about $7.2 million shy of reaching the salary floor.
What is the salary floor? It just means that the League mandates every NBA franchise needs to have their payroll at least up to 90% of the salary cap – 90% of $63.065 mil is $56.759 mil – or else be penalized at the end of the season. Per the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, there isn’t really any penalty for being under the salary floor except that at the end of the season the Magic would have to distribute the amount of money that they are under the salary floor to the players they have on the roster. So at worst, the Magic are divvying up bonus funds to their players until they get to the $56.759 million needed to appease the Association. With that said, I would expect the Magic to sign one more veteran. Most likely it will be a point guard to help mentor the young guards. Being under the salary floor is a lot better than going over the luxury level as the Brooklyn Nets are demonstrating.
Barring something strange happening, I don’t anticipate Hennigan needing to use the Mid-Level Exception this offseason to sign a player because – as explained above – the Magic are under the salary floor and it doesn’t appear that Rob will be seeking to sign a big name free agent to a monstrous deal (which could then bring the MLE into play). Maybe next year. Counting Frye, Ben, and Dewayne Dedmon while excluding unsigned second round draft pick Devyn Marble for now, that means Orlando is at this moment at a 13-man roster. The NBA moratorium period ends at 12:01 a.m. this Thursday morning July 10th, which means this new salary cap goes into existence and free agents can officially sign on the dotted line of their rumored contracts.