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76ers And The Salary Cap Floor? Don't Sweat It

Much has been made about the 76ers needing to add salary in order to reach the salary cap floor. Without any real penalty if the 76ers don't reach it, the team isn't likely to make personnel decisions based on reaching the floor.


Much has been made of late about the 76ers needing to add salary in order to reach the "salary cap floor".

Indeed, the 76ers current salary commitments are less than what the league has defined as the salary cap floor. The 76ers are at roughly $41.6 million in committed salary after the Royce White acquisition (and assuming the Jrue Holiday / Nerlens Noel trade is approved by the league, which it will be later this week).

The league "mandates" that teams must spend $90% of their alloted salary cap. With a cap figure set at $58.5 million that places the salary cap floor at roughly $52.65 million, meaning the 76ers still have to add over $10 million in salary to avoid being under the floor.

Related: 76ers salary cap situation

Except they really don't. There's no real penalty to being under the floor, except that at the end of the year the 76ers would have to distribute the amount of money that they are under the floor to the players they have on roster.

Essentially, they have to spend $52.65 million either way.

Sure, they might rather spend that money on production rather than on what they already have (although with this season, productivity from non-developing players may not be viewed as a good thing), but they're not going to go out and spend $10 million on a journeyman who isn't likely to provide value on the court just so they can reach the toothless salary cap floor, as has been suggested at times.

They're still going out there and making basketball decisions, not financial decisions based on reaching the floor.

Also, it is worth noting that the 76ers aren't "penalized" until the end of the season. So it makes little sense to waste the cap space on a marginal player just to reach the floor now and lose the flexibility that having cap space would provide at the trade deadline.

That doesn't mean the team is unlikely to use the remaining cap space. It's a virtual guarantee that between now and the trade deadline the 76ers will be above the salary cap floor as they look to use their flexibility to continue stockpiling assets.

But this was something the team was going to look to do regardless of the salary cap floor. What they won't do is make a trade and/or signing designed to get above the floor, while also limiting their flexibility. When they use their remaining cap space it will be for the exact same reason as it would be if the floor didn't exist: to acquire assets.

What you won't ever hear me say is "the trade also has the added benefit of bringing the 76ers closer to the salary cap floor", because there is no real benefit. The benefit of the trade is based on the assets they acquire, period. My guess is those words will never come out of Sam Hinkie's mouth either.

The odds of the salary cap floor impacting the decisions the 76ers will make in free agency is slim. Salary cap floor? Best to just forget it exists.

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