24 Offseason - The Cap Space Plan

We've been told about the plan to maximize cap space in 2024, and I wanted to open a conversation on what it might actually look like. I'm not an expert or anything close with the old or new CBA rules so correct me wherever I'm wrong.

I'm putting this together by first assuming a Clippers trade is done before the season starts. I'll use the package from archneme's recent fanpost.

Sixers Outgoing - Harden, Tucker , House , Trez Harrell
Sixers Incoming - Morris, Covington, Batum, Mann, Martin, Jr. $42,000 in added salary

This takes Harden and (more importantly) PJ off of the books, replacing them with KJ's rookie contract and TMann's $11M cap hit.

This trade (and even if Harden stays for some reason) leave us in a position as one of only 7 teams projected to have cap room next summer: San Antonio, Orlando, Charlotte, Detroit, Washington, and Utah. This could make us the only playoff team, let alone prospective contender that could offer real money to the higher end free agents. Mind you, we also have a $8M Room Exception, that comes with being one of these teams.

The next group is the 10 teams with the $13M non taxpayer MLE, including, Brooklyn, Chicago, Houston, Indiana, Miami, New Orleans, New York, OKC, Sacramento, and Toronto.

There are 7 taxpaying teams that have a $5M MLE, and the remaining 6 teams can only offer minimum deals.

Why do I list this out, beyond the obvious fact that we will have a lot of cap space to use?

The Free Agent market could be very different under these CBA rules. If you are, Buddy Hield, and are driven to even sign to a playoff team, 13 teams can basically only offer a vet minimum, and another 10 can only offer a maximum 4/52M deal (Donte DiVincenzo just signed 4/47M for reference). At least 4 of the 7 cap space teams will likely prioritize their younger players and are deep in a rebuild, far from truly competing.

That leaves Philadelphia squarely as the only competing team that can offer any substantial contracts to next years' free agents, especially as Miami likely trades for Dame and crosses over into Taxpayer territory.

This opens us up for two groups of free agents in my mind;

1. Free Agents coming from teams not willing to resign them for their desired price

2. Restricted Free Agents on teams nearing Super Tax Status

For example, if the Clippers decide to let Paul George walk and he declines his player option, Philadelphia is his only realistic destination where he could receive at least $50M for 4 years, while having a chance to still contend.

Also, a team like Minnesota, that has an untradeable Gobert contract, and $145M tied up between Rudy, KAT, Ant, and Naz Reid, might be forced to chose against matching a restricted Jaden McDaniels, as that would lock them in as a Super Tax team for the next two years.

We also would be a prime target for teams to trade with, looking for value as they trade expiring deals at the deadline, as we are one of a few teams that would be able to absorb the cap hit during the summer to retain those players. (Proofread if you know more than me)

Regardless, with what looks to be a strong coaching staff, and a collection of talent bound to return from any Harden trade, Philly is in a unique position of power to retool and build a very strong roster around Joel Embiid, right as he peaks as a superstar.

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