As player option deadlines in late June begin to approach in the coming days and weeks, reports will begin to surface about which players will join the free agent market this summer when the salary cap is expected to jump up to $101 million. The three latest names to decline their player options for the 2018 season and join the free agent market are Dewayne Dedmon of the San Antonio Spurs, Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets, and C.J. Miles of the Indiana Pacers.
Using financial numbers from BasketballInsiders.com and a personal spreadsheet that accounts for cap holds, let’s look at each player and how declining their deals affects their team.
Dedmon declined a $3.0 million player option with the Spurs for next season and since they only have his non-bird rights, San Antonio can only sign him in one of the following three ways: a) up to $3.4 million with his non-bird rights over the cap, b) with any open cap space the team can create, or c) with their mid-level exception, which will either be $4.3 million if they’re under the cap or $8.4 million if they operate over the cap.
In 76 games with the Spurs, Dedmon averaged 5.1 points on 62/0/70% shooting splits, he grabbed 6.5 rebounds and played 17.5 minutes per game.
With all cap holds, non-guaranteed, qualifying offers and player options included, the Spurs would be sitting close to $25.9 million over the cap.
With only Pau Gasol’s player option and the Spurs’ 2017 first round pick on the books along with the other players on guaranteed deals, San Antonio would have near $10.2 million in cap space.
With Gasol, Patty Mills’ cap hold, Jonathon Simmons’ qualifying offer, Bryn Forbes’ non-guaranteed contract and the Spurs’ 2017 first round pick, the Spurs would have about $824,644 in cap space.
By declining his player option, the chances are very slim Dedmon will re-sign with the Spurs, as it would be an obstacle for San Antonio to get comfortably in his new projected market range.
The table below shows some 5s Dedmon will be joining out on the market. NG = Non-guaranteed, QO = Qualifying Offer, PO = Player Option, TO = Team Option, UFA = Unrestricted Free Agent, RFA = Restricted Free Agent. The previous salary is what the player could have earned in 2018 on their PO, TO or NG.
Gallinari declined a $16.1 million player option with the Nuggets for next season and since Denver does have his Bird rights, he can be re-signed over the cap with a cap hold on place for $22.6 million this summer. Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical did report that Denver wouldn’t rule out re-signing Gallinari on a longer deal.
In 63 games with the Nuggets, Gallinari averaged 18.2 points per game with 45/39/90% shooting splits, along with 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 33.9 minutes per game.
With all cap holds, qualifying offers, and non-guarantees on Denver’s books, the Nuggets would have about $6.5 million in cap space.
With Gallinari’s cap hold and the Nuggets’ 2017 first round pick on the books, Denver can open close to $20.6 million in cap space, making them a player in trying to lure other free agents to sign with Denver.
If Gallinari chose to sign elsewhere and the Nuggets only kept their 2017 first round pick on the books, Denver could try to pitch to a marquee free agent, as they’d have about $43.1 million in cap space under that scenario.
The table below shows some of the 4s Gallinari will be joining in free agency this summer.
Miles declined a $4.7 million player option with the Pacers for next season and since Indiana has his Bird rights, the Pacers can go over the cap to re-sign him while he would have a cap hold of $8.7 million on their books.
In 76 games with the Pacers, Miles averaged 10.7 points with 43/41/90% shooting splits and 3.0 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game.
With all cap holds, non-guaranteed contracts, team option and player options, the Pacers are about $182,801 over the cap.
With only the cap holds of Jeff Teague and the Pacers’ 2017 first round pick on the books, the Pacers could be a player in free agency with close to $23.5 million in cap space.
If all cap holds except the Pacers’ 2017 first round pick and players with guaranteed salaries were only on the books, the Pacers could chase a marquee free agent with close to $36.7 million in cap space.
The table below shows some of the 3s Miles will be joining out on the market this summer.