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A Complete Free Agent Analysis for Teams and Players: This Year is a Buyer's Market
At the bottom I list the assumptions made in this analysis of the salary/luxury cap situation and free agent situation.

Some of the potential free agents or team options are in parentheses. RealGM estimates (as of 7/12/02) are in brackets. (I think the RealGM figures only include rookies who have signed, while mine include all of the first rounders. Something seems to be wrong with the more recent versions.)

DEFINITELY OVER THE LUXURY CAP

Portland - $96.6M [$94.4M] for 11 players (Wells, Brunson, M Butler, Dudley, Boumtje-Boumtje)
New York - $92.5M [$90.4M] for 11 players (L Robinson, Spencer, Postell)
Dallas - $58.1M [$60.2M] for 8 players (LaFrentz, Buckner, Newman, Livingston, Zhizhi, Najera, Manning)
LA Lakers - $60.0M [$55.5M] for 10 players (Richmond, Shaw, McCoy, Medvedenko)
Philadelphia - $58.1M [$58.1M] for 8 players (Harpring, C Blount, Cummings, D McKey, R Bell, D Brown, A Jones, J Smith)
New Jersey - $58.1M [$55.0M] for 12 players (A Johnson, Scalabrine)
Milwaukee - $55.0M [$53.9M] for 9 players (Foster, Ham, Alston, Pope, Redd, Anthony)
Memphis - $56.3M [$56.4M] for 12 players (Long, Buford, Fotsis, Solomon)
Sacramento - $55.4M [$55.6M] for 12 players (Bibby, C Brown)

OVER THE LUXURY CAP WITHOUT CREATIVE SALARY DUMPING

Miami - $51.6M [$51.6M] for 6 players (Gatling, K Gill, J Jackson, R Strickland, Marks, Stepania, M Allen, House, E Brown, M James)
Minnesota - $50.2M [$50.9M] for 6 players (Nesterovic, Lopez, Avery, Mitchell, Trent, Evans, Woods, Pack)
Atlanta - $52.9M [$53.3M]for 11 players (Bowdler, E Davis, M Strickland, L Smith, Newble, Mottola)
Phoenix - $52.5M [$54.3M] for 10 players (J Wallace, Palacio, Majerle, Voskuhl, A Ford, Crispin)
Indiana - $52.8M [$50.1M] for 12 players (Ollie, Sundov, Brewer, C Rogers)
Toronto - $52.1M [$53.2M] for 12 players (K Clark, Childs, D Curry, Jackson, Dial)
Boston - $51.5M [$52.3M] for 11 players (McCarty, R Rogers, E Strickland, McCleod, M Blount)

WOULD PREFER TO SAVE FREE AGENT MONEY FOR LATER YEARS

Houston - $50.0M [$44.3M] for 12 players (Willis, W Williams, Langhi, T Brown, Torres)
Orlando - $48.8M [$46.1M] for 14 players (Garrity, Hudson, M Williams, J Jackson)
Denver - $47.0M [$41.6M] for 10 players (V Lenard, Cheaney, Z Hamilton, Satterfield, C Anderson, Batere)
Golden State - $46.0M [$46.3M] for 10 players (Blaylock, Garrett, Henderson, Oliver)
Seattle - $46.4M [$40.8M] for 11 players (R Lewis, A Long, Sesay)
Cleveland - $44.3M [$42.0M] for 11 players (Doleac, Langdon, Skinner, R Davis, Trepagnier)

MOST OF THEIR FREE AGENT ACTIVITY WILL PROBABLY BE FOR THEIR OWN FREE AGENTS

Utah - $40.9M [$40.2M] for 7 players (D Marshall, Russell, Starks, Q Lewis, Crotty, Padgett, LaRue, J Collins)
New Orleans - $43.6M [$43.6M] for 13 players (Traylor, Nailon)
Detroit - $43.4M [$43.2M] for 11 players (D Jones, Rebracca, Barros, Alexander, Cardinal, Varda)
San Antonio - $39.5M [$39.5M] for 9 players (Porter, M. Rose, B Bowen, Hart)
Washington - $42.3M [$38.7M] for 13 players (Nesby, Simmons, P Jones)

TEAMS UNDER THE SALARY CAP

Chicago - $37.1M [$37.5M] for 10 players (Oakley, Guyton, Best, N Richardson)
LA Clippers - $27.6M [$26.6M] for 11 players (Olowokandi, Piatkowski, McInnis, Ekezie, Overton, Fowlkes)


I think that only Philly (maybe 1), New Jersey (maybe 1), Houston (maybe 1), Utah (1-3), Chicago (1-3), Washington (1-2), Denver (maybe 1), Portland (1), Dallas (1-3), New York (1-2), Seattle (1), Detroit (1), Cleveland (1), Golden State (maybe 1), San Antonio (2-3), New Orleans (1) may be will be willing to pay $2-$5M to sign a player or two (even their own). Not all of these teams will do so, so I think that there will only be 15-25 players signed at salaries in this range.

Here are free agents (or team options) that might be worth that much:

C: Nesterovic, Rebraca, J Collins, Zhizhi, Stepania, Garrett, Willis
PF: Rose, R Rogers, Garrity, P Jones, Doleac, Traylor, Gatling, Oakley, Trent, McCarty, Skinner, Manning
SF: Marshall, Harpring, M Williams, Najera, Mitchell, Nailon, Newman, B Russell, J Jackson, Mottola, Cheaney, Fowlkes, Nesby
SG: R Davis, Redd, Bowen, Buckner, E Strickland, Piatkowski, K Gill
PG: McInnis, Best, G Anthony, D Jones, Porter, E Davis, Childs, R Strickland, A Johnson

There are about 50 players in this list, so fewer than half of these guys are going to get $2M. There are going to be a lot of bargains out there this year, including a lot of players not on this list that the Bulls might be able to pick up for $1M or less.

Even though this free agent class is weak, teams have so little money to spend, this year really is a buyer's market with the potential for great bargains for good players.

ASSUMPTIONS
(1) I have assumed a salary cap of $40.271M and a luxury cap of $52M. (I know the press reports claim a luxury cap of $50M, but $52M is the projected luxury cap based upon a $40.271M salary cap.)
(2) I have assumed that teams under the cap renounce all of their free agents and trade exceptions, unless their trade exeptions would put them over the cap.
(3) I have included salaries for 1st rounders at 120% of rookie scale. See Larry ****'s site for a nice description of CBA issues.
(4) For the Bulls I have assumed that the Bulls owe Anthony $1.9M. This is a change from a previous version, thanks to Dickie and Tony Farr. This is inconsistent with what ESPN reports and RealGM used to report. For other teams, I have relied on a post byTony Farr and salaries form Patricia Bender. I assume that the Nets owe $6.6M to McIllvaine, the Knicks owe $18.6M to Johnson and Longley, the Sixers owe $8.8M to Geiger, the Mavs owe $1.5M to Bogues, the Nuggets owe $4.2M to Alexander and Hardaway, the Rockets owe $3.3M to Maloney, the Clippers owe $4.2M to Strong, the Grizzlies owe $13.0M to Reeves, and the Wizards owe $7.6M to Williams and Vaught. I may still be missing some salaries from other teams, since I am pretty reliant on the salaries from Hoopshype.
(5) I have assumed that teams do not exercise team options, except in the most obvious of cases. I do assume that players will exercise player options, except in the most obvious of cases (R Lewis, B Bowen, etc.).

I might add some more to this post later, or add some additional analysis in a later post in this thread. Please let me know if you see some mistakes in this thread, and I will try to make changes if I agree with what you call a mistake. I certainly hope this starts an interesting set of conversations. Have Fun!

this is a thread originally posted by NCBullsFan in the bulls site.
I thought it might be helpful for us to view it here too.
 

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Joker,

NCBullsFan is a regular poster and he has already posted this here. Please add your comments to that thread as it has a lot of other good information as well.

I am locking this thread.
 
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