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I've seen many people here talking about "obtaining" a stretch-4, or a back-up Center, or a bench scorer; and yes, the Wizards do have some needs that should be addressed this off-season. It seems like there are a number of people mistaken about the Wizards salary cap situation and the dollars that may or may not be available to spend. I see some comments like: "with Seraphin gone, and Pierce leaving the Wizards could use that salary to get xxxxx player"...

Here is the Wizards cap situation as it stands now.

All salary information is taken from

Guaranteed Contracts for 2015-16

The Wizards have nine players under guaranteed contracts for the 2015-16 season totaling $63,627,833 (Wall, Beal, Porter, Nene, Gortat, Webster, Humphries, Sessions and Blair).

Paul Pierce has a player option for the 2015-16 season for $5,543,725
Garrett Temple has a player option for the 2015-16 season for $1,100,602

Cap holds for the offseason

The Wizards have a cap hold for their first round pick in the draft for $1,310,300 (based on the rookie salary scale for the 19th pick).

There are also cap holds on the Wizards current un-renounced free agents:

Kevin Seraphin's cap hold is $7,797,381 (200% of his previous salary)
Drew Gooden's cap hold is $915,243
Rasual Butler's cap hold is $915,243
Will Bynum's cap hold is $915,243

Including guaranteed contracts, player options, and cap holds - the Wizards salary totals for cap purposes = $82,125,571

The announced salary cap projection provided by the NBA for the 2015-16 season = $67,100,000

Final Analysis

So as you can see, if the Wizards do nothing they will be WAY over the Salary Cap - and will have no cap space to go after Free Agents. HOWEVER the most likely scenario is that Paul Pierce opts OUT of his current contract to go play for the Clippers (and his old coach Doc Rivers); Kevin Seraphin, Will Bynum and Rasual Butler will probably be renounced. If those things happen, the Wizards salary totals for cap purposes would be = $67,453,978 ... STILL over the projected Salary Cap.

So to summarize, the Wizards will be operating over the salary cap this Summer and will have no cap room.

Don't despair however; Ernie Grunfeld still has the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception (MLE = $5.464 million), the Bi-Annual Exception (BAE = $2.139 million), the remaining Traded Player exception from the Trevor Ariza trade (TPE = $2.252 Million) , the Traded Player exception from the Andre Miller trade (TPE = $4.65 Million, and as many Minimum Player Salary exceptions as he needs to fill out the roster.

Please keep in mind that you CANNOT COMBINE EXCEPTIONS. In other words, you CANNOT combine the Ariza TPE of $2.25 million with the Andre Miller TPE of $4.6 Million to offer a Free Agent a contract starting at $6.8 Million. Also, you CANNOT combine a player plus an exception to trade for a player with a matching salary. Each exception must be used on it's own. The MLE and Traded Player Exceptions can be split between multiple players. So as an example you could offer part of the MLE of $2.464 Million to one player, and the remaining $3 Million to another player.

I hope this helps some of you to better understand the Wizards cap situation this Summer. I've tried to be as accurate as possible, but if you find any errors please let me know in the comments.
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