With the activities of the last week -- the 76ers coming to terms with restricted free agent Thaddeus Young on a 5 year, $42 million deal, restricted free agent Spencer Hawes agreeing to the 1 year qualifying offer worth just over $4 million, re-signing Tony Battie to a veteran league minimum deal, and signing draft picks Nikola Vucevic and Lavoy Allen -- the 76ers salary cap situation has come into focus.
With typical raises (now set at 7.5% each year), Thaddeus Young's starting salary on his new deal should be around $7.25 million. The qualifying offer that Spencer Hawes accepted was for $4.05 million. Nikola Vucevic's deal would be for around $1.4 million and Lavoy Allen's second round contract would be worth around $650,000. Tony Battie's deal, the amount of which hasn't officially been announced, is believed to be around the $1.3 million he earned last year.
The 76ers headed into free agency with $54 million committed to Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni, Louis Williams, Evan Turner, Marreese Speights, Jrue Holiday, Craig Brackins and Jodie Meeks. With the additions, the team has roughly $68.7 million committed to 14 players, well over the salary cap of $58 million but below the luxury tax threshold, set just north of $70 million.
Before signing, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes had cap holds of $7.2 million and $7.4 million each, meaning the combination of the two are now actually counting less against the cap than before they were signed, although since the 76ers are over the cap this has not resulted in any increased cap space.
The 76ers still have the ability to use their full mid-level exception. Doing so would take them over the luxury tax limit of $70.3 million, but only by approximately $3.4 million, if my calculations are correct. This is significant because you cannot use the full mid-level exception if doing so takes you more than $4 million over the luxury tax. If this is the case you are then limited to a "mini mid-level" exception, a 2 year deal starting at around $2.5 million rather than the full mid-level exception.
That appears to be a moot point, as with 14 men on roster, with no more players to re-sign, the 76ers appear unlikely to use the mid-level exception this year, and even less likely to be willing to enter luxury tax territory to do so. If they do, they are more likely to use the amnesty clause on Andres Nocioni to clear enough cap space to use the full mid-level without paying the tax, but this is extremely unlikely at this point. Barring a trade, the team currently at training camp is the one you will see on opening day.
The 15th roster spot, which the 76ers have often times kept vacant for flexibility in years past, would come down to a group of Antonio Anderson, Dwyane Jones, Mike Tisdale and Xavier Silas. Silas, 6'5" shooting guard out of Northern Illinois, appears to be the front runner for this roster spot if it used.