The NBA informed teams of a new salary cap projection for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 season on Monday in a league memo. These cap projections are usually updated around twice a season to help teams plan for the future with their own cap situation.
The most recent projections indicate a bit of a dip in available spending money for franchises in 2020-21 as the new forecast calls for just a $116 million salary cap and $141 million luxury tax threshold for the 2020-21 campaign. That’s a million-dollar drop-off in both areas from past projections, but still represents a sizable jump from the $109 million cap number in 2019-20 as well as the $132.6 million luxury tax threshold.
The league also indicated that there would be a $125 million salary projection for 2021-22 and a $151 million luxury tax line.
So what kind of impact will these new projections have when it comes to the Celtics and the free agency picture in the years to come? Let’s take stock at a few areas to monitor from a C’s perspective, along with the ripple effects leaguewide.
Celtics under contract for 2020-21
Kemba Walker ($34.3 million)
Gordon Hayward ($34.1 million - player option)
Marcus Smart ($13.4 million)
Jayson Tatum ($9.8 million once team option is picked up in October)
Enes Kanter ($5 million - player option - likely to opt-out since it's an under-market deal)
Romeo Langford ($3.6 million)
Vincent Poirier ($2.6 million)
Grant Williams ($2.5 million)
Robert Williams ($2.0 million once team option is picked up in October)
Semi Ojeleye ($1.8 million non-guaranteed)
Carsen Edwards ($1.5 million)
Guaranteed money committed if Hayward opts out: $72.8 million to nine players
Guaranteed money committed if Hayward opts in: $106.9 million to ten players
How much money could the Celtics have to realistically spend in the summer of 2020?
There wasn’t going to be much flexibility for Boston to begin with if two things happen: