The NBA last night released the salary cap for the 2009-10 season will be $57.7 million, and that the luxury tax level will be $69.92 million. As expected, the Wizards are over the limit by just under $6 million ($5.8 million to be exact).
It means, if the Wizards’ roster stands as it is by the 2009-10 trade deadline, at the conclusion of the season, they will owe the NBA $5.88 million (matching dollar for dollar the amount they exceed the tax limit).
That the luxury tax limit dropped is no surprise, as word first surfaced in February that it would be decreasing from the 2008-09 figure of $71.15 million to the new $69.92.
The Wizards’ tax bill likely will increase given that they remain in the market for a veteran big man to provide depth at center and/or power forward, but have made little progress toward making a signing. As previously reported, the Wizards are in no rush to land a player, hoping instead to hold out and find a player for close to the veteran’s minimum later this summer. The only way their salary figure would not go up would be if they were able to acquire a big man in a trade.
Antonio McDyess, a player the Wizards would like to land, but know they can’t afford, is reportedly being courted urgently by the San Antonio Spurs, who are willing to offer him a three-year contract that would start at the mid-level exception of $5.84 million.
Another prospect on the Wizards’ radar, Channing Frye is according to the Denver Post, now being pursued by Denver, Phoenix and Cleveland.
This activity, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, hasn’t caused a spike in urgency for the Wizards, however, as they remain confident they can find the needed piece (a big-bodied veteran that can play five to 10 minutes a game) at the low cost they can afford.
In other Wizards news, the summer league minicamp will run Saturday through Monday, rather than the Friday start date that was originally expected.