The Players: Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson
The Team: Toronto Raptors
The Deals: 4 years, $48 million for Lowry; 3 years, $18 million for Patterson
How does it affect the cap situation?
Via friend of the blog Blake Murphy over at Raptors Republic, Toronto had about $60 million in salary cap commitments after the Lowry deal but before the Patterson contract was handed out, assuming Lowry’s starting salary was exactly the $12 million average annual value he signed for. If we assume the same for Patterson, the Raps would have about $66 million in committed, guaranteed salary o the books. That would put them about $2.8 million over the projected cap line of $63.2 million. Of course, these figures may be off a few million in either direction depending on starting salaries.
According to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors also traded Steve Novak to the Utah Jazz in a deal that will shave about $3.5 million off their books for next season. That brings them down just under the cap before factoring in their various cap holds and draft picks.
Because the Raptors are technically still over the cap (due to those cap holds), they will still have either the taxpayer mid-level exception or the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, as well as the bi-annual exception, available to them when the player movement moratorium ends on July 10.
How does it affect the luxury tax?
Assuming starting salaries equivalent to the average annual value of their contracts, the Raps are bumping right up against the tax line and may not be able to access the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, once we factor in all their cap holds and restricted free agents. Rookie salary slots for Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira are on the books, as well as cap holds for Greivis Vasquez and Nando De Colo, while Julyan Stone and Dwight Buycks have non-guaranteed contracts.
Factoring in Patterson’s $6 million AAV deal, Murphy has the Raptors at about $75.5 million in committed salary, before subtracting that $3.5 million for Novak. This is just enough to squeeze the non-taxpayer mid-level exception under the “apron,” but bonus money could take them over, which is not allowed due to the hard cap that is triggered by use of the non-taxpayer MLE. Waiving Stone and Buycks would create more room, as would Nogueira and/or Coboclo choosing to stay overseas, or pulling back to the qualifying offers to either Vasquez or De Colo.
Probably Vasquez. Lowry needs a backup and the Raptors had a bunch of success playing two point guard lineups last season. Signing him to a deal above his qualifying offer will likely mean the jettisoning of Stone, Buycks or both, in order to free up room to use one of the mid-level exceptions.
Note: This post has been updated to reflect Toronto’s trade of Steve Novak.