The Players: Patty Mills & Boris Diaw
The Team: San Antonio Spurs
The Contracts: Mills – 3 years/$12 million; Diaw – 3 years/$22.5 million. Diaw’s deal is reported heavily frontloaded with 18.5 guaranteed over years 1 and 2, while the third year is partially guaranteed.
How does it affect the cap situation? Via Basketball Insiders, these deals plus the rookie scale contract for Kyle Anderson put the Spurs at $67.2 million in guarantees for next year with 13 players already under contract. The Spurs have extended the requisite $1.1m qualifying offer to Aron Baynes and hold Bird rights to Matt Bonner. Though over the 2014/15 salary cap, they have both the full Mid-Level Exception and the Bi-Annual Exception available if they choose to pursue options aside from Baynes and Bonner.
How does it affect the luxury tax? Barring a shockingly large contract to Bonner the Spurs aren’t in any danger of hitting the luxury tax line. Using both exceptions would put them at around $74.6m with 15 players under contract.
What’s next? Never a team to rest on their laurels, the Spurs will explore possible upgrades at those last two roster spots. Players rumored to have caught the Spurs attention include Pau Gasol, Caron Butler, Kent Bazenmore and Marvin Williams. Gasol would likely be the top choice if San Antonio can convince him to accept just the MLE as his passing ability and adequate versatility to play in either the high or low post would make him a perfect rotation big man in the Spurs system, as well as providing a useful deputy for the inevitable “DNP-olds” Tim Duncan takes this coming season.