The Players: Steve Blake, Chris Kaman
The Team: Portland Trailblazers
The Contract: 2 years, $4.2 million with a second year player option for Blake; 2 years, $9.8 million for Kaman
How does it affect the cap situation?
Portland is using its biannual exception on Blake and their midlevel exception on Kaman.
The salary cap is set at $63.065 million for 2014-2015, with the luxury tax at $76.289. Sham Sports currently has the Blazers at $71.093 in salaries and cap holds; this includes Kaman’s deal, but is not updated with Blake’s. So, after adding Blake’s $2.1 million for next year, Portland will have $73.193 in salaries and holds.
They’re above the cap, but as you’ll see below, it shouldn’t be much of a problem.
How does it affect the luxury tax?
The previously mentioned $73.193 million in salaries and cap holds is a little more than $3 million under the luxury tax. Using the bi-annual exception on Blake also hard-caps the Blazers at the luxury tax apron for the entirety of this season.
Unless they make any major salary shedding moves, which would be surprising, the Blazers will be over the cap next season. As long as the Blazers don’t give Mo Williams a significant raise from the $2.652 million he made in 2013-2014, they shouldn’t have to worry about paying the luxury tax. His cap hold is currently $3.182, meaning the Blazers could pay him a little over $6 million next year before paying the tax, assuming no other moves occur that would increase salary.
It may not be this season, but the luxury tax will most likely be an issue at some point in the near future. The team will be looking to extend LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, and both will command big deals. Remember, Lillard is still on his rookie contract. His pay raise will be quite large.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Blazers bring back Mo Williams, although they have the flexibility with Blake to let him walk if the market gets out of hand. Otherwise, it looks like Portland won’t be making any more significant moves this offseason. Their core is likely in place, and adding these two were solid bench upgrades.
Keeping Aldridge and Lillard around will likely be the next major moves the Blazers make, but it looks like that won’t happen until next summer.