We talk a lot about the salary cap and luxury tax on this site, the numbers farther up the NBA play ladder, but there is a floor, too — teams need to have at least 90 percent of the salary cap filled, or $52.81 million on the books this season.
With the addition of Tony Wroten, the Sixers have 11 guaranteed contracts (if you count first round picks) totaling $42.8 million — new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie needs to add $10 million in salary by the end of the season to make the minimum. (Salary figures via Sham Sports and Hoopsworld.) If they don’t make the number the penalty is… just having to pay what they are short to the league. So, nothing really.
This is a young team with Evan Turner, Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter Williams, Royce White, and Arnett Moultrie all on their rookie deals. The highest paid Sixer is Thaddeus Young at $8.9 million and only four Sixers make more than the league average (the others are Turner, Spencer Hawes and Jason Richardson).
It’s one of the reasons the Sixers made the Wroten deal, he is owed $1.2 million next season.
It’s just something to watch. The Sixers are rebuilding and are not going to take on long-term contracts for overpaid veterans, but they are going to have to take on some salary somewhere. They can absorb a deal in an unbalanced trade to make the mark; they may take on a contract another team wants to dump.
One way or another Philadelphia has to add $10 million in salary before the season ends. So expect some kind of move.