The NBA’s Pacific Division offers it all when it comes to salary status. Promising roster with a low payroll (Suns), excellent roster just below the luxury tax (Clippers), quality roster with some room to spend (Warriors), bad roster with little maneuverability (Kings) and no roster at all (Lakers).
We continue our series on how each team, division by division, is impacted by contract status.
A few items to remember: the luxury tax threshold for 2014-15 is expected to be $77 million, so teams will try to stay under that amount. Also, the terms for contracts can be confusing. Player option means a player can end the contract. Team option means the franchise can end the contract. Qualifying offer means a team must make that offer to a player by June 30, in which case he can accept the offer for a one-year contract and become an unrestricted free agent the next year or reject the offer and become a restricted free agent. Teams can retain their restricted free agents by matching the offer of any other team.
The salaries listed below are from hoopshype.com:
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Under contract: David Lee $15M, Andrew Bogut $13M, Andre Igoudala $12.3M, Steph Curry $10.6M, Klay Thompson $4.5M, Marreese Speights $3.7M, Harrison Barnes $2.9M, Festus Ezeli $1.1M, Nemanja Nedovic $1.1M, Ognjen Kuzmic $0.8M.
Team option: Draymond Green $0.9M.
Qualifying offer: Jordan Crawford $3.2M.
Free agent: Steve Blake *$4M, Jermaine O’Neal *$2M, Hilton Armstrong *$0.1M. *2013-14 salary.
2014-15 Salary commitments: $65.1M.
Outlook: Warriors have their team. With a little bit of space under the luxury tax. Golden State could improve.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Under contract: Chris Paul $20M, Blake Griffin $17.6M, DeAndre Jordan $11.4M, J.J. Redick $6.8M, Jamal Crawford $5.45M, Jared Dudley $4.25M, Matt Barnes $3.4M, Reggie Bullock $1.2M.
Player option: Darren Collison $2M, Big Baby Davis $1.4M.
Team option: Willie Green $1.4M.
Free agent: Ryan Hollins *$1.2M, Hido Turkoglu *$0.65M, Danny Granger *$0.35M.
2014-15 Salary commitments: $73.6M including player options; $70.2M not including player options.
Outlook: The Clippers, like most teams in the West, have their roster largely intact. The Clippers might have to replace Collison and must decide whether to venture into the luxury tax. Of course, the Clippers don’t even know who their owner is, so that might be problematic.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Under contract: Kobe Bryant $23.5M, Steve Nash $9.7M, Robert Sacre $0.9M.
Player option: Nick Young $1.2M.
Team option: Kendall Marshall $0.9M.
Free agent: Pau Gasol *$19.3M, Jordan Hill *$3.5M, Chris Kaman *$3.2M, Ryan Kelly *$0.5M, Jodie Meeks *$1.55M, Marshon Brooks *$1.3M, Jordan Farmar *$1.1M, Xavier Henry *$0.9M, Wesley Johnson *$0.9M, Kent Bazemore *$0.75M.
2014-15 Salary commitments: $35.3M including player option; $34.1 not including player option.
Outlook: The Lakers have $33.2M committed to two players who are old and decrepit. The Lakers have $900,000 committed to players (well, one player) who are not. This is a train wreck.
Under contract: Goran Dragic $7.5M, Alex Len $3.65M, Gerald Green $3.5M, Markieff Morris $3.15M, Marcus Morris $3.1M, Miles Plumlee $1.2M, Archie Goodwin $1.1M.
Player option: Channing Frye $6.8M.
Team option: Shavlik Randolph $1.2M, Ish Smith $1M.
Qualifying offer: Eric Bledsoe $3.7M.
Free agent: Emeka Okafor *$14.5M, PJ Tucker *$0.9M, Leandro Barbosa *$0.65M, Dionte Christmas *$0.5M. *2013-14 salaries.
2014-15 Salary commitments: *$32.2M including player options; *$25.4M not including player options. *-includes estimated $2M the Suns owe Michael Beasley in a buyout agreement.
Outlook: Lots of payroll space with a young and diverse roster. But Phoenix could use a superstar.
Under contract: DeMarcus Cousins $13.7M, Carl Landry $6.75M, Derrick Williams $6.7M, Jason Thompson $6M, Jason Terry $5.45M, Ben McLemore $3M, Travis Outlaw $3M, Reggie Evans $1.8M, Ray McCallum $0.8M.
Player option: Rudy Gay $19.3M.
Team option: Quincy Acy $0.9M.
Free agent: Aaron Gray *$2.6M, Isaiah Thomas *$0.8M, Jared Cunningham *$0.1M, Willie Reed *$0.06M.
2014-15 Salary commitment: $65.6M including player option, $45.9M not including player option.
Outlook: Unless Rudy Gay foolishly decides to become a free agent, the Kings are stuck with a high payroll and a bad roster. Not a good combination.