2013 salary cap and luxury tax status

The NBA salary cap is projected to be $58.6 million for the 2013-14 season. The Nuggets currently have 10 players with guaranteed contracts totaling $51.3 million: Lawson, McGee, Gallinari, Chandler, A. Miller, Arthur, Randolph, Fournier, Faried, and Hamilton. Quincy Miller also has a partial guarantee of $150 thousand. Due to cap holds for free agents, the Nuggets will be treated as a team over the salary cap and can therefore only sign players using the following methods:

– Bird rights for Iguodala, Brewer, and Mozgov, and Early Bird rights for Stone. The Nuggets can sign the first three players for any amount up to the maximum salary, and Stone for any amount up to $5.4 million.

– If Quincy Miller is not waived, his contract becomes fully guaranteed for an additional $639 thousand on opening night (totaling $789 thousand).

– The mid-level exception. The Nuggets can sign another team’s free agent for up to $5.15 million, or split the amount between multiple players.

– The bi-annual exception. The Nuggets can sign another team’s free agent for up to $2.02 million.

– The minimum salary. Teams can acquire any number of players for the minimum, which is usually treated as $789 thousand for salary cap purposes.

– The Nuggets can also participate in trades, including sign-and-trades. Incoming salary can be no more than 125 percent plus $100 thousand of the outgoing salary.

The luxury tax is projected to be $71.6 million. This leaves the Nuggets with $20.2 million with which to fill 3-5 roster spots while remaining under the luxury tax line.

Post your favorite free agency scenarios in the comments section below.

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Tom Darrow

Fourth generation Denver native, stay-at-home dad with a masters degree in applied mathematics, and all-around geek with a passion for Nuggets basketball.
  • Scott

    It just pains me to see all these bigger market teams being able to seemingly bring in whoever they want with multiple superstars yet we can barely afford a couple “semi-stars”. I know the league is on the right track to fix this but when Silver comes in I hope he gives all teams a fair chance.

    • toluene hawk

      All teams do have a fair chance, that’s what a capitalistic market is.

      • heykyleinsf

        wait… I’m intrigued.
        Could you define and expound on “capitalistic market” a bit?
        I totally want to understand what you’re getting at.

        • toluene hawk

          I’m getting at: every team has a fair chance to sign whomever they please, but it is ultimately up to the player to choose where they want to work. Be it colleagues, money, location, etc.

          • tytechortz

            Actually, the professional sports leagues in the US are very socialist. Here is a good explanation.


            Every team may certainly NOT sign whomever they want. They only have a certain number of slots on the team, a salary cap, and all teams share revenue (wealth distribution.)

            • Charliemyboy

              I’m not sure socialism is the correct reflection on the NBA’s rules. We can all succeed in our country as long as we obey laws and seek to get better. But we couldn’t if laws weren’t in place to provide guidelines. Those are the rules in the NBA: guidelines. Without such, there would be little equal competition, the richest cities taking the hat.

  • David Acker

    It looks like doom and gloom to me. We can’t really go after anyone big except Iggy. That may not be a bad thing as we need role players. Korver should be our second priority behind re-signing Iggy. I’m not sure of the back-up point guard market but we need to trade Miller and get a speedster that can defend backing up Ty

    • herpderpnuggets

      korver is going to the nets and dunleavy is on the bulls and bellinelli is interviewing with some other teams….

      • David Acker

        Yeah that’s the rumour but not 100%. The Clips just got Reddick and Dudley, If Denver doesn’t make a move they could easily slide to the 7th seed or even lower in the West. That’s how stacked the West is. Time to put up or shut up Kronke

      • David Acker

        Any thoughts on Aaron Brooks?? What about Neal from the Spurs he’s restricted but he could back up Ty and he can shoot the three ball??

        • herpderpnuggets

          spurs already sent him an offer, and he had great success there, we just need to get andre miller off the team dammit

          • David Acker

            Thanks for the info I’m a bit behind the 8ball in the land down under. MILLER MUST GO!

  • dynamo.joe

    4/48 with a player option on the 5th year for Iggy and 4/32 with a reasonable buyout on the 4th ($3M) for AK-47.

    Trade Darrell Arthur and Andre Miller for Trevor Booker and Trevor Ariza.

    And I thought Brandon Wright was a free agent? Pick him up and let Mozgov walk.

  • steve

    i think Nuggets are in a solid position…i think we need to let Shaw play with this roster this year and make the necessary moves next year. We should be a top 6 team in west. Resign iggy for 4 year 48 mill with a player option of 5th year. Bring in a backup C, prob a vet to play alongside Mcgee and Mozgov.

    I wouldn’t mind signing a wing 3 point shooter but with Hamilton we may already have that. At worst maybe someone like Francisco Garcia for on a the cheaper that can play wing and knock down some 3s.

    Next year, we make the big trade to get who we need. We have so many assets that a trade can happen.

    • herpderpnuggets

      delfino just got waved and ive always liked him, maybe thats an option for the wing shooter

  • EWilson

    The first thing one should say is that the Nuggets shouldn’t rush out to sign a back up C. The longer teams wait in free agency, the cheaper the contracts will be. Yes, you might risk losing someone, but the truth is that in free agency, you want to set a price for each of your needs and stick to it. Failing to do that is how you end up in cap hell.

  • Ghostface Killah

    i think we let brewer and stone walk, resign iggy and try and sign Tony Allen and Nate Robinson. Allen would give help our defense and Robinson would give us scoring off the bench. Also trade Andre Miller for basically nothing to get more cap room for the Allen/Robinson signings.

    Starting Line-up

    Nate Robinson
    Will the Thrill

    • DavidRMC

      Iggy and Allen are redundant and Denver could not afford both anyway. Robinson would take up the entire MLE at the very least and the last thing Denver needs is an undersized guard who they need to hide on defense.

      I agree with letting Brewer walk (as much as it pains me), resigning Iggy would make things too tight to squeeze him in.

      • EWilson

        Allen would be a serviceable, and cheaper, replacement if they can’t re-sign Iguodala, but he’ll be off the market before Iguodala makes his decision, I’m afraid. I do think that if Iguodala chooses to sign elsewhere, the Nuggets brass should think carefully before spending the money they’d save on someone else. There’s nothing wrong with being under the cap and having the flexibility to act if none of the available free agents really meets the teams need. Losing Iguodala would definitely hurt the team, but panicking to replace him won’t necessarily help.

  • theweatherman53

    So I just heard that the trailblazers are trying to shop Lamarcus Aldridge for a Center and are looking to the bulls for help. They want Noah and Butler and I think something else, but here’s my thought, I’m just not sure what else the trailblazers would need to make it work. It would be great for the nuggets as it takes a big step to becoming a better defensive team and gives them a very solid spot up shooter. Its great for the bulls as it bags them Lamarcus Aldridge and some cap space. The big question is, will the Blazers accept anything less than Joakim Noah at center. Or I could be completely insane and this deal could be way out of reach. Anyway I’d love to find some way to take Joakim Noah off of Chicago’s hands. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lufsnm5

    • Warner Dean

      I like the idea but the blazers would never do this. They’d be taking on a lot of additional salary and McGee isn’t in the same league as Noah as far as starting centers go in the nba. There’s a reason why the blazers have been insistent on getting Noah in return, he’s an all star. Getting to wings doesn’t make up for that. If the nuggets could somehow swing McGee into a similar type of trade in the future id love that, but they’d almost certainly have to add an asset in order for a team to take on his contract

  • Jared Rogers

    what about Erick green the rookie? he has a great wing presence with a good sense of defense, only reason he didn’t get more attention was he didn’t play with a good team.

  • eddi0

    Personally think we let Iguodala walk, we can get better value with other players/combinations. Tony Allen would be a great place to start but how about also Milsap or Al Jefferson. We do not have a low post presence at all with Faried and/or McGee and by having either ex-Jazz player we could get better spacing for outside shots.