With most of the free agents signed for this summer, the attention has turned to next year. That promises to be intriguing, if not because of the players who will be available, then because of the sheer size of the contracts that can be inked.
Because of the new TV deal, the cap is expected to balloon to around $89 million. That means that a max, five-year contract for a 10-year veteran will start at around $31.2 million (35 percent of the cap) for the first year. The full five years would run up to $179.1 million with the last being worth $40.5 million.
Players who are eligible for 25 percent of the cap (generally the first six years) would be able to sign max deals for $127.9 million. And those qualified for 30 percent (seven to nine years or eligible for the Rose Rule) would get $153.5 million.
But with another giant raise the following season, will players gamble on one-year deals or take the sure money? With another CBA looming, players who roll the dice could end up making less money or more money, depending on what happens. It’s all going to be a giant crapshoot.
Here’s a look at the top players who will be facing decisions. For the purpose of this article, I assume that teams with options on players worth keeping will keep them.