According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks of ESPN, the 2020-21 NBA salary cap will be around $113 million, down from an initial projection of $116 million before the 2019-20 NBA season started.
The main reason why the salary cap projection went down is due to revenue losses from China, when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong’s autonomy, which the mainland government took offense. Those lowered the amount of NBA coverage in China this season and sponsorships were taken away.
The current season’s salary cap is at $109.14 million with a luxury cap threshold at $132.627 million. According to Hoopshype, the Wizards have $129.838 million in committed salaries this season and have $97.749 million in committed salaries for the 2020-21 season.
What does the salary cap news mean for the Wizards in 2020-21?
In short, Washington can’t do much in free agency without making some trades. Even if the salary cap was at $116 million or a bit higher, their situation wouldn’t change very much for next season.
Assuming the salary cap is $113 million in the 2020-21 NBA season, the Wizards would have about $15.25 million in cap space to sign draft picks and free agents. Ian Mahinmi’s contract will go off the books and could give Washington enough room to re-sign Davis Bertans, if he does so at a salary well under $15 million. Still, I find it unlikely given that Bertans is an elite shooter and a coveted trade deadline target.
John Wall and Bradley Beal will be the two highest-paid players next season with $41.25 million and $28.75 million cap hits, respectively. To make a true dent in free agency (when they sign players outright), they would likely have to trade Beal in a cost-cutting move. That’s because Beal is still healthy and in his prime.
Wall on the other hand, is likely “untradeable” until he plays at least some NBA games. His rehab seems to be going smoothly, but we still have no idea how he will play in meaningful NBA games.