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The Wizards salary cap situation is ideal: Here’s why

Breaking down the future salary cap numbers in Washington

Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma pose with Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins
Ben Golliver/The Washington Post

A year ago, the Wizards were hellbent on saving their roster. Despite tight spending limits, owner Ted Leonsis okay’d Tommy Sheppard’s decision to pay Bradley Beal.

After giving Beal $251 million, Washington’s cap space became scarce. A minute budget meant relying on guys on vet minimum deals to fill the gaps. Players like Taj Gibson and Anthony Gill were called upon to step up.

As a result, depth failed them.

This organization was in purgatory. A middle-of-the-pack team, 6th seed at best, that had $251 million invested in a number two option and was about to pay big money next offseason to their other star players. Luckily, Tommy Sheppard was fired before he could do more damage.

Now, under new leadership, the future looks bright for the first time since 2017. Bradley Beal’s supermax contract is off the books. Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t given $30 million per season like we all expected. Kyle Kuzma’s contract turned out to be cheaper than we thought.

Will Dawkins came in, got rid of the bad contracts, and has this team on an OKC-type track.

After all that praise, it’s only right that I provide the people with a full breakdown of the Wizards salary cap for the next four years.

*Salary cap figures found on

Each year will include the top four earners, expiring deals, and notes highlighting some key dates and player/team options.


Jordan Poole: $27,955,357

Kyle Kuzma: $25,568,182

Tyus Jones: $14,000,000

Daniel Gafford: $12,402,000

Poole, as our highest paid player, makes up 15% of the team’s total cap figure. For reference, Bradley Beal took up nearly 25% of the Wizards cap space last season.

Free Agents after this season:

Tyus Jones

Delon Wright

*Deni Avdija*

Danilo Gallinari

Mike Muscala

Anthony Gill

*Landry Shamet*

That’s $51,008,498 off the books this summer. The Wizards will likely bring some of these guys back, but it’s nice to have that level of cap flexibility.

Important notes:

  • Landry Shamet is owed $10 million this season, but his contract for 2024-25 is non-guaranteed, meaning the Wizards would be off the books.
  • Corey Kispert, Johnny Davis, and Patrick Baldwin Jr. have an October 31st deadline for their team options. If exercised, which is likely, they’ll be under contract for the 2024-25 season.
  • Washington still has the non-taxpayer mid-level exception available to use.
  • Deni Avdija will be a restricted free agent - Wizards have bird rights, meaning they can match any offer sheet and retain Avdija.
  • Xavier Cooks contract for next season is non-guarenteed - Wiz can cut ties for free.


Jordan Poole: $30,151,786

Kyle Kuzma: $23,522,727

Daniel Gafford: $13,394,160

Bilal Coulibaly: $6,945,240

Bilal becoming our 4th highest paid player while still on his rookie deal forecasts how much cap space we’ll have in a few years.

Free Agents after this season:

*Landry Shamet

Corey Kispert

Ryan Rollins

I’m confident the Wizards will begin extension talks with Kispert well before he hits the open market. But if they can’t agree to terms, he’ll become a restricted free agent.

Important notes:

  • The Wizards have bird rights for Corey Kispert, meaning they can match any offer sheet and retain Kispert.
  • Landry Shamet: $11.75 million team option
  • Xavier Cooks: $2.1 million team option
  • Johnny Davis and Patrick Baldwin Jr. have an October 31st deadline for their 4th-year team options
  • Bilal Coulibaly has an October 31st deadline for his 3rd-year option


Jordan Poole: $32,348,215

Kyle Kuzma: $21,477,273

Daniel Gafford: $14,386,320

Bilal Coulibaly: $7,275,600

Considering many Wizards fans thought Kyle Kuzma would receive upwards of $30 million annually, the fact that he’s getting paid close to $20 million this season is a bargain!

Free Agents after this season:

Daniel Gafford

Johnny Davis

Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Xavier Cooks

With Cooks’ deal being non-guaranteed, he might be gone before this. But if he’s still here for the 2025-26 season, it’ll be his last on his current contract.

Important notes:

  • Wizards have bird rights on Johnny Davis and Patrick Baldwin Jr, who become restricted free agents after this season.


Jordan Poole: $34,544.642

Kyle Kuzma: $19,431,818

Bilal Coulibaly: $9,240,012

Again, look at Kuzma’s cap hit. His $19 million salary is in the same category as Jonathon Isaac, Collin Sexton, and Duncan Robinson. Just tremendous work by Will Dawkins and his staff.

Free Agents after this season:

Jordan Poole

Kyle Kuzma

Bilal Coulibaly

This is the last year with contracts on the books for the Wizards. By this time, the sheet will be full of guaranteed salaries. But for now, only three players are under contract.

My three biggest takeaways from our cap sheets:

  1. Flexibility: The Wizards have tons of wiggle room. They have space to extend their young core of Deni, Corey, Johnny, and Bilal. Additionally, Dawkins could trade some veterans at this year’s deadline to create even more cap space.
  2. Kuzma’s contract: The declining values in Kuzma’s deal make it so the bulk of his money comes in the first two years, then it becomes team-friendly in years three and four. Not only does it make it easier to build a contender around him and Poole, but if those two don’t work out, that contract is very moveable. A contender would snatch him up in a heartbeat if made available under that contract.
  3. A Deni Avdija extension: If the Wizards kept their core together, finding cap space for Deni would’ve been tough. Now, more than ever, that’s a possibility. The money is there for the taking. It’s up to Deni to earn it.

Comment Question: Does Deni Avdija earn a contract extension this season? If so, what does that extension look like numbers wise?