Upon becoming anNBA fan many moons ago, I was told that there would be not math, well, outside of determining scoring averages and such. So whenever the headlines veer into salary cap and luxury tax land, eye rolling commences. What I can say with certainty, because the NBA released the information,is the following: The Salary Cap for the 2012-13 season will be 58.044 million. The tax level for the 2012-13 season has been set at 70.307 million. Any team whose team salary exceeds that figure will pay a 1 tax for each 1 by which it exceeds 70.307 million. The Salary Cap and tax level, both of which are unchanged from 2011-12 amounts, go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 11, when the league's "moratorium period" ends and teams can begin signing free agents and making trades. The minimum team salary, which is set at 85 percent of the Salary Cap, is 49.337 million for the 2012-13 season. Three different mid-level exceptions depending on a team's salary level. The non-taxpayer mid-level for this season is 5.0 million, the taxpayer mid-level is 3.09 million and the mid-level for a team with room under the Salary Cap is 2.575 million.Lots of numbers there and from I can tell, nothing terribly surprising, at least with the salary cap and tax news.Now the question is what does any of thismean for the Wizards. For that kind of help, I tag in SBNation's Mike Prada."It's now becoming more clear just where the Wizards stand against that number. According to my calculations, the Wizards are currently paying 60,239,472 to 12 players, including first-round draft pick Bradley Beal. They also currently have cap holds worth 854,389 to five free agents: Brian Cook, Cartier Martin, Roger Mason, James Singleton and Morris Almond. "The Wizards can release any of those cap holds to change their salary-cap number, but doing so would remove all Bird Rights they'd have to the player, meaning they could only re-sign them using exceptions such as the mid-level and bi-annual."Of those five free agents, bringing back Martin and Mason makes the most depth chart and need sense with Singleton not far behind.Prada also delves into the financial impact of using or not using the available amnesty clause on Andray Blatche. One day after a leading NBA salary cap expert forecasted the Wizards not using the option on Blatche or anyone else, some outlets are reporting the Wizardsare analyzing the scenario with "renewed consideration."Obviously much of the argument for jettisoning Blatche involves more than dollars, at least to those not tasked with stroking a 23 million check. Prada'sbasic conclusion? Any "immediate salary-cap space gained is negligible" and not enough to supersede the team likely using the mid-level exception as their primary free agent option."I think this is why you see some reluctance to immediately using the amnesty clause on Blatche," Prada wrote. "For all the very relevant non-cap reasons to let him go, it's not like the Wizards could use his 7.2-million salary on someone else.",
To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Marcin Gortat's season...
Player: Marcin Gortat
2017-18 salary: $12.8 million
2017-18 stats: 82 G, 25.3 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 51.8 FG%, 67.5 FT%, 51.8 eFG%, 112 ORtg, 107 DRtg
Best game: 10/18 vs. Sixers - 16 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, assist, 7-for-12 FG
Season review: Marcin Gortat is self-aware enough to know that what happened to him in 2017-18 was inevitable in many ways. He even publicly called it before the season.
He was one year older, with Ian Mahinmi healthy and in the rotation, and with the NBA continuing to move towards small-ball and big men who can play on the perimeter. As a result, Gortat saw his role in the Wizards rotation pared down noticeably.
Though he still started all 82 games, his minutes went down from 31.2 per game the year before the 25.3. Kelly Oubre, Jr., who played the majority of the season coming off the bench, logged more minutes than Gortat, though he was a starter.
Gortat's minutes were his fewest since the 2009-10 season, when he was a 25-year-old bench player for the Orlando Magic. His numbers this season followed suit. Gortat's points and rebounds per game were both the lowest since that 2009-10 campaign.
Gortat averaged a career-best 10.4 rebounds per game in 2016-17, but the minutes had a direct effect on his volume of boards. He pulled in 2.4 less per game this season despite his rebound percentage (17.0) being close to his career average (17.5). That career average, by the way, is 30th-best all-time an eighth among active players.
Not getting the same opportunities he had in years past, plus public misunderstandings with teammates, combined to make for a frustrating year for Gortat. He said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast midseason it was the worst year of his career. Gortat, though, did continue to make an impact setting screens for the Wizards and he rallied to finish relatively strong.
He had several solid outings in the playoffs, including his 16 points in Game 3 and his 12 rebounds in Game 5. The question is whether that is the last time we will see Gortat in a Wizards uniform.
Washington has played with the idea of trading Gortat for a while now. He popped up in rumors around the trade deadline in February, but remained on the roster. Now he has an expiring contract working in his favor, making it a bit more likely he gets dealt.
Gortat knows his future in Washington is uncertain, though he said following the season he would like to stay. It would not be surprising to him or anyone if he were traded this summer. If not, he's got one year left with the Wizards and could very well have his role decreased even more.
Potential to improve: Rim protection, midrange shooting, free throw percentage
More player season reviews:
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To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s season...
Player: Kelly Oubre, Jr.
Position: Small forward
2017-18 salary: $2.1 million
2017-18 stats: 81 G, 27.5 mpg, 11.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.4 bpg, 40.3 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 82.0 FT%, 48.2 eFG%, 106 ORtg, 109 DRtg
Best game: 3/21 at Spurs - 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 9-for-17 FG, 3-for-6 3PT
Season review: The first half of Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s 2017-18 season went very differently than the second half. Through 46 games to begin the year, Oubre shot 44.9 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from the perimeter. Oubre then shot just 34.9 percent from the field and 27.4 percent from three in his last 35 games to close the regular season. That included a stretch from March 25 through April 5 in which he shot 2-for-35 from long range and 23-for-77 (29.9%) overall in seven games.
As his head coach described, Oubre had a tale of two seasons. By mid-January it appeared to be a breakout year, as he was scoring consistently and shooting at a high percentage. He was even limiting his mistakes on defense. Then, his shot went away and Oubre could never quite regain it.
All in all, Oubre's season represented a step forward. He proved he could be a top-six player in a playoff rotation and had extended stretches of success he can draw confidence from in the future.
Now Oubre enters his biggest offseason yet as a basketball player. He has just one year left on his rookie scale contract and will be in line for a considerable raise if he keeps developing. If Oubre takes even a slight step forward, he will make big money in his next contract. If he takes a major leap forward, like Otto Porter did when he was in the same position in 2016-17, he could earn way more money than the Wizards can afford as currently constructed.
That dynamic gives the Wizards a decision to make this summer on Oubre's future. He has significant trade value at this point, given his upside and his contract. He is due to make just $3.2 million next season and will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If they don't see a long-term future for him in Washington, trading him this offseason should not be ruled out.
It figures to be a busy summer for the Wizards and when it comes to Oubre there are a lot of factors in play. If they want financial flexibility, another option would be to deal Porter or another frontcourt starter and roll with Oubre as a less expensive option. Though his season was inconsistent, Oubre has shown enough to warrant consideration as a starter.
Regardless of what the Wizards decide, Oubre himself is in good shape. If he keeps getting better, he will earn a nice deal whether it's in Washington or somewhere else. He just needs to find consistency on both ends of the floor.
He can do that on offense by tightening up his ball-handling and improving his ability to get to the rim. That would allow him to circumnavigate the type of shooting struggles that held him back late in the year.
Defensively, he has all the natural ability needed to be an elite player. He just needs to limit the gambles he takes that turn into blown assignments or unnecessary fouls.
Potential to improve: Consistency, efficiency, ball-handling
MORE PLAYER SEASON REVIEWS:
- John Wall: A year defined by injuries
- Bradley Beal: No Wizard had a better year
- Otto Porter: More improvement is needed
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