Discussion of the Sixers' upcoming tank job usually focuses on next year's loaded NBA Draft. The Sixers will have could very well own two lottery picks, one of their own and one from New Orleans.
But what's getting left out of this conversation is the team's current roster. You know, all the guys who will be playing and losing. What becomes of them? Will they even be here next year?
Gonzo wrote about Josh Harris' finances on Tuesday, but what about Sam Hinkie's?
If Hinkie really wants to blow up this roster, as he started to do on draft night by trading Jrue Holiday, it won't be difficult.
Consider this, there are only four guys the Sixers currently have under contract that they cannot lose via free agency next summer.
- Thaddeus Young has two more seasons at just north and south of $9 million per before his early termination option comes into play in 2015-16.
- Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams are guaranteed for two seasons before team options kick in prior to 2015-16.
- Jason Richardson, who is still alive, has a $6.6 million player option for 2014-15.
And that's it. The entire rest of the roster can be sent packing at the cost of a minimum cap hold.
Here are your free agents:
- RFA Evan Turner: Carries an $8.7 million qualifying offer.
- RFA Lavoy Allen: Carries a $3.8 million qualifying offer.
- UFA Spencer Hawes
- UFA Kwame Brown
Here are your guys with 2014-15 team options:
- Royce White
- Arnett Moultrie
- Tony Wroten
And here are your guys without guaranteed deals:
- James Anderson
- Tim Olbrecht
(Note: It is likely Furkan Aldemir and Arsalan Kazemi remain overseas this year. Even if they do play for the Sixers, they're currently without contracts, so we're leaving them out of this discussion.)
Since we're all already looking ahead to 2014-15 anyway, we won't have to wait much longer to get a peek at Sam Hinkie's plans.
The deadline for clubs to extend their restricted free agents and those players with team options is Oct. 31. You'll remember the Sixers agreed to a four-year extension with Jrue Holiday right after the home opener and right before that Oct. 31 deadline last year.
So in a little less than two months, you could see Sam Hinkie make key decisions on at least five players: Turner, Allen, White, Moultrie, Wroten.
To address Turner specifically, his qualifying offer is astronomical compared to his performance over the past three seasons. If he and the Sixers do not come to an agreement by Oct. 31, the team will have until June 30 either extend him or submit his qualifying offer. Otherwise, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
As for White, Tom Moore reported last week that the Rockets are paying White's $1.7 million salary. There have been multiple reports, including Moore's, that Aldemir was the real target of the deal.
The other three pieces, Allen, Moultrie, Wroten are all young and relatively cheap if extended.
But here's what we're ultimately getting at with the Sixers' salary cap future. If Hinkie & Co. were to jettison the free agents, not exercise the team options and abandon the non-guaranteed pieces, they could have a lot of money to play with next summer in a large free-agent class.
How much money?
If we stay with the scenario above in which the team jettisons everyone it's contractually able to and renounces its rights to those players so as the be rid of their cap holds, the Sixers would have anywhere from $28-41 million in cap space next summer, with anywhere from four to six guys on the roster. That range depends upon the number and order of their future draft picks and whether or not Jason Richardson comes back.
There are obviously less ambitious routes, but even parting with just the free agents -- Turner, Hawes, Allen and Brown -- would leave the front office with anywhere from $23-35 million.
As you can tell by reading through this, there are a lot of contingencies, and these are just a few scenarios.
Point is, Sam Hinkie could have a lot of money to play with next summer, assuming he wants it.