With all the attention that's placed on the salary cap, people can sometimes forget there’s also a salary floor. It’s not often we see that come in to play – spending too little is one problem the Flyers will never encounter – but after trading Jrue Holiday for draft picks and making no attempt to sign any free agents, the 76ers are way under.
According to ProBasketballTalk, the acquisition of Tony Wroten brings the Sixers to about $10 million below the NBA’s floor. Given that the franchise is not interested in adding any big contracts, and there are no remaining free agents worth awarding that amount of money in the first place, it’s difficult to see how Sam Hinkie is going to get there without some wheeling and dealing.
Which begs the question: what happens if the Sixers don’t get above the minimum?
The short answer is nothing.
Nothing happens to the Sixers. They are going to take that $10 million figure or whatever it happens to be once the season starts, and they’re going to write a check to the NBA.
With the addition of Tony Wroten, the Sixers have 11 guaranteed contracts (if you count first round picks) totaling $42.8 million — new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie needs to add $10 million in salary by the end of the season to make the minimum. (Salary figures via Sham Sports and Hoopsworld.) If they don’t make the number the penalty is… just having to pay what they are short to the league. So, nothing really.
The important thing here is there is no real penalty if the Sixers don’t reach the floor. A franchise can be as terrible as they want as long as they are willing to foot the bill.