Wizards Lose NBA Draft Lottery Tie-Breaker, But Have Almost $27 Million in Cap Space | Truth About It.net

Wizards Lose NBA Draft Lottery Tie-Breaker, But Have Almost $27 Million in Cap Space

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Updated: April 16, 2010

The Wizards have a 10.3% chance of getting this guy with the top pick.

{flickr/Tennessee Journalist}

The NBA Draft Lottery

First, the Wizards lost this afternoon’s random drawing against the Golden State Warriors to break the tie for fourth place in the NBA Draft Lottery (first reported by Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area on Twitter).

What it means is that the worst the Wizards can pick, if they are jumped by three teams like last year, is 8th in the draft. Obviously the best the Wizards can do is 1st, or they can win 2nd or 3rd.

If the Wizards are jumped by one team, they will pick 6th; two teams means the 7th pick. The Wiz can also be jumped by no one and stay at 5th. The one pick in the top eight that Washington will not be getting is the 4th. Just can’t happen.

What losing the tie-breaker doesn’t mean is that the Wizards won’t really lose out on many lottery “combinations” … just one. Tied teams in the draft lottery split the total combinations between their two spots. Combined, fourth (119) and fifth (88) total 207 combinations. The Warriors will get the odd combo and have 104 total; the Wizards will have 103 and thus a 10.3% chance to win the first overall pick.

It’s not great to lose the random drawing to the Warriors, but it might not be that bad. Remember, the Wizards won the drawing against the Los Angeles Clippers last year for the second spot and ended up getting jumped by three teams. The Clippers won the first overall pick and the Blake Griffin sweepstakes.

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on May 18th.

Salary Cap Room

Second, the NBA is projecting a salary cap of about $56.1 million next season, which is a tad higher than earlier $54 million or below projections.

Assuming that the Wizards do not extend a qualifying offer to Randy Foye, making him an unrestricted free-agent, and Quinton Ross takes his $1,146,337 million player option, the Wizards will have around $29 million committed in salary for next season. Here’s the list (via Sham Sports):

  1. Gilbert Arenas – $17,730,693
  2. Andray Blatche – $3,260,331
  3. Al Thornton – $2,814,196
  4. Nick Young – $2,630,503
  5. JaVale McGee – $1,601,040
  6. Quinton Ross – $1,146,337

TOTAL:  $29,183,100

Mathematically, $56.1 million minus $29,183,100 provides the Wizards with around $26,916,900 million in cap space. But remember, they have two first round draft picks, theirs and Cleveland’s, and a high second rounder … so this number will go down depending on where their lottery pick will be slotted in the NBA rookie salary scale.

Also remember, the team doesn’t even have to use all of their cap space. Ernie Grunfeld has previously said that he may save some money for the Summer of 2011 (Carmelo Anthony anyone?). I’d prefer management to practice a lot of patience this summer (no Joe Johnson, no Amar’e Stoudemire, no Carlos Boozer, no over-paying for Rudy Gay).

In the least, the Wizards will have to sign seven players to meet the NBA roster minimum of 13, and will have to spend at least $12,891,900 to meet the team salary minimum of $42,075,000 (75% of the $56.1 million salary cap). And again, some of this will be absorbed by their rookies.

It’s going to be an “interesting” summer folks, enjoy the ride.


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