Notes: Salary cap, free agency, numbers
The Portland Trail Blazers obtained a trade exception worth about $560,000 via the draft-day trade of Martell Webster. The total is derived from the $460,000 from Webster’s contract, with an NBA standard $100,000 added. Portland will hold on to the exception no matter what it decides to do with Gomes — the must either waive, keep or trade him by 3 p.m. Tuesday. However, the value of the trade exception cannot be combined with the Blazers’ mid-level exception.
The exact value of the MLE will not be determined until the NBA conducts an annual audit in July, but it is expected to be worth about $5.7 million. Portland will then be able to offer the MLE to a free agent beginning July 1, and the contract’s value will increase by eight percent annually. The offer can run from 2-5 years, but the Blazers will likely extend a five-year offer in the attempt to lure in a top-tier veteran. In recent years, Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, and Rasheed Wallace have all been signed via the MLE.
Portland is near the NBA’s luxury tax, which is currently set at $68 million and is above the salary cap. However, by releasing Gomes, among other things, Portland would be able to stay below the tax next season.
The Blazers also hold the bi-annual exception, which is expected to be worth about $2 million.