OK, I just want to clear up a few things here and try to make our cash situation a little more clear. It looks like we can count on having at least $24m to work with, and here is how I came to this conclusion. This is a little long so bear with me. First of all, no, we won't know for sure EXACTLY how much money we have to spend until we find out what the salary cap is for next season, after they hammer out the new CBA. What we DO know is that the cap is going up, and probably by a large amount. Here's what else we know. The following 9 players are under contract for 05-06: Snow, LeBron, Gooden, Newble, Lucious Harris, Luke Jackson, Jiri Welsch, Sasha, and AV. We have $26.1m committed to those 9 guys. (Traylor has a $1.76m team option that we can pick up. This is not included.) Now then, Lucious Harris has a buyout in his contract that will almost certainly be used, although I'm not sure of the amount. The amount of the buyout DOES count against the cap, but the buyout can be no more than HALF of his $2.75m salary next year. Let's say it's $1m. It may be less, but we'll go with that. That makes it $24.4m committed to 8 guys. This year's salary cap was $43.8m. If the cap were exactly the same next year, we'd have roughly $19.4m to spend after buying out Harris. But the cap is rising, so we will have more than that. Why is the cap rising? Well first of all, the cap rises naturally almost every year. It is determined by a percentage of the league's BRI (basketball related income). Under the current CBA, only once has the cap not gone up, and that was due to a major change in the TV contract. There's something else we know. The owners, reportedly, have said they will be RAISING the percentage of BRI that determines the salary cap. Right now, the cap is defined as 48% of BRI. There's a chance it could rise to around 55%. If they did this, it would increase the cap to $50.3m! This is without even factoring in a rise in BRI, which occurs naturally. If the cap did rise this high, we'd have over $26m to spend (after buying out Harris). Now, the percentage increase may not really be that high, but remember you have to assume BRI will go up by itself, in ADDITION to whatever percentage raise they use. So even with a change to, say, 52%... a sharp rise in BRI could still bring the cap to the $48-$50m range. OK, so what am I trying to say? Basically, I am saying that it is "safe" to count on having $24m to spend on free agents this offseason. We may very well have more than that! But when you are thinking about who you want to pick up, and making projections, that's a safe, round number to use: $24 million. We have no draft picks, either, so additional salary will only come from free agents or trades (and Traylor's option, if picked up). Remember there will also be other exceptions, such as the MLE (mid level exception) that can be used once you hit the cap (but the way you can use the MLE will be changing in the new CBA). Also keep in mind that it looks like the organization plans on trading Jiri Welsch. If it's for a draft pick, that frees up another $2.2m. If the draft pick was for the upcoming draft, factor in a rookie contract.