Reviewing every NBA Team’s “Salary Dump” Candidates with new CBA

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Zach LaVine
Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) lays up the ball past Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Randall Benton)

The NBA‘s new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Player’s Association begins to take effect on July 1, 2023. President of the NBAPA CJ McCollum was gracious enough to give teams two seasons to prepare their books ahead of the new CBA and its daunted second tax apron, a clause that effectively handcuffs teams around $17.5 million over the luxury tax line from being able to garner additional talent, as franchises locked into the second apron are unable to sign free agents using the taxpayer mid-level exception or add players on the buyout market. For a comprehensive breakdown of the new CBA and its ramifications, check out Sam Quinn’s piece on CBS Sports.

The second apron has additional repercussions for teams in trades, as those locked in are unable to send out cash, move picks more than six years in advance, or make a trade in which they take on more salary than they send out. Beginning this offseason, teams who surpass the second apron in salary will lose their taxpayer mid level exception and will only be allowed to take back 110 percent of the salary they send out in trades. It’s been clear that the NBA’s organizations have taken these changes seriously — albeit, some teams more than others — and many have already taken measures in preparation of the second apron coming into effect in the 2024-2025 season.

For example, the Denver Nuggets traded away a 2024 first-round pick and the 40th-overall pick in this upcoming draft to the Indiana Pacers in return for picks 29 and 32 in 2023. This move enables the reigning champions to add rotation players on rookie-scale contracts, allowing them to increase their depth without fear of encroaching the second apron.

The Golden State Warriors just made a financial move, as well, opting to send Jordan Poole and his four-year, $128 million contract, a 2030 first-round pick, and Ryan Rollins to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Chris Paul. While this move could prove useful on the court, it’s pretty clear that dumping Poole’s albatross deal was the primary motivator for this deal.

This had me thinking: what other players across the NBA might have significantly lower trade values now due to their contracts and the new CBA? Here’s a look at every NBA teams’ potential salary dump candidates, with all contract details provided by Spotrac.

1. Atlanta Hawks

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey drives against Atlanta Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Hakim Wright Sr.)

John Collins: two years remaining + Player Option in 2025-2026, $26.13 million Average Annual Value

Clint Capela: two years, $22.94 million AAV

De’Andre Hunter: four years, $22.5 million AAV

Bogdan Bogdanovic: three years + Team Option in 2026-2027, $17 million AAV

2. Boston Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon: two years, $22.5 million AAV

Derrick White: two years, $18.96 million AAV

3. Brooklyn Nets

Ben Simmons: two years, $39.12 million AAV

4. Charlotte Hornets

Terry Rozier: three years (third year 93 percent guaranteed), $24.9 million AAV

5. Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) dribbles the ball during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Zach LaVine: three years + PO in 2026-2027, $44.52 million AAV

Lonzo Ball: one year + PO in 2024-2025, $20.9 million AAV

6. Cleveland Cavaliers

Jarrett Allen: three years, $20 million AAV

7. Dallas Mavericks

Tim Hardaway Jr.: two years, $17 million AAV

8. Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50)dunks the ball during the first half of Game 4 of the basketball NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, Friday, June 9, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Michael Porter Jr.: four years, $37.1 million AAV

Aaron Gordon: two years + PO in 2025-2026, $23.3 million AAV

9. Detroit Pistons


10. Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins: three years, $26.3 million AAV

11. Houston Rockets


12. Indiana Pacers

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid goes to the basket against Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 6, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Myles Turner: two years, $20.5 million AAV

13. Los Angeles Clippers

Norman Powell: three years, $19.2 million AAV

14. Los Angeles Lakers


15. Memphis Grizzlies

Marcus Smart: three years, $20.29 million AAV

16. Miami Heat

Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) defends, during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Monday, May 2, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Tyler Herro: four years, $30 million AAV

Duncan Robinson: two years, $18.78 million AAV

17. Milwaukee Bucks

Jrue Holiday: one year + PO in 2024-2025, $38.13 million AAV

18. Minnesota Timberwolves

Rudy Gobert: two years + PO in 2025-2026, $43.83 million AAV

19. New Orleans Pelicans

CJ McCollum: three years, $33.33 million AAV

20. New York Knicks

LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 09: Julius Randle (30) of the New York Knicks collides with Patrick Beverley (21) of the LA Clippers in the first half during the Los Angeles Clippers versus New York Knicks at on May 9, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by John McCoy/Icon Sportswire)

Julius Randle: two years + PO in 2025-2026, $30.32 million AAV

R.J. Barrett: four years, $26.75 million AAV

21. Oklahoma City Thunder

Luguentz Dort: three years + TO in 2026-2027, $16.81 million AAV

22. Orlando Magic


23. Philadelphia 76ers


24. Phoenix Suns

LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 17: Phoenix Suns Center DeAndre Ayton (22) looks on during a NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers on December 17, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Bradley Beal: three years + PO in 2026-2027, $51.94 million AAV

Deandre Ayton: three years, $34 million AAV

25. Portland Trail Blazers

Anfernee Simons: three years, $25.89 million AAV

Jusuf Nurkic: three years, $18.13 million AAV

26. Sacramento Kings

Kevin Huerter: three years, $16.83 million AAV

27. San Antonio Spurs

Keldon Johnson: four years, $18.5 million AAV

28. Toronto Raptors

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 10: Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) before a NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Lakers on November 10, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA.(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

OG Anunoby: one year + PO in 2024-2025, $19.29 million AAV

29. Utah Jazz

Collin Sexton: three years, $18.15 million AAV

30. Washington Wizards

Jordan Poole: four years, $32 million AAV

Others might add or subtract players from this list. For my purposes, all these contracts mentioned include players who have over $15 million in average salary guaranteed through at least 2024-2025 — when the second apron would be implemented.

Stars — or anyone who could reasonably be a second option on a championship team in my eyes — were omitted regardless of salary figure or years remaining on their deal. Players who had a team option or non-guaranteed deals, leaving their franchises with an option to avoid paying them in 2024-2025, were also left off of this list.

It’ll be interesting to see the trades that go down across the NBA within the next two years regarding these players, and how their contracts and the second apron will affect their value in deals.