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2016 NBA Free Agency: Barnes to get max; Salary cap set; Fans in shock

Harrison Barnes rumored to get max offer sheet from Dallas. NBA Salary Cap announced. Many free agent contracts announced. Unprepared fans in shock from numbers. Here’s how to cope.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Here is your update on the 2016 NBA Free Agency, aka "Show Me The Money"

1. Psychological Help For Barnes Max and other Big Contracts

Stein says Dallas will offer Barnes the max:

(Update: it is rumored to be $95M/4y so about $23.75M per year average.)

The Warriors will have three days from the official signing of the offer sheet to match or let Barnes go, so the W's will have to act no earlier than July 10th, 12:01am EST. Kevin Durant will have made up his mind by then.

You may be in pain. You may be saying, "Harrison Barnes doesn’t DESERVE $22M!" or "Timothy Mozgov gets $64M WHY?" I understand. My heart sings the same song.

But we are wrong. We were right on June 30th, but wrong today. The NBA gets a crapload of money. The players get a touch under half of the money. So the players are getting their share of the money, which otherwise would go directly to the ownership. (In fact the whole 2011 lockout by the owners was largely to reduce the player share from 57% to 49%. See Larry Coon.)

See how the salary cap has exploded:

That means our team is now competing with 29 other teams with a ton of cap. In fact, every team MUST spend up to 90% of the cap, so there is a lot of money chasing not many good players.

The salary cap in 2013-14 was $58.68M. The cap in 2017-18 is projected to be around $110M. That is a near doubling of the cap. So a $22M contract next year will have the cap impact of the $11M contracts we know and love. So every contract you see this year, divide it in half to get the correct emotional equivalent in 2014 dollars. So if Barnes really signs for $22M ? Well, next year, that will feel like today’s $11M contract as far as impact on the Warriors ability to get good players.

Of course, Barnes could help the W’s out if he takes a sub-max contract for an amount like $18-20M as opposed to the full max, kind of like what Klay and Dray did. And he wouldn’t seem like such a greedy SOB.

2. W's Will Almost Certainly Match Barnes Offer + Durant Update

You might say, FINE, but ANYONE but BARNES!  You are wrong. There is no one beyond the frustrating Mr. Barnes.

Notice I didn’t write Free Agency Update? That’s because KD is the only big name free agent the W’s are pursuing. First, the others are basically off the board by now, or going to get paid a TON. Second, just because the Dubs CAN get a free agent doesn’t mean they SHOULD. If you look at Explain One CBA: Free Agency, the Cap and Durant, you can see that the cap rules make it VERY difficult for the W's to clear enough space to sign any big free agent.

This is new territory for Warriors fans. This is literally the first time in history that the Warriors had a serious chance at signing the top free agent. We don’t know how to handle it. Remember how big it was a few years ago when Dwight deigned to meet with GSW? What a difference a light-years-ahead Voltron makes.

You need to start getting emotionally prepared for Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli returning. Sorry. I'm not saying it's 100% sure at all. It’s by far the most likely scenario.

I’m reading a lot of posts acting like there are all these great big name free agents the W’s are missing out on. If KD doesn’t go Warrior, there aren’t any other big name free agents worth dynamiting the team over.

So expect re-signed Barnes and Ezeli (and probably another frustrating year where they have brain lock on the court) and the Dubs signing a few under-the-radar bench guys to get a little more accurate and athletic. Boring, but with a healthy Curry and some solid bench guys, I’d take that team over anyone.

Update: BREAKING NEWS. Horford to BOS, $113M / 4yrs.

And they didn’t even need Tom Brady to close the deal. Now BOS can tell Durant about the signing as they’re still meeting with him.

To be honest, I am perfectly content if he and Horford go to BOS. Maims OKC and injects some talent over there so LeBron can’t sleepwalk to the Finals every year!

Update 2: Clips drop out of KD Unicorn Chase

3. Official Salary Cap Numbers Announced

The NBA has set the official cap numbers. They are very close to what was projected, so all previous calculations are basically sound. (I’m going to go back and update numbers from the reference article with all Warriors related salary cap numbers, Explain One CBA: Free Agency, the Cap and Durant.)

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