The suspension of play and possible cancellation will have huge effects on the salary cap for the New Orleans Pelicans and rest of the NBA.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ playoff run was cut short by the suspension of play, but the long-term ramifications on the salary cap could be far worse.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the league stands to lose more a billion dollars due to the suspension of play and even more if the season is cancelled.
Since the NBA salary cap is directly tied to revenue, it could actually go down instead of going up as projected.
The NBA already took a hit of hundreds of millions after their beef with China, so this could be a record-breaking dip in the salary cap, which will affect every team in the league.
According to John Hollinger, the salary cap could drop as much as $8 million, which would affect the New Orleans Pelicans’ ability to acquire free agents.
This doesn’t get any easier if they have less money to work with, though there is a chance the owner’s and players will come to an agreement on new cap number that is closer to the current $109.1 million.
If the cap does drop to around $101 million, it will complicate the contract situation with Brandon Ingram and leave the New Orleans Pelicans little wiggle room to move in free agency.
Free agents themselves will be the biggest losers, as teams will have less money to spend, especially on fringe role players.
Lower-tier veteran free agents may find themselves losing jobs to rookies and D-League players or taking far less money.
This includes the New Orleans Pelicans, who may have to take risks on some unproven young guys if they want to keep their core intact.