2019 Salary Cap Calculator

October 1st, 2018 | by Dan Clayton

Do your best Dennis Lindsey impression by planning ahead for the 2019 offseason.

The idea of entering an NBA off-season with cap room is great on paper. But turning even a relatively clean salary sheet into actual cap space requires some tough decisions.

This salary tool will estimate the cap space Utah will have in July 2019 depending on the decisions they make between now and then. For the Jazz to create space to go after your favorite free agent or trade target, they’d need to make decisions on existing contracts, non-guaranteed options, free agents and more.

For reference: I’m using a 2019 cap estimate of $109M, which means a max free agent will make a starting salary of roughly $27 million (if he has fewer than 7 years of experience), $33 million (7 to 9 years) or $38 million (10+ years).  


Be sure to make a selection on each item and the tool will register your choice. It’s relatively self-explanatory, but just in case:

  • For players under a guaranteed contract for 2019-20, you can elect to keep or trade each player in your scenario.
  • For the Jazz’s own 2019 free agents, make a selection:
    • If you want the Jazz to keep the rights to re-sign a player over the cap, then the tool will update with the appropriate cap hold for each pending FA.
    • If you select to have the Jazz quickly re-sign the player, you must select a first-year salary using the slider.
    • Otherwise, you can elect to rescind, allow the player to sign elsewhere, or trade the player before the February deadline.
  • For players with non-guaranteed salary, you can elect to keep the player or trade/waive him before the salary becomes guaranteed.
  • Select whether the Jazz will keep their own 2019 pick, acquire any additional 1st rounders or add players with 2019-20 salary via trade.
    • If you’re adding players by trade (either before the February deadline or around the June draft), use the slider to indicate the total 2018-19 salary of all players acquired. 

The tool will work on mobile devices, but displays a little cleaner on a desktop or laptop. Thanks to Adam Back and Ryan Hess for helping me figure out the coding that makes this tool work.

Enjoy! Feel free to reach out with any questions, either by commenting below or by contacting @danclayt0n on Twitter.

Make selections to calculate cap room

Total team salary: — On Roster:

Under contract

Rudy Gobert

Joe Ingles

Dante Exum

Jae Crowder

Donovan Mitchell

Grayson Allen

Tony Bradley

Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Derrick Favors

Raul Neto

Royce O’Neale

Georges Niang

Free Agents

Ricky Rubio

$2M  25M

Alec Burks

$2M  25M

Thabo Sefolosha

$2M  25M

Ekpe Udoh

$2M  25M

Draft and trades

Will the Jazz keep their
2019 draft pick?

(Using No. 20 pick cap value from 2018 as a placeholder)

Will the Jazz acquire additional
2019 Draft picks via trade?

(Using No. 20 pick cap value from 2018 as a placeholder)

Will the Jazz acquire players
with 2019-20 salary via trade?

(If yes) Enter total ’19-20 salary acquired: 

 $2M  $40M
Roster Cap Holds

Roster charge of $897K (estimated) for
empty roster spots up to 12:

Other tools and assets

Based on your selections, will the Jazz operate as an under-the-cap team or as an exceptions team?

Additional assets available based on your selections.

Thanks for visiting Salt City Hoops and playing with our 2018 cap space tool. If you have any questions about the salary rules that go into these calculations, or if you run into any problems, drop a comment in the field below or hit up @danclayt0n on Twitter.

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton

Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City, but contributes regularly to Salt City Hoops, FanRag and BBALLBreakdown.
Dan Clayton


  1. nmvh5 says:

    This is pretty cool. Really shows how hard it is to keep good players together and keep anywhere near the cap. It makes it pretty apparent the Jazz have no choice except to trade players or let them go this summer.

    A cool added feature would be to be able to share a created scenario.

  2. Caleb says:

    This is terrific. Thanks for putting forth the effort.

    I am curious about the 18 million cap hold for Derrick Favors.

    Of course, I am mostly reading that there is no chance he is coming back to utah because Utah already invested in Rudy Gobert and Favors is somewhat positionally redundant as compared to Rudy. Makes sense that utah would not spend big money on a second center.

    I read that Favors could be the second best big guy available on the market.

    However, I am also reading that 2018 is not a good year to be a free agent and that other than Lebron, PG, and Cousins the free agents are going to be crunched and mostly only get mid-level exceptions.

    So what if Favors would be agree to come back on a 3 year deal for 12 million per year.

    There is still the theoretical possibility that that would happen, right? and then would the cap hit just be 12 million? the actual number for which he signed his contract?

    • Dan Clayton says:

      Hi Caleb,
      Thanks for your comment. In order to reserve the right to re-sign their own pending free agents, teams have to reserve a specific amount of cap space for them. In Favors’ case, that figure is 150% of his 2017-18 salary, or $18M. If he were to re-sign with the Jazz at a different amount, then his new first-year salary would replace that cap hold on their salary sheet. So say, for example, that they quickly agreed to a deal starting at the $12M you suggested, then his new cap number would be $12M and the $18M hold would be wiped away. I added the option to do that with Exum, Hood and Neto (the RFAs), and in retrospect I should have added that for Favors and Johnson as well. Maybe I’ll add that in if one or both are still here after this Thursday’s trade deadline!

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  4. Bullet says:

    Awesome work, Dan!

    I’m a fan of Favs and with the latest win streak, I can’t help but dream of an R+E. If the Jazz traded AB and/or JoeJ for cap relief, how much of a hypothetical $40M/2yrs extension can they fit into the generated cap space?

    • Dan Clayton says:

      The Jazz don’t have 2017-18 cap space to negotiate his salary upward, so an R&E is off the table. They could extend him without the renegotiation, but then the max he could make is 14.4M next year, with raises at 8% of that amount. It’s a lot more likely that he goes to free agency, although maybe there’s a chance the Jazz keep him.

      • Bullet says:

        Just revisited this after Donovan’s Player’s Tribune piece. So, hypothetically, if Jazz peg six players as their building blocks (DM, Rudy, Joe, Ricky, Dante and Jae)… Can they renounce Fav’s rights and still sign him after filling up the cap space?

        And how much would you peg Dante’s extension at?

  5. rvalens2 says:

    This tool makes me realize just how much I like most of the players. I hate the thought of trading all but three of them.

    Maybe now is the time for the Jazz to consider exceeding the salary cap and paying the luxury tax? This Jazz team looks to be extremely deep, talented, and a defensive nightmare for their opponents.

    Who are the three? Jonas Jerebko, Alec Burks, and Tony Bradley.

    • Dan Clayton says:

      They can go over the cap to sign their own players. I don’t think they’ll go over the luxury tax limit unless it’s to compete for titles, but IDK

  6. Paul Johnson says:

    Keeping everyone, and re-signing Favors at $14 mil., re-signing Exum at $9 mil., re-signing Neto at $4 mil., along with the contract of the 11th pick in the draft (which draft position seems unlikely at this point in time without a trade to move up in the draft), would put the Jazz’s team salary at $119,713,070–just under the projected luxury tax threshold of $120 mil.

    Based on recent performance, I’m guessing the Jazz barely make the playoffs, and will be selecting their pick in the #15 to #18 range in the draft, so the total team salary under my scenario would probably be about $1 mil. less.

    I could see the Jazz trying to see if they could trade Alec Burks in the trading period starting just before the draft until the start of free agency (in a salary dump trade) to free up a roster spot that the Jazz could then fill with one of its trade exceptions–on a player that could give the Jazz similar production to what Alec would give the Jazz at a lesser price. I could see a team like Philadelphia trying Burks out for a season on his fairly reasonable contract. Mario Hezonja might be a target for the Jazz in free agency, if they go that route. I’m gauging Hezonja’s fair market value as a free agent in the range of $5-$7 mil. per year.

    I would like to see the Jazz keep this group mostly intact to see what they can do as a defensive juggernaut that is bucking the trend of how other teams are trying to build their rosters (by pretty trying to copy Houston or GSW).

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  11. Z says:

    Hey Dan,

    What a great tool — thanks for providing this. I’m unclear how the order of signings affects what’s possible, and how Rubio re-signing with the Jazz fits in.

    I have a few questions about this (obviously way too early to be thinking about) scenario:

    If the Jazz:
    – Keep: Gobert, Ingles, Exum, Crowder, Mitchell, Allen, Bradley, Neto, O’Neale, Niang, 1st Round Pick
    – Sign Kris Middleton to ~4/100m

    Can they:
    – Re-sign Rubio for ~15m a year (unsure how keeping his rights affects things)
    – Keep Thabo either through re-sign, keeping rights, or MLE (something around 5m)
    – Guarantee Favors
    – (Basically keep the team we have now, but swap Burks and Udoh for Middleton and a rookie)
    – If this doesn’t work, who would they need to drop?

    – Re-sign Rubio for ~15m a year
    – Sign Mirotic for 12–15m a year
    – (Keep the team we have now, but swap Burks, Udoh, and Favors for Middleton, Mirotic, and a rookie)

    • Dan Clayton says:

      In terms of order of transactions — if you click the “default selection” button at the top, it will set everybody’s cap hold value to whatever it would be on July 1, 2019 if the Jazz did nothing. So from there, you can manipulate the order of transactions yourself. For example, if your first move is to re-sign Rubio to an amount that is smaller than his cap hold, then that creates slightly more room… but if you wait to resolve Ricky’s situation until AFTER you deal with free agents, then you have to essentially “reserve” 22.46M for him. So basically, start by clicking the button and then go to town.

      On your specific question:
      If they kept all of the players you’re suggesting (including Rubio and Thabo at those amounts), they would only have 2.2M in space and thus would still be an exceptions team (and unable to sign Khris). The only way they could open up enough room to sign Middleton is by clearing more salary away. They could do a few little things — for example, if they’re getting Khris they might decide Jae is expendable and trade him. Or they could cut Sefolosha, and they could potentially re-sign him later using the Room MLE after they’re done using their cap space. But even those moves only give them 15M of space (again, assuming they did everything else you describe above). That could be enough for Mirotic… definitely doesn’t get you a chance with Middleton.

      So really… if you want to make a run at Khris in free agency, at some point you have to make a decision about whether you’re keeping Rubio or Fav.

      They could try to trade for him during the season — that way they could re-sign him using Bird rights and it wouldn’t matter if they had cap space — but I doubt Milwaukee would make him available, unless things go REALLY wrong in Milwaukee this year.

      • Z says:

        Awesome, thanks for the response, that helps.

        So in this scenerio:
        – Keep: Gobert, Ingles, Exum, Crowder, Mitchell, Allen, Bradley, Neto, O’Neale, Niang, 1st Round Pick
        – Then sign Rubio at 15m

        This leaves the Jazz with 24m in cap space.

        Does that mean any free agent signings from this point (besides exceptions), have to leave the Jazz below 108m? Or are there any current players we could wait to sign until after we sign someone like Kris to go over that 108m?

        And if I understand correctly, if we don’t keep Rubio’s rights (and reserve 22m in space), the order we sign him and other free agents doesn’t really matter? Is it the same story with Favors – i.e. if the Jazz guarantee his contract, the order we do it in doesn’t affect what we can do with other cap space?


        • Dan Clayton says:

          Yeah, that’s basically correct. Once you clear a player’s cap hold to open space to sign somebody else, you can no longer sign that player unless you have cap room left OR an exception to sign them with. What order you do the signings in could matter (for example, in your scenario above, signing Rubio to 15M actually creates 7M of extra room, relative to his cap hold. So you’d want to do that right away if you could). But if you want to keep the rights to sign Rubio to anything above exception money, you HAVE to either hold that 22.4M on your books or you have to hurry and get the ink on the contract.

          So, in short:

          If the Jazz renounce/waive players to go under the cap, then they can spend: a) their cap room, b) the room MLE of 5M or so, c) minimum contracts, and d) sign any players whose rights they DIDN’T clear in order to create that room.

          If the Jazz decide NOT to go under the cap, then they can spend: a) the full MLE of 9M or so, b) the biannual exception (unless they want to save it for 2020), c) minimum contracts, and d) sign any players whose rights they didn’t clear.

          • Z says:

            Okay, that makes sense.

            Is there any scenario where the Jazz sign someone like Middleton to a big deal and operate over the cap? Or do the Jazz have to use their existing contracts/bird rights (e.g. guarantee Favs, or trade for Middleton like you mentioned earlier) to be an over the cap team?

          • Dan Clayton says:

            The only way they could add him without going under the cap by at least the amount of his first-year salary is via trade. But again, Milwaukee has to be willing to trade him, and I don’t see that happening unless they get off to a VERY disappointing start to the year.

  12. Z says:

    Is there are scenario where something like this could work?

    1. In January the Jazz trade Derrick Favors and Alec Burks for Kevin Love or Otto Porter (plus whatever filler is needed to make it work)
    2. Next Summer keep everybody but Thabo and (maybe Udoh). This would include keeping Rubio and re-signing around 15m — if I understand correctly, we’d have to keep his cap hold of 22m, but if the Jazz don’t need to get free agents in the scenario, that’s okay?).
    3. Assuming the above works, would the Jazz operate as over the cap and have access to the 8.9 MLE to get another difference maker (or maybe Thabo and/or Udoh)?

    • Dan Clayton says:

      1. Yes, that deal works cap-wise, although I don’t think either Porter or Love could be had for that. Maybe if the Jazz added some picks. But numbers-wise, yes.
      2. Yeah, you only have to keep the cap hold of 22M until you re-sign or renounce him (or until he signs elsewhere). So yes, that’s also doable.
      3. In that scenario, the Jazz are 7.3M over the cap with 14 players (counting their draft pick). So at that point, yes, they could use the full MLE.

      Roster would be:
      Plus a draft pick (unless you include it in the trade) and the MLE and/or BAE.

      • Z says:

        Thanks for the reply.

        I think you’re right, the Jazz would probably need to include picks or young players. Maybe toward January either team might be in enough turmoil that offloading big contracts and getting expiring deals becomes more attractive. Wizards have such a big money crunch and Cavs just need to rebuild.

        I’m curious how interested the Jazz would be in either player – I think both would help the Jazz a lot, but they have long expensive contracts. They’d basically be locking in their core for the next few years.

        I’d prefer Kris Middleton or maybe Tobias Harris to either, but trading for a sure thing has its appeal, as does having access to 8.9 MLE.

        • Dan Clayton says:

          I am positive the Jazz would have interest in Otto. I’ve heard mixed messages about their interest level in Love. I think the tough thing with him is you don’t know how he’ll fit in defensively.

          Educated guess: I think Middleton is their top choice FA. And technically they could trade for him, too, although I think that’s even less realistic given how important he is to Milwaukee. I am an unabashed Khris fan.

          • Z says:

            I’m with you on Khris. He’s number one on my wishlist.

            My biggest concern now is that things are going well in Milwaukee. How willing will he be to leave if they keep trending in their current direction?

            I also wonder how he’d fit in the roster — not that it would be a big problem — but would Ingles move to the bench? Or could Ingles or Middleton start as a small four?

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