NBA general managers throughout the league are already sweating bullets. Calculators in hand, front-office number-crunchers are already poring over their payrolls in advance of a 2014 free-agency period that could be one of the most important in league history.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh can all terminate their contracts after the 2013-14 season, which would instantly create a quartet of high-priced courtships. In addition to those marquee names, Kyle Lowry, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol and Luol Deng (just to name a few) will also be looking to cash in.
Oh, and some guy named Kobe Bryant might also become available as an unrestricted free agent.
What follows is an explanation of every NBA team's payroll situation for the 2014 offseason. Since we don't yet know what the precise salary cap will be, the current figure of $58.7 million is the basis for all of the forward-looking analysis. That number could rise or fall depending on what the league and players' union agree upon, but it won't move much.
In addition, it's important to note that "maximum available cap room" figures on each slide represent the difference between the amount of each team's fully guaranteed payroll and the salary cap of $58.7 million. Player and team options, qualifying offers and nonguaranteed deals will potentially add to those figures.
Don't worry, that will all be explained on a team-by-team basis.
Finally, consider these explanations as snapshots of every squad's financial situation. The complicated minutiae involving cap holds and trade exceptions won't appear here unless absolutely necessary.
Discussions about money can only be so exciting, though. So we've spiced things up with a team-by-team look at which free agents might end up collecting checks from your favorite organization.
So, let's open up every team's balance sheets and see what the future holds.