If it weren't for that pesky salary cap, everyone's favorite team could have its way with the free-agent market.
But alas, there are rules here. And those rules stipulate that a team can't sign outside talent if it's already spending more than what's allotted by the cap—projected to be about $63.2 million this summer, a nearly $5 million increase over the previous cap.
There are, however, a few ways to get around the cap.
The most lucrative such mechanism is the mid-level exception, ordinarily worth in excess of $5 million. That exception allows teams to sign one or more players even if—and only if—said teams are already over the cap.
The mid-level exception decreases in value for teams that are paying the luxury tax. The Miami Heat, for example, have their full mid-level exception available, but it will only be worth $3,183,000.
Many teams have already used some portion of their mid-level exception. For example, the Los Angeles Clippers spent $3,250,000 of theirs on Matt Barnes last season. He's owed another $3,396,250 next season, meaning the organization will be unable to spend upward of $5 million on any new free agent.
So for the purposes of this list, don't assume that every player mentioned hereafter will command over $5 million. Some may only receive a portion thereof.
Either way, in today's terms, that's a bargain. And a necessary bargain for cap-starved teams in need of immediate talent infusions.