The Sixers are over the cap with a current payroll of about $68 million. That figure includes what the league terms “holds” on the salaries of their two restricted free agents, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, who were given qualifying offers that will increase their salaries by about 200 percent.
If Young and Hawes receive offers from other teams, the Sixers can decline to match them. But that would only put their total payroll down to $56 million, only $2 million under the $58 million cap figure and they wouldn’t be able to sign a marquee free agent with that.
The money they may commit to Young and Hawes, however, will put them dangerously close to the luxury-tax limit of $70 million. The Sixers can add a player under what the agreement calls a “midlevel exception,” at a salary of $5 million. But that $5 million would put them into the luxury-tax bracket, and my sources, who are familiar with Sixers ownership’s thinking, tell me that new Sixers owner Joshua Harris (and his cast of thousands) doesn’t want to pay tax.
— Reported by Mike Missanelli of the Philadelphia Inquirer