I've seen numerous posters on here think we have $20m+ to spend this summer, and even Billy King has referenced $19m.
However, we have $40m in guaranteed contracts next summer:
Which does not include the LAL #1, which will cost us about $1m.
Considering the cap is currently $58m, that would leave us, 58-40-1 = $17m.
Technically there are roster spots holds for about $450k each for each empty roster spot we have out of 12. But those at least go away once a player is signed.
$17m is not going to take us as far as many of you guys think, IMO. That's why I really think we need to drop Farmar and Petro if possible and send them to a team with cap space for $3m cash and 2nd rounders or something. Paying $7m per year to back up our strongest positions makes little sense. I'd rather have Gaines at the minimum than Farmar and I'd rather have plenty of other Centers at the minimum than Petro, which would essentially give us $5m extra in free agency.
The $17m is also another reason I don't think we overspend on David West or Zach Randolph. These guys are going to want to get their last major payday and will not settle for less. I can see both wanting deals in the $10-13m per year range.
We need to be smart with our money. Don't overpay for aging veterans for the quick fix. Look for value, and look for younger players with upside. Not only do we want to improve now, we want to keep improving and we want to have assets to use in future moves. Randolph or West in their early 30's making $12m+ will not be asset other teams would want in trade. However Green, Young, Chandler, Afflalo, etc. might be.