It was all estimates before this, but the league announced the offical salary cap figures late last night.
The new salary cap for the 2008-09 season is $58.680 million, and the luxury tax level is $71.150 million. The midlevel exception is $5.585 million.
Translation: Let the dealing begin.
The lifting of the eight-day, league-issued moratorium means free agent signings can begin and trades can resume. With the Kings expected to officially sign Beno Udrih today, the terms agreed to by the fifth-year point guard can be calculated to the very last penny. According to numerous team sources and sources close to Udrih, he will receive a five-year deal for the full midlevel exception. The finaly tally considering the eight percent raises every season: $32,764,966. Broken down year by year, it is as follows...
Assuming Udrih signs the dotted line as expected, the Kings' payroll will be approximately $70 million. As for future roster movement beyond second-round pick signings or summer league surprises, there is little to watch for from here on out other than a potential Ron Artest trade.
I've been told by numerous reliable people that it could happen quickly and that the Kings have already received calls from some of the expected pursuers of the small forward. The Lakers rang with no call back as yet from the Kings, and it appears the pieces in that possible deal have not changed. The Lakers are willing to offer forward Lamar Odom, but the question is whether they're willing to take on the contract of forward Kenny Thomas (two seasons, approximately $18 million left).
Of course, it has seemed before as if certain trades were inevitable and they either didn't happen or took months longer than expected, so who knows how this will play out. Odom works for the Kings in a number of ways, though, from his versatility that fits more with Geoff Petrie's offensive vision to the fact that his contract (for $14.5 million) is expiring. If the combo works, you try to lock Odom up next summer. If not, you have cap room earlier than expected and go from there. - Sam Amick