“Munsdays”: A JBL GM Diary: The Final Chapter

  • By Jeremy Munson, Day 1, 2026

Welcome back for the final “Munsday” article my basketball friends.

In today’s article, I go over what I think I have learned from my first season as a Rookie GM within the realm of the league. Seems simple enough of a concept and a fitting way to wrap this all up in a nice tight little bow.

I will start with this a very fun, and addictive league, but that there is a significant learning curve for any Rookie GM that starts. Looking back on what I thought was happening, or what I assumed was going on, was simply not the case in most situations that I found myself in. The amount of info that I think I have learned over the course of the year is honestly a lot, and it was fun to re-read this to actually see that.

If you happen to be Rookie GM reading this none of this is gospel, but merely opinions from someone who has been in your shoes. I wish you lots of luck in the upcoming weeks and months, and as always, if you need help or an opinion on things the #general chat on slack or the #newgm channel on slack is a good way to throw out questions and get great answers from more than a few knowledgeable vets within the league.

Now that that is over, let’s jump into it shall we?

JBL Community/ League Activity
I am hoping that you got the same welcome that I did. This is a very welcoming community and I had multiple guys reach out to let me know that they were available to chat whenever about any questions that I had.

Obviously, you are going to be skeptical, but I can honestly say this is the first league that I have been in where I don’t think anybody was actively trying to take advantage of me being a Rookie GM. Now, that is not me saying that it can’t or won’t happen, but my opinion is that we have quality people around here and while people want to win, and win in a bad way, but it isn’t a cutthroat league.

Make sure you get a slack invite and join. Introduce yourself, and jump into the waters of league engagement. The league is also by far the most active I have ever been a part of. There is a podcast that is done every Thursday and there is always something to read as people take the time to write about their own teams and happenings. My suggestion is to go back and listen to the past few podcasts so that you can get a feel for what goes on within the league, and pay attention to see if your team is highlighted. You could learn some valuable info about your own squad there.

You are required to write press releases anytime you make a transaction. Nothing huge, but it confirms things for the commish, and then announces it to the JBL universe so the rest of us can keep up as well.
As you get more comfortable with the league, and its participants, write articles yourself. Not only is it fun to talk about your own squad, but you get scouting money which will affect how you approach the upcoming draft. The commish hands out extra money based on the content that you write, but remember that it needs to be an article, you do not get extra cash for press releases.

I also highly suggest getting engaged on the slack channel as well. Not only will you get to talk with the fools around the league, but you will get to know different little info nuggets that get dropped in there as well. As I have already mentioned there are plenty of guys that have a ton of knowledge about the league and have no problems talking about things. However, while that is all good, that is not why I recommend getting to know people in the league.

You see just like everywhere else, there are killer whales, whales, sharks, dolphins, and fish. Within this league there is no difference and they are all represented in some fashion. In being engaged in the slack channels you will get a sense of who is what, which should certainly influence some other factors that I am going to talk about such as trading/ drafting etc. Like all organizations, before you can make change/influence or lead, you need to get an understanding of the landscape first. Our slack channel will help you do that, and it will give you a picture so you can start to formulate who is what within the waters of the JBL.

Player Evaluations
This one is hard, especially if you don’t know if your team is good or not. So, the first suggestion is to reach out some folks to see how good you think your team could possibly be. If you aren’t that good, you get to play around with player combos as far as the depth-chat goes and see how they play their games in different positions and look at what they do on the stats sheets. Pay attention to all the stats. There are more than a few examples out there were the stats and the player's star ranking/ player attributes just simply don’t align. Do not rely on just the player attributes or star rankings or stats alone. You need to be able to use them all as a guide as there is FOG within the sim and you should not be using just one thing alone when making the evaluations. This takes time and do not feel you need to rush into anything. Depending on when you joined the league, it also might be harder to get a grasp on. It will be up to you to try to figure that all out as you continue along in your journey here, but as I have already stated, ask plenty of questions on the channels on slack.

If you think your team has a chance to be good, follow that up with other questions about what offense or defense they think you should be running and make a choice about that. Stick with what you choose as that plays a part into how well your team plays. If you are not good, by all means play around with the settings to see what you think works, and you’ll be able to start to see how player architypes, stats, and attributes all play a role in “system fit”.

Once you really figure out a system, this will change the way you look at players and their values. I cannot stress that enough, and I will get into that more under team evaluations.

Before I get into the team evaluations though I need to make sure I add this one last section here. The last thing to think about and look into is what players are more coveted/ have higher perceived value within the league itself. Again, do your own research, but from what I think I have learned wings are the players people covet/ have the most value, then its PF’s, then its C’s and then its PG’s. Now there are also some caveats to that, for example while there might be a lot of Center’s out there, one that is a defensive monster can catapult them over the PF position etc.

While I think I just gave you in a good general assessment and a good base to start from in terms of player position value within the JBL, each GM will also have their own preference based on who they think fits better within their system.

Like studying accounting in college, pieces build off each other in the JBL. So, you will need to get to know the market and the GM’s in said market, and that should help guide you in some decision making within your future.

Team Evaluations
As you get to know your own team, try to remember to gain some knowledge about the other teams in the league as well. Are teams in rebuild mode? Are they close to being a contender? Are they a legit contender etc. In doing that, it will give you and understanding who might be buyers or sellers with the trade market, or within the FA market.

There is a projection system that we all use developed by the Kings GM Andrew, called the “King-o-Matic”. Make sure you check that out and look to see where teams are projected and start there with a base for where teams could end up during the season. While it is not perfect (nothing is) it will give you a good starting point, and you can work your way up and down depending on what you are looking to do from there.

I am going to cover both trading and free agency after this section, however, I wanted to put a little bit of a disclaimer out there for it.

I highly recommend playing everything on the conservative/ safer end in terms of what you are going to do your first season. Taking on a huge contract(s), trading multiple players and or trading all of your draft picks for players before you truly understand how things work is a huge gamble. I do not want you to start your second season after you figure most things out and realize that you shouldn’t have made half the choices you did, and now you are stuck in cap hell or at a draft with nothing left but your regret.

However, if you know you are going to be bad, or you want to make yourself bad and blow it all up, by all means have it. Get as many future picks as you can (just be careful to not get too many), and use the season to mess around. You should have a handle on most things for the following season, and then start the rebuild off the correct way.

If you aren’t blowing it up, and are going to roll with what you have, that is perfectly fine as well. Just be careful about what you do, and again, if you are unsure, ask around.

Contract Extensions
After day 42, you are eligible to offer a 2-year max extension (20 mil offer) to any of your upcoming RFA’s. Think long and hard about what you do with that. Is it worth locking your star up for two years without giving anybody the chance to bid on him, or could you go to the FA market and play it a different way? Would you rather have a contract for 20 mil over two years but have the safety and security that he is your player? Or do you want to take a gamble in free agency with your player being an RFA and possibly offering him a 20-mil contract over 3 or 4 years? What you decide here, could have an impact on your cap for future years to come. There are pros and cons for each situation. Just be comfortable with what you end up deciding and think it though before making your choice.

Free Agency
My first season (I started right when FA began) I thought I was being conservative in what I was doing. I renounced everybody that I could, and gave myself as much cap flexibility as I possibly could. I had a decent core to build around, but I can tell you what I thought I was doing was just flat out wrong, and knowing what I know now, I made a few poor decisions.

Those decisions will end up costing me 9 mil on the cap during my second season, which is not an insignificant amount of money. That hurts me as I could have used 9 mil on a good player to become a better team. I share this story with you to highlight that what you do in your first season could have a lasting impact on you, and that you really need to be careful in the decisions/ choices that you make.

Take that for what it is worth, but 1-year deals with a team option (if you can swing it, as some players don’t like team options) until you get a handle on player evaluations and the type of system you want to run would be my best suggestion for you. That way you don’t end up saddled with a contract or multiple contracts in my example, that you don’t want, and possibly can’t move.

The other thing of significance to note is that if your team has won the year before, or if you are coming off a season currently (not sure where you are at while reading this) where you have been good and won, more free agents will be interested in you as a potential landing space. It is harder to get guys to sign with you if you aren’t winning so you need to keep that in mind as well. Multiple vets of the league have stated and view free agency as “fools gold” so tamper your expectations going into FA so you don’t end up being disappointed.

Within free agency itself, there are multiple factors that you need to be aware of. The first of which is, when you bid on a player that money is gone from your budget until that player either signs with you/ another team or rejects your offer. You cannot take that offer back, so your spending money is tied up into the player until that player makes a choice. Please re-read that so you know and understand that very important issue.

The second is to know if the player you are looking at is a restricted free agent (RFA) with a qualifying offer from the original team. If you offer a RFA a contract, and he signs with you, the original team has 3 EXTRA days to match your offer. So not only is your money being tied up while the player decides, but it continues to being tied up while the other GM decides on if he wants to match your offer. This does get used as a weapon and there is some strategy behind this madness.

Speaking of strategy, you need to be mindful of the timing of the offers and who has money to spend. There is an art to being successful in FA. It’s knowing how much to offer, how long to offer (years wise) and when to actually offer the contract in the FA period.

There is something to be said for being sneaky and offering a lower type offer to a target when all the big money is on the biggest of the free agents (i.e. knowing that money is tied up). However, if you get too cute and offer too low of a salary or do not meet what the player wants years wise, that player could prolong his stay on the free agent market which could have you regretting that choice.

For example, if you got too cute with a player that you tried to lowball a bit and then all the money that was on the big-time free agents, comes off the following sim because all of the big time free agents signed or rejected offers, you are going to find yourself in a pickle. You lowballed your guy, missed your shot at signing him on the cheap, and now that extra money that was tied up is no longer tied up. The guy you hoped to get for a song and a dance now has a ton more money on him due to the influx of money back in the market. You might have just hurt yourself a lot more by going in low or lower than you should, and your timing might have been off. All things you need to be looking at and be mindful of within the free agency period.

The main rule of free agency is, if you want that player, you need to be aggressive and go get that player.

There are a number of guys in the league that love to trade, and if you are paying attention and getting to know the guys you will be able to figure that out rather quickly, but at the same time there are a number of guys in the league that are very conservative. You will be able to figure that out as well.

Overall, my assessment is that over half of the league is conservative when it comes to trading. Like free agency, that means you need to figure out who likes to go for it when making moves, who likes to hoard draft picks and who has no problem trading all of their picks away.

It comes down to personal philosophy. Do they like building their team through the draft, free agency or trading? You have all three types here, but again if you are paying attention you should be able to figure out who does what, and how quickly they do things. When you zero in on this, it will make your life much better in the league and will help you moving forward.

If you are looking to make a move, post about it in the #tradeblock channel on slack, but you can’t just let that be all that you do. Remember when I said half the league was conservative? That means you need to go the extra mile and start going through rosters to try to figure out who might need the position and the guy you are looking to move, and then you need to hit them up asking about a deal. Sitting on your hands won’t get you much around here, and half the deals that get done you need to be your own advocate for.

On the flip side, there isn’t anything wrong with not trading, and not being out there hitting people up if that isn’t you or your personality, but don’t be surprised if nobody hits you up other than the guys that like to go for it.

The tip I am going to say now, might be the best tip in the entire article. Run EVERY SINGLE TRADE you are thinking about doing by the commish. I cannot recommend this enough. He is an impartial 3rd party that will give you his honest opinion on the deal. On top of that, he made the sim, so he certainly would know more than anybody if what you are trying to do might work or not. If you are a rookie GM every move you make (at first) the commish has to sign off on anyway, but it’s a great habit to get into from the start.

Both the fun and frustrating thing about trading in the league is evaluating the talent in a deal. Most guys are attached to their own players, especially if they drafted them. So, you need to take that into account and just like in free agency temper your expectations a bit because of it.

Make sure you are paying attention to the salary cap, and where both you and your trading partner are in relation to the cap. Use the trade machine early and often to make sure you are meeting the 50% rule. The trade machine is a wonderful tool that is provided under the league menu at the top of the webpage.

When you are looking at a team’s salary cap, and they are looking to trade away that 20-24 million player, ask yourself what other teams out there could fit that guy within their cap, and does it meet their “win window”? In doing this you are looking for leverage. For example, if a team is full of rookies, is that likely to be a team that wants to add a superstar vet at that exact moment even if they have the money to do so? You will be able to narrow down potential trading partners off the cap space issue, and it’s a great way to gage how honest a GM might be with you when you inquire about a guy. If there are only 4 teams out there that have the space for the player you are looking at, you can determine how much interest you think there is.

Be careful about bidding against yourself in a scenario like that, and be careful about bailing out a team that is in cap hell. Just because someone is a superstar or even has hall of fame potential, doesn’t mean that the other team has all of the leverage. Don’t sell yourself short and there is nothing wrong with using your leverage to your advantage.

On the flip side of that, there are some guys in the league, and in all leagues in general, that can make some head scratching moves. Just because you know you have the leverage doesn’t mean you should use it all or to its fullest capability. It’s then when you will find some other team comes out of left field with some crazy offer that will trump yours and you will be disappointed. Also, there is something to be said about being a good, friendly trading partner, and people might approach you first if they view you in that way. Trading is a delicate balance, and one that is always fun trying to figure out within a new league.

I need to note that again having conversations with others in the league to bounce ideas back and forth and to talk things out is a good practice to have. If you are unsure just ask around. This goes back to my first section, but we really do have a good group of guys around here. If you are afraid they are going to leak what you are bringing up, ask them to not say anything to anybody. You will get an honest answer one way or the other, and that should certainly help evaluate what you are trying to do.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of guys that talk around here as well. You can use that to your advantage and put it out there to them that you are either looking for a certain player, or have a certain player you are trying to get rid of. They might know of something or someone that is in the same boat, and they could help facilitate a deal for you. Nothing wrong with using all of your resources at your disposal.

Scouting for the Draft
I don’t have a ton of advice here that is earth-shattering or ground breaking. Try to write articles, so you can get some bonus cash to scout more prospects. Scouting is changing within the sim, so even if you are a Rookie GM around here, the rest of us will be Rookies in this area as well.

The Draft
The draft is one of the most fun times within the league in my opinion, however, that is not to say that it doesn’t have some drawbacks or minefields for Rookie GM’s.

There is a lot that goes on during the draft, between the live podcast, trying to keep up with guys that are being drafted and it’s very possible that multiple teams will be proposing trades to you all at the same time. Ohhhh and do not forget the draft timer ticking down the seconds until you need to pick. It can get hectic out there in the war room really quick!

With the unpredictability of the draft, all the mocks, and all the disinformation that gets floated around during draft time, it is hard to get a handle on everything. I am not going to advocate in you trading out of your first draft because it really is that fun, but if you want to trade out of it and just check it out your first year, nobody would blame you. I can tell you that I fudged my first experience up. Not royally, but I did question what I did after the draft. I just wasn’t simply prepared enough, even though I thought I was and I had multiple vets trying to prepare me for the process. It is just something you have to experience on your own to fully understand what kind of beast it can be.

That being said, if you do draft, please have a plan. Do not go into the draft just winging it. Do you want best player available, or are you looking for a position specific need? I highly suggest making a list of BPAs available, and then having a ranking of the best player by position. So, 2 different lists. That way you can try to keep up with both at the same time and choose between the two if the draft does not go the way you expect it to go. I do need to make sure that I note that in doing it that way, it is double the work, and if there is a run on picks, it does get hard to keep up with.

Be prepared to be disappointed.

If you are excited about a particular prospect or even a sleeper it’s a guarantee that you aren’t the only one. There are plenty of savvy guys running teams around here, so do not misjudge their capabilities or overestimate yours.

The golden rule of the draft, just like in free agency is, if you want somebody, you need to be aggressive to go get that player.

Salary Cap Management
The salary cap piece is the last part that I am going to include here, and it is very fitting to end with. All of the other things that I have discussed up until this point are important to know and understand in the JBL, but it all still comes back to Salary Cap Management.

You could be Jerry West and talk people out of their own shoes trading wise, or you could be Bob West with drafting players (Klay, Barnes, Green) but if you don’t understand how to manage your cap, and get the most out of it when you need to, none of the other things that I have wrote about matter. Period.

Below is a very helpful guide that was written by The Philadelphia Warriors GM KB. He did all of this himself and was kind enough to let me include it into this section for your use. We appreciate the work KB!

The purpose of the guide is to provide an in-depth opinion on how the salary cap can be best managed based on various points in the season. GM's will typically have a rolling 3 to 5-year approach when managing their rosters and cap positions. The guide seeks to provide rule and mechanic clarity to GM's rather than a traditional strategy guide that has been discussed in the above paragraphs.

For the purposes of this guide, the season has been split into 8 phases, with an overview of each phase

1. Pre-Season
2. Regular Season Day 1 to Day 41
3. Regular Season Day 42 to Day 120
4. Regular Season Day 120 to 168
5. Playoffs
6. Off-season Pre-Draft
7. Draft
8. Free Agency
9. Pre-Season (next season)

General considerations

• Trade for stars and lottery picks
• It is difficult to sign a star across from another team in Free Agency unless they intend to leave
• The soft cap is $80m and can only be exceeded by utilizing certain mechanics
• Hard Trading Line is $95m and can only be exceeded by utilizing certain mechanics
• Free Agency is for role players, MLE eligible veterans and minimum signings
• You must retain at least 1 of your own first-round picks at all times
• A signed player (both new signings and re-signings) must be held on to for 42 days before the player can be included in a new trade
• A traded player must be held on to for 42 days before the player can be included in a new trade if the player has played at least one game. If the player has been inactive, the player can be traded immediately.

After Free Agency has been closed and before Day 1 of the new season. Training camp and pre-season games occur.

By this stage, most teams will have locked down their core 12 player roster prior to training camp. Whilst there is an opportunity for trade, it is likely that this will be largely focused on additional min signings. Teams with above 15 players on the roster are required to shed players to meet the 15 maximum roster slots. These released players will be eligible for min signings immediately so it pays to monitor the teams with > 15 players through the transaction log.

It is at this stage teams can elect to waive their draft picks without salary cap impact. This is particularly important for the 2nd rounders, where teams can assess their scouting post-college transition into JBL and training camp.

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)
• Sign a drafted player
• Trade where total salary & cap holds <= $95m and player was not acquired in the previous FA

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)
• Sign a drafted player

Regular Season - Day 1 to Day 41
The regular season begins and there is generally mad panic at day 20, with GMs extrapolating the first 7 or so games to end of season standings. Given the continued restrictions coming out of Pre-Season, there is little player movement and mostly min signings for teams with backup issues caused by early-season injury.

However, there will be much panic and therefore trade discussions to be executed on Day 42. GMs should look to leverage this panic to their advantage, particularly if there are teams that are below the Kangomatic projection.

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)
• Trade where total salary & cap holds <= $95m and player was not acquired in the previous FA

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)

Regular Season - Day 42 to Day 120
Pre-agreed trades will be executed on day 42 for contenders who are scrambling to keep their seasons alive. The previous FA trade restrictions are lifted and all players can be traded within the rule framework. Some teams may elect to wait it out beyond the 42 days before engaging in trades to allow more time for teams and lineups to gain cohesion, particularly with teams that have had major Off-season churn.

Contract extensions are available to eligible players. Players acceptance or response is variable: with some players accepting within 5, other up to 20. Contract extensions are available depending on a player's experience. The three extensions available are: $20m/2, $24m/3, $28m/5.

Notable activity from 2025
• The Warriors signed Alonzo Weaver to a contract extension worth $24,000,000 per year for 3 years.
• The Scorpions traded Marcus Ivory to the Bullets for Dameon Clarke, Jeremiah Augustin and Ivan Vacendak and the 2028 Thunder 2nd Round pick.
• The Scorpions traded Omar Grant and Ashanti Brooks to the Knights for Kelvin Black, Jaylen Barker, Kierall Richardson, Damien James, Jamonte Singleton, Tyler Smith and Andrew Fishback and the 2028 Knights 1st Round pick.
• The Tritons traded Marcus Ivory and Justin Chauca, along with the 2026 Tritons 1st Round pick and the 2027 Tritons 1st Round pick to the Scorpions for Lamar Francis and Mehdy Brown.
• The Knights offered Kelvin Hawes a $28m per season extension which was declined on day 120.

Day 120 is the trade deadline, prior to the All-Star game, there is usually a small number of trades that are completed at this deadline. Teams that want to open up their salary cap for the next off season should strongly consider using this phase to plan the next season in detail. It is the last major opportunity to shed cap be it through trade or waiving. GM's should note that they are still required to hit the cap floor and will be penalized for failing to do so. Salary Cap Penalties for the next season are decided at Day 120. GM scouting fog will depend on what your salary looks like when the season recommences after the All-Star break on Day 121.

GM's should keep an eye out for waived players that will be available as minimum signings.

Notable activity from prior seasons
• 2024: Demetric Vaughn $25.3m waived by the Vipers and signed for $1.5m with eventual champions, Toronto Huskies
• 2025: The Thunder traded the 2029 Thunder 1st Round pick to the Blizzards for Dejuan Jefferies and the 2026 Blizzards 1st Round pick.

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)
• Trade where total salary & cap holds <= $95m and player was not acquired in the previous FA

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)

Regular Season - Day 121 to 168
Minimal activity during the final phase of the regular season other than minimum signings. Some lottery teams may begin discussions for next season trades.

GM's are required to exercise or decline team options. This phase should be used to determine your primary strategy for the off season as exercised team options will be included in your cap once the off season begins. Some GM's may elect to decline a team option and attempt to re-contract the player to more favorable terms. Qualifying offers are required for RFA players.

As teams are knocked out of the playoffs and the Draft Lottery is run (during the playoffs), off-line discussions will begin to ramp up.

Notable activity 2025
• The Blizzards exercised its team option for PG Deleon Slay, worth $3,500,000 for the 2025 season.
• The Kings exercised its team option for SF Victor Olojakpoke, worth $4,400,000 for the 2025 season.
• The Stars declined the team option for PF Isaac Foster, worth $8,000,000 for the 2025 season. Foster is now a free agent.

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)

Off-season pre-draft
Here is where it all begins. Player options are immediately exercised after the playoffs. GM's will be beginning the execution of their off-season strategy. GM's should use this period to support their draft strategy and free agency budget. If GM's are not going to be active during FA, they can use this period to maximize their unrestricted cap position by trading up to the $95m cap as draft and minimum signings are an exception to this cap. It is important to note all players are held as a cap hold. RFAs at their QO; Unrestricted FAs at their previous salary.

Notable activity 2026:
• The Knights traded Kelvin Hawes to the Colonels for the 2026 Colonels 1st Round pick, the 2026 Lightning 1st Round pick, and the 2027 Lumberjacks 1st Round pick.
• The Crusaders traded the 2026 Crusaders 1st Round pick to the Mustangs for the 2026 Tritons 1st Round pick, the 2026 Mustangs 2nd Round pick and the 2026 Warriors 2nd Round pick.

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
• Player Option exercised
• Trade where total salary, tenure & cap holds <= $95m

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
• Player Option exercised


The most exciting time of the off season for GM's that do not mortgage their future. Given the flux of available players versus GM's lists, live trades occur, combining picks for a higher pick or deferring to future years.

Notable activity 2025:

• Houston Sends HOU 2026 #1, HOU 2027 #1 to Louisville for LOU 2025 First rounder, #8 (Marcus Price)

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
• Pick a player (counts as a cap hold)
• Trade where total salary, drafted player (factor rookie salary scale), tenure & cap holds <= $95m

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
• Pick a player (counts as a cap hold)

Free Agency
Contrary to common belief, Free Agency is not the panacea of a team’s roster and should be approached dependent on player tier/role.

General considerations
• Making an offer ties up your cap space until the offer is rejected by the player. Typically, this can be between 3 to 10 free agency days, depending on player demand.
• Not all GM offers will be genuine and can be used to weaponize the phase to tie up opponent’s cap
• Be wary of RFAs: even if the player accepts your offer, the tenured team has 3 days to match
• You must deal with your tenured players before making offers to other players unless the total cap hold and offers are below $80m
• MLE and minimums are exceptions to the soft cap and the hard trading line, be wary of utilizing these transactions before hitting the initial $80m cap as they will swallow the soft cap space

Valid transactions to exceed $80m soft cap
All tenured players and RFA's must be waived or prior:
• Signing tenured players up to the tenured cap of that player ( x 175% for early)
• Matching on a RFA
• MLE (this can be used at any time; however, you maximize the ability to exceed by dealing with tenured/RFA's first
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)

Valid transactions to exceed $95m hard trading line
All tenured players and RFA's must be waived or prior:
• Signing tenured players up to the tenured cap of that player ( x 175% for early)
• Matching on a RFA
• MLE (this can be used at any time; however, you maximize the ability to exceed by dealing with tenured/RFA's first
• Min signing ($1m/1y or $1.5m/1y for vets)

Unless a star players mood is 'Leaving', relying on landing a start through a FA offer can be highly risky. GM's should look at their own space and compare with other teams and what roster gaps they have to ascertain the likelihood of a successful FA signing. Given that teams with tenure can offer the max with an extra year, GM's should consider the use of a Sign & Trade to secure their target. It is important to note that S&T transactions must be under the $80m soft cap.

Notable activity 2026
• The Lightning signed free agent SF Jerome Bradley to a contract of $28,000,000 per year for 2 years, expiring at the end of 2027. (Bradley was leaving)
• The Dragons signed and traded Aaron Honeycutt to the Warriors for the 2027 Warriors 1st Round pick. (Honey was testing)
Victor Olojakpoke Signed with Kings ($20,000,000/3) (incumbent team)

Role Players
Here is where free agency is at its most valuable. Role players can be secured either through soft cap acquisitions or MLE. GM's should note that you cannot trade an MLE player and they are 2-year contracts. GM's should pick their targets and commit to chasing them early. With some teams tying up available cap space chasing star players early in FA, going hard early for your target is preferable as there will be more competition once stars are signed and teams regain their cap space.

Notable activity 2026
Tezale Craig signed with Kings ($6,000,000/2) (MLE signing, which allowed the Kings to greatly exceed the cap)
• Kendal Nash signed with Colonels ($6,000,000/2)

True Minimum and cheap signings
Minimum signings are limited to $1.5m (vet) or $1.0m (non vet) for one year only. Teams with cap space and no other targets should use the flexibility to offer above the minimum to edge out competing teams that are limited to minimum offers.

Notable activity 2026
Tyson Kuberka signed with Bullets ($1,500,000/1)
Keydren Carter signed with Jailbirds ($1,500,000/1)
Dimitri Ilic signed with Skyhawks ($2,000,000/1+1t) (wanted $12m and Skyhawks had space offer slightly above other teams constrained by cap)

In closing
The last thing before I close, is that this league is a league that is built for activity. There are a wide range of opinions on how people view things. There might be some things said about a trade you make, a free agency gamble you make or drafting a guy higher than you should. No matter what gets said, it just adds to the league in general.

Try not to take it personally, but do take it with a grain of salt and use it as bulletin board material or to get better. I got ranked as having the 2nd to worst draft out of the entire league this past year. I obviously disagree, but someone needs to be ranked there and I know I did make some mistakes. Just be prepared for some shade to be thrown your way, and to have fun with it. In the end, It does really make the league better.

Well my friends, with this article, my “Munsday” series comes to a close.

A huge thank you goes out to all of you who participated and took the time to answer questions throughout this past season and to KB for sharing his helfpul guide with me so that I could stick it in here.

I can tell you that as a Rookie GM the info that you all shared was extremely valuable and will certainly help other new guys that were in the position that I was in. If you are a rookie gm reading this, honestly just have fun and by all means, reach out with any questions you might have.

Good luck to you with your frist season. Know that the JBL is a fun place to be around and we are glad to have ya, just as long as you don’t mess around with some yard work and miss a draft because of it.

We will see you around in the the general chat, and again, good luck!