Earlier today, I looked at the six NBA teams projected to be taxpayers at the end of this season. However, just because those are the teams currently in the tax doesn't mean that they're a 100% lock to be the league's only taxpayers this year.
In all likelihood, no club currently below the tax threshold ($70,307,000) will make a signing that takes its team salary into tax territory. The cost would simply outweigh the benefit. But there are a handful of teams whose current cap figure is close enough to the cutoff that they're worth keeping an eye on for the remainder of the season.
If, for instance, a team near the tax line suffered a number of injuries and needed to release a couple of guaranteed salaries and replace those players with free agents, suddenly that team's cap hit would be dangerously close to the tax.
With about 70% of the season in the books, minimum-salary contracts would only be worth a pro-rated amount of the usual amount, so a rest-of-season minimum deal signed today would only represent a cap hit of about $250K. Still, even if they're faced with injury or depth issues, the following teams may be reluctant to make too many moves the rest of the way, for fear of approaching that tax threshold:
- San Antonio Spurs: $69,750,910
- Golden State Warriors: $69,631,506
- Los Angeles Clippers: $69,354,409
- Detroit Pistons: $69,050,344
Storytellers Contracts was used in the creation of this post.