For the past few months, we’ve been operating under the assumption that the NBA’s salary cap will increase to about $92MM for the 2016/17 season. However, it appears the cap will end up making an even larger jump from this year’s $70MM. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, the NBA has informed teams that the projected salary cap will rise to $94MM, with the projected tax cutoff increasing to $113MM.
The actual salary cap for 2016/17 won’t be officially confirmed until July, so the latest projected figure remains just that — a projection. Still, the fact that the league is already informing teams of that $94MM figure suggests that the cap should end up in that neighborhood.
A difference of $2MM for the projected ’16/17 cap won’t make a major difference for most teams, but it could benefit clubs looking to carve out cap room for a max salary. Getting an extra couple million dollars in breathing room could allow clubs to keep a low-priced player and still land a coveted free agent, rather than having to jettison that incumbent player to make room.
Of course, with the cap increasing, projected max salaries will increase as well. The max salary projections for a $92MM cap were $21.6MM for players with six or fewer years of experience, $25.9MM for players with between seven and nine years of experience, and $30.3MM for veterans of 10 or more seasons.
A $94MM cap would increase those figures by a few hundred thousand dollars apiece, to $22MM, $26.4MM, and $30.8MM, respectively, according to Charania. Larry Coon’s max salary projections (via Twitter) are each $200K higher ($22.2MM, $26.6MM, and $31MM).