The National Basketball Players’ Association has informed agents that the league salary cap is projected to increase to $120MM in 2020, sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical. The NBA’s most recent evaluation of the 2020 cap suggested a rise to $118MM is likely, per Charania.
NBA salary cap projections can fluctuate significantly, particularly when figures are being calculated for several years in the future. Still, the most recent estimates from the league and the players’ union – in the wake of a tentative agreement on a new CBA – suggest that the cap is on track to increase substantially over the next several years. The 2016/17 cap is just over $94MM, with a $103MM figure projected for 2017/18.
When the NBA projected its cap for future seasons back in July, its estimate for the 2020/21 campaign was more modest. At the time, the league anticipated a $114MM cap, with a $139MM luxury tax threshold. According to Charania, the projected tax line for a $120MM cap in ’20/21 would be about $143MM.
As Charania details, a $120MM cap would result in maximum salaries of $42MM for top-tier players (35% of the cap), $36MM for the second tier (30%), and $30MM for the third tier (25%). Additionally, under the new CBA, minimum salaries, rookie salaries, and mid-level exceptions will be tied to the salary cap – rather than getting fixed annual increases – so those figures are all on track to increase significantly as well.
While it’s too far away to know exactly which teams will benefit from the increasing cap projections, it’s safe to say that teams with multiple stars, such as the Warriors, will have a better chance to keep their rosters together and avoid going deep into the luxury tax if the cap continues to grow rapidly.