NBA Teams With Hard Caps For 2013/14

The NBA's salary cap is famously known as a "soft cap," allowing teams to surpass the cap threshold using various cap exceptions, sometimes by a significant margin. Last season, the Lakers' team salary exceeded the cap by $40MM, with the team spending about $100MM (plus taxes) on its roster of players.

However, under the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement, there are a few instances in which a team can become hard-capped for a season. If a team's salary exceeds the luxury tax threshold ($71,748,000) by $4MM+, that team is not permitted to acquire a player via sign-and-trade, or to use the full mid-level or bi-annual exceptions. As soon as a team completes a sign-and-trade deal, or uses its BAE, or uses more than $3,182,700 of its MLE to sign a player, that club becomes hard-capped at $75,748,000 for the 2013/14 season. In other words, team salary can't exceed that amount at any point before June 30th, 2014.

For some clubs, that hard cap isn't a major concern. For instance, the Pelicans still have about $12MM in breathing room below the hard cap, and seem to be just about done making moves. On the other hand, the Celtics are only about $2MM below the hard cap, so any trades or signings Boston makes for the rest of the season will have to be constructed to ensure team salary doesn't surpass that $75.748MM cutoff.

Here are the clubs who are now locked into a hard cap for the 2013/14 season, along with an estimation (via HoopsWorld) of their current team salaries and the reason(s) why the hard cap was created:

Boston Celtics
Current estimated team salary: $73,638,001
Hard cap created: Acquired Keith Bogans via sign-and-trade

Los Angeles Clippers
Current estimated team salary: $72,361,060
Hard cap created: Acquired J.J. Redick via sign-and-trade; signed Matt Barnes and Darren Collison via non-taxpayer MLE

Toronto Raptors
Current estimated team salary: $70,710,039
Hard cap created: Acquired Quentin Richardson via sign-and-trade

Washington Wizards
Current estimated team salary: $69,883,992
Hard cap created: Signed Martell Webster via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Eric Maynor via BAE

Indiana Pacers
Current estimated team salary: $69,150,000
Hard cap created: Signed C.J. Watson via BAE

Golden State Warriors
Current estimated team salary: $68,333,105
Hard cap created: Acquired Andre Iguodala via sign-and-trade; signed Marreese Speights and Toney Douglas via non-taxpayer MLE

Denver Nuggets
Current estimated team salary1: $66,849,937
Hard cap created: Acquired Randy Foye via sign-and-trade; signed J.J. Hickson via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Nate Robinson via BAE

San Antonio Spurs
Current estimated team salary2: $64,782,127
Hard cap created: Signed Marco Belinelli and Jeff Pendergraph via non-taxpayer MLE

New Orleans Pelicans
Current estimated team salary: $63,347,645
Hard cap created: Acquired Tyreke Evans via sign-and-trade

Minnesota Timberwolves
Current estimated team salary3: $61,158,583
Hard cap created: Acquired Kevin Martin via sign-and-trade; signed Corey Brewer via non-taxpayer MLE; signed Ronny Turiaf via BAE

Estimate includes Timofey Mozgov's cap hold
Estimate includes Gary Neal's cap hold
Estimate includes Nikola Pekovic's cap hold

HoopsWorld was used in the creation of this post.

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