The NBA’s salary cap for 2015/16 has been set at $70MM, which is an 11% increase from last season, and the luxury tax line is fixed at $84.74MM. The last cap projection from the league prior to the official numbers being announced had been $67.1MM, and the projection for the tax line had been $81.6MM. Many league executives and agents believe that the salary cap will escalate to a whopping $95MM for 2016/17, a higher figure than the league’s last projection of $89MM. This significant bump is a result of the league’s new $24 billion TV deal that kicks in just in time for next season.
The increase in the salary cap will almost assuredly set off a flurry of activity in the free agent market next summer, and it will also make it easier than ever for teams to deal away their higher-priced stars. Prudent executives are acutely aware of exactly how much cap room they have to play with, not just for the current campaign, but for next season and beyond as well. While the exact amount of 2016/17’s salary cap won’t be announced until next summer, it always pays to know just how much salary is on the books for each franchise. With this in mind, we at Hoops Rumors will be breaking down the projected 2016/17 financial commitments for each franchise, and we’ll continue onward with a look at the Phoenix Suns:
- Fully Guaranteed Salary Commitments: $58,469,257*
- Partially Guaranteed Salary Commitments: $1,500,000
- Non Guaranteed Salary Commitments: $6,740,630
- Total Projected Salary Cap Commitments: $66,709,887
*Note: This amount includes the $777,777 due Michael Beasley, who was waived via the stretch provision.
If the salary cap were to fall in line with the projection of $89MM, Phoenix would have approximately $22,290,113 in cap space, or $28,290,113 if the cap were to be set at the higher mark of $95MM. Again, these are merely predictions until the exact cap amounts are announced, and they are not meant to illustrate the exact amount that the team will have available to spend this coming offseason.
Phoenix will also need to make decisions regarding Cory Jefferson and Bryce Cotton, both of whom are eligible to become restricted free agents next summer. If the Suns wish to retain the right to match any offer sheets the duo were to receive the team would need to submit qualifying offers, with Jefferson’s worth $1,147,276 and Cotton’s valued at $1,180,431. This would increase the team’s projected cap commitments by a total of $2,327,707, though that number would merely be a placeholder until the players either inked new deals or signed their qualifying offers, which would then set them up for unrestricted free agency the following offseason.
Trades and long-term free agent signings made during the season will also have a significant impact on the figures above, and we’ll be updating these posts to reflect the new numbers after any signings and trades have been made official.
The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.