Four NBA teams finished the 2016/17 season below the league’s salary floor and will have to make up the difference by paying a little extra money to the players who finished the season on their respective rosters. The Nets, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and Jazz each fell short of the $84.729MM floor this season.
While the 2016/17 league year isn’t over yet, the end of the regular season last week signaled the “snapshot” day for luxury tax and salary floor purposes. Teams are required to spend at least 90% of the salary cap in each NBA season, though the penalties for failing to do so aren’t exactly punitive. If a club falls $2MM short of the salary floor, for instance, it must pay that $2MM to players on its roster to reach the floor.
Our numbers aren’t official, but they should very closely resemble the NBA’s final figures. Bobby Marks of The Vertical confirmed last week that Brooklyn, Denver, Minnesota, and Utah finished below the salary floor. Here’s what those team’s end-of-season cap figures look like, per our Salary Cap Snapshots:
- Brooklyn Nets: $1,336,916 below floor (team salary: $83,392,084)
- Denver Nuggets: $2,147,064 below floor (team salary: $82,581,936)
- Minnesota Timberwolves: $3,023,043 below floor (team salary: $81,705,957)
- Utah Jazz: $4,230,808 below floor (team salary: $80,498,192)
While the current CBA doesn’t include a set formula that teams must adhere to when distributing the salary floor shortfall to their players, it’s believed that players generally receive proportional amounts based on their salaries, rather than even splits. So for the Jazz, a player like Gordon Hayward would receive a larger share than Joel Bolomboy.
With the NBA’s salary cap expected to increase to at least $101MM in 2017/18, the league’s salary floor appears likely to exceed $90MM next season.