NBA Maximum Salary Projections For 2022/23

[UPDATE: The NBA has updated its salary cap projection for 2022/23. Our new maximum salary projections for ’22/23 can be found here.]

Although several big-money free agent contracts were completed during the offseason, the majority of the most lucrative deals signed by NBA players in 2021 have been contract extensions. And many of those extensions have been maximum-salary deals.

[RELATED: 2021/22 NBA Contract Extension Tracker]

Because those extensions won’t go into effect until at least the 2022/23 season and the NBA won’t finalize the ’22/23 salary cap until next summer, we can only ballpark what many of year’s maximum-salary contracts will look like based on the league’s latest cap estimates.

When the NBA confirmed its salary cap data for the 2021/22 season on August 2, the league also updated its cap projection for the ’22/23 campaign, estimating a $119MM cap. As such, we’re basing our figures on that $119MM projection.

Listed below are the early maximum-salary projections for 2022/23. The first chart shows the maximum salaries for a player re-signing with his own team — a player’s previous club can offer five years instead of four, and 8% annual raises instead of 5% raises. The second chart shows the maximum salaries for a player signing with a new team.

A player’s maximum salary is generally determined by his years of NBA experience, so there’s a wide gap between potential earnings for younger and older players. Unless they qualify for a more lucrative extension by meeting certain performance criteria, players with no more than six years of NBA experience are limited to a starting salary worth up to 25% of the cap. For players with seven to nine years of experience, that number is 30%. For players with 10 or more years of experience, it’s 35%.

Here are the the early max-salary projections for 2022/23:

A player re-signing with his own team (8% annual raises, up to five years):

Year 6 years or less 7-9 years 10+ years
2022/23 $29,750,000 $35,700,000 $41,650,000
2023/24 $32,130,000 $38,556,000 $44,982,000
2024/25 $34,510,000 $41,412,000 $48,314,000
2025/26 $36,890,000 $44,268,000 $51,646,000
2026/27 $39,270,000 $47,124,000 $54,978,000
Total $172,550,000 $207,060,000 $241,570,000

The “6 years or less” column here is what the new extensions for Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will look like if neither makes an All-NBA team in 2022. Both players have Rose Rule language in their contracts, however, and could move up to the 30% max column (“7-9 years”) if certain criteria are met.

Luka Doncic has already met those criteria by making the All-NBA team in each of the last two seasons, so the 30% max column reflects his new extension.

The third column (35%) doesn’t apply to any extensions signed this offseason, but if a veteran star like Bradley Beal or Kyrie Irving were to sign a new maximum-salary contract that goes into effect next season, those are the projected salaries they’d be eligible for. They’d have to opt for free agency to get the full $241MM+ over five years, since they can’t tack on that many new years in an extension.

A player signing with a new team (5% annual raises, up to four years):

Year 6 years or less 7-9 years 10+ years
2022/23 $29,750,000 $35,700,000 $41,650,000
2023/24 $31,237,500 $37,485,000 $43,732,500
2024/25 $32,725,000 $39,270,000 $45,815,000
2025/26 $34,212,500 $41,055,000 $47,897,500
Total $127,925,000 $153,510,000 $179,095,000

If a player changes teams as a free agent, he doesn’t have access to a fifth year or 8% raises. So if someone like Deandre Ayton or Michael Porter Jr. were to sign an offer sheet with a new team next summer, he’d be limited to a four-year deal projected to be worth just shy of $128MM. Of course, there’s still plenty of time for the Suns and Nuggets to extend Ayton and Porter this offseason.

If Zach LaVine – or another veteran with between seven and nine years of NBA experience – wants to change teams in 2022, he would be able to sign a four-year contract worth up to a projected $153.51MM.

Beal, Irving, or another veteran with 10+ years of experience would be limited to about $179MM across four years if they change teams as free agents in 2022.

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