NBA Maximum Salary Projections For 2023/24

Although a number of big-money free agent contracts have been completed since the 2022/23 NBA league year began, several of the most lucrative deals signed by players in ’22 have been contract extensions. And many of those extensions have been maximum-salary deals.

[RELATED: 2022/23 NBA Contract Extension Tracker]

Because those extensions won’t go into effect until at least the 2023/24 season and the NBA won’t finalize the ’23/24 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 2022/23 season on June 30, the league also updated its cap projection for the ’23/24 campaign, estimating a $133MM cap. That estimate has since risen to $136MM. We’re basing our figures on a projection of $136,021,000, which would be the maximum allowable increase.

Listed below are the early maximum-salary projections for 2023/24. 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 2023/24:

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
2023/24 $34,005,125 $40,806,150 $47,607,175
2024/25 $36,725,535 $44,070,642 $51,415,749
2025/26 $39,445,945 $47,335,134 $55,224,323
2026/27 $42,166,355 $50,599,626 $59,032,897
2027/28 $44,886,765 $53,864,118 $62,841,471
Total $197,229,725 $236,675,670 $276,121,615

The “6 years or less” column here is what the new extensions for Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Darius Garland will look like if none of them make an All-NBA team in 2023. All three 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.

The 30% max column will also apply to players who reach the free agent market next summer with between seven and nine years of NBA experience under their belts. That would be Fred VanVleet‘s maximum contract with the Raptors, for instance, assuming he doesn’t sign an extension before then.

The third column (35%) will apply to the new super-max extension signed by Nuggets star Nikola Jokic. Sixers center Joel Embiid also previously signed a super-max extension that will begin in 2023/24, though his deal is for four years, so it’d be worth a projected $213,280,144 instead of the projected $276MM+ that Jokic will earn over five seasons.

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

Year 6 years or less 7-9 years 10+ years
2023/24 $34,005,125 $40,806,150 $47,607,175
2024/25 $35,705,381 $42,846,458 $49,987,534
2025/26 $37,405,638 $44,886,765 $52,367,893
2026/27 $39,105,894 $46,927,073 $54,748,251
Total $146,222,038 $175,466,445 $204,710,853

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 Cameron Johnson 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 over $146MM.

If a veteran free agent with between seven and nine years of NBA experience – wants to change teams in 2023, he would be able to sign a four-year contract worth up to a projected $175.47MM.

James Harden, Draymond Green, or another veteran with 10+ years of experience would be able to earn nearly $205MM across four years if they change teams as free agents in 2023. While it’s probably unlikely that Harden, Green, or any other 10-year veteran changes teams and signs a four-year, maximum-salary deal next offseason, it will theoretically be the first time in NBA history that a player could receive a $200MM+ contract while changing teams.

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