How Teams Are Using 2023/24 Bi-Annual Exceptions

The bi-annual exception is one of the tools available to NBA teams who are over the cap, giving those clubs the flexibility to offer free agents more than the minimum salary. In 2023/24, the bi-annual exception is worth $4,516,000 and can be used to offer a deal worth up to $9,257,800 over two years.

However, the bi-annual exception isn’t available to every team. Clubs that go below the cap in order to use cap room lose access to the exception. Additionally, using the BAE imposes a hard cap of $172,346,000 (the first tax apron) on a team. So if a club has surpassed the tax apron – or wants to retain the flexibility to do so – it can’t use the bi-annual exception.

Finally, as its name suggests, the bi-annual exception can’t be used by a team in consecutive years. In 2022/23, two teams used the BAE — the Sixers (Danuel House) and Heat (Kevin Love). As such, the exception isn’t available to those clubs during the 2023/24 league year. They’ll be able to use it again next summer.

With all those factors in mind, here’s a breakdown of how teams are using – or not using – their respective bi-annual exceptions in 2023/24:

Available Bi-Annual Exceptions:


  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Knicks
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Washington Wizards

Although all of these teams technically have the ability to use their bi-annual exceptions at some point in 2023/24, it’s more plausible for some than others.

For instance, the Timberwolves still have their full $12MM+ mid-level exception available and are aren’t far from the luxury tax line, so I wouldn’t expect them to use the BAE this season. If they need to offer more than the veteran’s minimum to sign a player, it will likely come out of their MLE.


  • Cleveland Cavaliers
    • Used: $2,439,025 (Ty Jerome)
    • Available: $2,076,975
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Toronto Raptors

Typically, about two to four teams in a given league year use the bi-annual exception, and this season has yet to buck that trend.

The Lakers and Raptors are the only two teams to use their entire bi-annual exceptions to date, so they won’t have it available in 2024/25. Neither will the Cavaliers, even though they’ve only used a little over half of the BAE so far this season.

Unavailable Bi-Annual Exceptions:

Went under cap:

  • Detroit Pistons
  • Houston Rockets
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Orlando Magic
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Utah Jazz

These eight teams forfeited their right to the bi-annual exception when they went under the cap and used space this offseason.

Over (or near) tax apron:

  • Boston Celtics
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Phoenix Suns

In theory, cost-cutting moves by these teams could put them in position to use their bi-annual exceptions. In actuality though, that’s a long shot, especially for clubs like the Clippers, Warriors, and Suns, whose team salaries are well beyond the second tax apron.

Used last year:

  • Miami Heat
  • Philadelphia 76ers

As noted in the intro, these are the two teams that used their bi-annual exceptions in 2022/23 and, as a result, won’t have them again until 2024/25.

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