Salary Cap

And-Ones: Team USA, Contracts, EuroBasket Qualifiers, BIG3

Team USA got revenge on the Select Team during Saturday’s scrimmage, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, who writes that the senior team won 84-61 after three periods, which were 10 minutes each.

As Vardon notes, Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Brandon Ingram and Jaren Jackson Jr. started both days for Team USA. On Friday, Cameron Johnson was the fifth starter, while Anthony Edwards received the nod on Saturday.

Given that the team performed much better yesterday, it seems like Edwards might have the edge for a starting nod, though head coach Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to commit to anything.

Despite what he’s said publicly in terms of the lineup, it’s clear that Kerr has a major role in mind for Brunson, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

I think Jalen is such a natural leader,” Kerr said. “Because he’s a point guard, he immediately comes to mind. He’s the one who’s leading the ‘1, 2, 3 USA’ chant. Some guys just, it just comes naturally to them.”

With the Select Team heading home and the Americans having a non-contact practice on Sunday, the next test for Team USA as it prepares for the 2023 World Cup will come during Monday’s exhibition game against Puerto Rico, Vardon adds.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Which NBA players have benefited the most from the salary cap rising 10% each of the past two years? ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides a chart (via Twitter) of salary comparisons over the past four league years, and notes the highest earners have actually received the biggest bump in terms of relative volume.
  • The 32-nation qualifying field for the 2025 EuroBasket tournament has been set, as Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays. The qualifiers will take place over three different windows between February 2024 and February 2025.
  • BIG3 co-founder Ice Cube has a handful of former NBA veterans on his wish list, including DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Dwight Howard and Jamal Crawford, he tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (subscriber link). The 12-team 3-on-3 league started at the end of June and runs through August 26, with the championship held in London, England.

NBA Minimum Salaries For 2023/24

An NBA team that has spent all its cap space and doesn’t have any of its mid-level or bi-annual exception available still always has the ability to sign a player to a minimum-salary contract, unless that club is right up against its hard cap.

Teams with cap room or with access to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception will have a little more flexibility to sign players to longer-term minimum-salary contracts. However, teams without cap room and without any other exceptions on hand can still use the minimum salary exception to add as many players as roster limits and the hard cap allow, for contracts of up to two years. Unlike other exceptions, such as the mid-level or the bi-annual, the minimum salary exception can be used multiple times.

[RELATED: Values of 2023/24 mid-level, bi-annual exceptions]

Undrafted free agents and second-round picks are often recipients of minimum-salary contracts, but there are plenty of veterans who end up settling for the minimum too. Because a player’s minimum salary is determined by how much NBA experience he has, many veterans will earn more than twice as much money as a rookie will in 2023/24 on a minimum-salary contract.

Listed below are 2023/24’s minimum salary figures, sorted by years of NBA experience. If a player spent any time on an NBA club’s active regular season roster in a given season, he earned one year of experience. So any player with zero years of experience has not yet made his NBA debut.

These figures represent a 10% increase on last season’s figures, since that’s the amount of the NBA’s salary cap increase for 2023/24.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Years of Experience Salary
0 $1,119,563
1 $1,801,769
2 $2,019,706
3 $2,092,354
4 $2,165,000
5 $2,346,614
6 $2,528,233
7 $2,709,849
8 $2,891,467
9 $2,905,861
10+ $3,196,448

Because the NBA doesn’t want teams to avoid signing veteran players in favor of cheaper, younger players, the league reimburses clubs who sign veterans with three or more years of experience to one-year, minimum-salary contracts. Those deals will only count against the cap – and against a team’s bank balance – for $2,019,706, the minimum salary for a player with two years of experience.

For instance, Patrick Beverley, who has 11 seasons of NBA experience, will reportedly sign a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Sixers, who will only be charged $2,019,706 for Beverley’s contract. He’ll earn $3,196,448, but the NBA will make up the difference. This only applies to one-year contracts, not to multiyear deals.

If a player signs a minimum-salary contract after the regular season begins, he’ll earn a prorated portion of the amount listed above.

Those figures listed above also only apply to players who are signing new contracts in 2023/24. Players who are in the second, third, or fourth year of a minimum-salary deal will be earning a slightly different predetermined amount.

For example, Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy – who signed a minimum-salary contract last offseason and now has one year of NBA experience – will earn a $1,719,864 salary in the second year of his contract, shy of the $1,801,769 he would receive if he were signing a new minimum deal this fall. That’s because his second-year salary is based on a 5% raise over last season’s minimum salary for a player with one year of experience, whereas the cap rose by 10%.

Here’s what multiyear minimum-salary contracts signed in 2023/24 will look like:

2023/24 2024/25 2025/26 2026/27
0 $1,119,563 $1,891,857 $2,221,677 $2,406,205
1 $1,801,769 $2,120,693 $2,301,587 $2,489,752
2 $2,019,706 $2,196,970 $2,381,501 $2,698,607
3 $2,092,354 $2,273,252 $2,581,276 $2,907,465
4 $2,165,000 $2,463,946 $2,781,053 $3,116,326
5 $2,346,614 $2,654,644 $2,980,834 $3,325,190
6 $2,528,233  $2,845,342 $3,180,615 $3,341,740
7 $2,709,849 $3,036,040 $3,196,447 $3,675,917
8 $2,891,467 $3,051,153 $3,516,095 $3,675,917
9 $2,905,861 $3,356,271 $3,516,095 $3,675,917
10+ $3,196,448 $3,356,271 $3,516,095 $3,675,917

Technically, a minimum-salary contract could cover five years for a player with full Bird rights, but in actuality, that never happens.

While some second-round picks and undrafted free agents will sign three- or four-year minimum-salary contracts, a minimum deal exceeding two years is rare for a player with more than a year or two of NBA experience under his belt.

Information from RealGM was used in the creation of this post.

Rookie Scale Salaries For 2023 NBA First-Round Picks

With the NBA’s salary cap set at $136,021,000 for the 2023/24 league year, the rookie scale has been set as well. The rookie scale locks in the value of contracts for first-round picks.

In every NBA league year, rookie scale amounts are assigned to each first-round slot, from No. 1 through No. 30. Teams can sign their first-rounders to as little as 80% of that rookie scale amount, or up to 120% of that figure.

While that rule theoretically affords teams some flexibility, first-round picks virtually always sign contracts worth 120% of their rookie scale amount, and unsigned first-rounders have a cap hold worth 120% of their rookie scale amount.

Listed below are the salary figures that represent 120% of the rookie scale amounts for 2023’s first-round picks. If a first-round pick signs a rookie scale contract in 2023/24, it will be for the amount below unless he accepts a deal worth less than the maximum allowable 120%. If that happens, we’ll adjust their amounts below.

These salary figures will only apply if the player signs in 2023/24. If a player doesn’t sign an NBA contract this year, his rookie contract will look a little different in future seasons.

Rookie scale contracts are guaranteed for the first two years, with team options on the third and fourth years.

Here’s the 2023 breakdown, with the help of data from RealGM:

Player 2023/24 2024/25 2025/26 2026/27 Total
Victor Wembanyama $12,160,680 $12,768,960 $13,376,880 $16,868,246 $55,174,766
Brandon Miller $10,880,400 $11,424,600 $11,968,800 $15,104,626 $49,378,426
Scoot Henderson $9,770,880 $10,259,160 $10,748,040 $13,585,523 $44,363,603
Amen Thompson $8,809,320 $9,249,960 $9,690,600 $12,258,609 $40,008,489
Ausar Thompson $7,977,480 $8,376,000 $8,775,000 $11,117,925 $36,246,405
Anthony Black $7,245,480 $7,607,760 $7,970,280 $10,106,315 $32,929,835
Bilal Coulibaly $6,614,280 $6,945,240 $7,275,600 $9,240,012 $30,075,132
Jarace Walker $6,059,520 $6,362,520 $6,665,520 $8,478,541 $27,566,101
Taylor Hendricks $5,569,920 $5,848,680 $6,127,080 $7,805,900 $25,351,580
Cason Wallace $5,291,400 $5,555,880 $5,820,240 $7,420,806 $24,088,326
Jett Howard $5,026,800 $5,278,320 $5,529,720 $7,337,938 $23,172,778
Dereck Lively $4,775,640 $5,014,560 $5,253,360 $7,239,130 $22,282,690
Gradey Dick $4,536,720 $4,763,760 $4,990,560 $7,131,510 $21,422,550
Jordan Hawkins $4,310,160 $4,525,680 $4,741,320 $7,021,895 $20,599,055
Kobe Bufkin $4,094,280 $4,299,000 $4,503,720 $6,904,203 $19,801,203
Keyonte George $3,889,800 $4,084,200 $4,278,960 $6,563,925 $18,816,885
Jalen Hood-Schifino $3,695,040 $3,879,840 $4,064,640 $6,243,287 $17,882,807
Jaime Jaquez $3,510,600 $3,685,800 $3,861,600 $5,939,141 $16,997,141
Brandin Podziemski $3,352,440 $3,519,960 $3,687,960 $5,679,458 $16,239,818
Cam Whitmore $3,218,160 $3,379,080 $3,539,760 $5,458,310 $15,595,310
Noah Clowney $3,089,520 $3,244,080 $3,398,640 $5,414,034 $15,146,274
Dariq Whitehead $2,966,040 $3,114,240 $3,262,560 $5,366,911 $14,709,751
Kris Murray $2,847,480 $2,990,040 $3,132,000 $5,315,004 $14,284,524
Olivier-Maxence Prosper $2,733,720 $2,870,400 $3,007,080 $5,259,383 $13,870,583
Marcus Sasser $2,624,040 $2,755,080 $2,886,720 $5,198,983 $13,464,823
Ben Sheppard $2,537,160 $2,663,880 $2,790,720 $5,031,668 $13,023,428
Nick Smith $2,463,960 $2,587,200 $2,710,680 $4,890,067 $12,651,907
Brice Sensabaugh $2,448,600 $2,571,480 $2,693,760 $4,862,237 $12,576,077
Julian Strawther $2,431,080 $2,552,520 $2,674,200 $4,826,931 $12,484,731
Kobe Brown $2,413,320 $2,533,920 $2,654,880 $4,792,058 $12,394,178

NBA Maximum Salaries For 2023/24

Now that the NBA has set its salary cap for the 2023/24 league year at $136,021,000, we have a clear idea of what maximum-salary contracts will look like for the coming season.

Listed below are the maximum-salary contracts for players signing contracts that start in 2023/24.

The first chart shows the maximum salaries for a player re-signing with his own team — a player’s previous team 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.

These figures will apply to a number of players who signed maximum-salary contract extensions that will go into effect in 2023/24: Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, LeBron James, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Darius Garland. They’ll also apply to anyone who signs a maximum-salary contract with his own team as a free agent in ’23/24, though there likely won’t be anyone who fits that bill.

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.

In the charts below, the “6 years or less” column details the maximum contracts for players like Morant, Williamson, and Garland, as well as what a free agent like Miles Bridges is eligible for; the “7-9 years” column applies to free agents like Fred VanVleet and to players who qualified for a Rose Rule rookie scale extension, though no one did this year; and the “10+ years” column applies to the league’s most experienced vets, like James, or those who qualified for the super-max, such as Jokic and Embiid.

Here are the maximum salary figures 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 $34,005,250 $40,806,300 $47,607,350
2024/25 $36,725,670 $44,070,804 $51,415,938
2025/26 $39,446,090 $47,335,308 $55,224,526
2026/27 $42,166,510 $50,599,512 $59,033,114
2027/28 $44,886,930 $53,864,316 $62,841,702
Total $197,230,450 $236,676,540 $276,122,630

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 $34,005,250 $40,806,300 $47,607,350
2024/25 $35,705,513 $42,846,615 $49,987,718
2025/26 $37,405,775 $44,886,930 $52,368,085
2026/27 $39,106,038 $46,927,245 $54,748,453
Total $146,222,575 $175,467,090 $204,711,605

It’s worth noting that none of the maximum-salary figures listed above will apply to extension-eligible players whose new contracts will start in 2024/25.

This group includes players like Tyrese Haliburton and Desmond Bane, who agreed to maximum-salary extensions with the Pacers and Grizzlies, respectively. It also includes players who signed maxextensions in previous years that will begin in ’24/25, such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker.

The exact value of those players’ contracts will depend on where the cap lands for 2024/25, which won’t be officially announced until next June.

Values Of 2023/24 Mid-Level, Bi-Annual Exceptions

The salary cap for the 2023/24 NBA league year has officially been set, with the league announcing that the cap will be $136,021,000, a 10% increase on last year’s number.

Under the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the values of the mid-level, room, and bi-annual exceptions are tied to the percentage that the salary cap shifts in a given year. Because the cap figure for 2023/24 increased by 10%, the values of the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions increase by the same amount.

There are a few more wrinkles involved in the calculation of this year’s figures. As part of the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the non-taxpayer mid-level exception is receiving a one-time 7.5% increase in addition to the usual 10% bump, while the room exception has been increased by 30% (plus the usual 10%).

The taxpayer mid-level exception is headed in the other direction, dipping to a flat $5MM this season after being worth approximately $6.48MM last season. It will resume increasing at the same rate as the cap going forward.

Listed below are the maximum annual and total values of each of these exceptions, along with a brief explanation of how they work and which teams will have access to them.

Mid-Level Exception (Non-Taxpayer):

Year Salary
2023/24 $12,405,000
2024/25 $13,025,250
2025/26 $13,645,500
2026/27 $14,265,750
Total $53,341,500

The non-taxpayer mid-level exception is the primary tool available for over-the-cap teams to add free agents. As long as a team hasn’t dipped below the cap to use cap space and doesn’t go over the first tax apron ($172,346,000) at all, it can use this MLE, which runs for up to four years with 5% annual raises.

Mid-Level Exception (Taxpayer):

Year Salary
2023/24 $5,000,000
2024/25 $5,250,000
Total $10,250,000

Besides being worth less, this exception will now only allow for signings of up to two years instead of three, as a result of the new CBA. The goal was to reduce the ability of taxpaying teams to continue adding talent.

This exception is essentially available to teams who expect their total salaries to fall between the first tax apron and the second apron ($182,794,000). It’s not available to teams above the second tax apron, so a team that does use it becomes hard-capped at that second apron. A team that uses more than $5MM of its mid-level exception will be hard-capped at the first apron.

The taxpayer MLE can be used to sign a player for up to two years, with a 5% raise for the second season.

Room Exception:

Year Salary
2023/24 $7,723,000
2024/25 $8,109,150
2025/26 $8,495,300
Total $24,327,450

Although this is also a mid-level exception of sorts, it’s colloquially known as the “room” exception, since it’s only available to teams that go below the cap and use their cap room.

If a club goes under the cap, it loses its full mid-level exception, but gets this smaller room exception, which allows the team to go over the cap to sign a player once the team has used up all its cap space. It can be used to sign players for up to three years, with 5% annual raises.

Bi-Annual Exception:

Year Salary
2023/24 $4,516,000
2024/25 $4,741,800
Total $9,257,800

The bi-annual exception, as its name suggests, is only available to teams once every two years. Of the NBA’s 30 clubs, only two – the Sixers and Heatused it in 2022/23, so they won’t have access to it in ’23/24. The league’s other 28 teams could all theoretically use it this season.

Still, even if a team didn’t use its BAE in ’22/23, that club doesn’t necessarily have access to it for the coming year. As is the case with the non-taxpayer MLE, this exception disappears once a team goes under the cap to use room. It’s also not available to teams over the first tax apron — using the BAE creates a hard cap at that apron.

The BAE can be used to sign players for up to two years, with a 5% raise after year one.

Salary Cap, Tax Line Set For 2023/24 NBA Season

The NBA has officially set the salary cap for its 2023/24 season. As forecasted earlier this week, the cap increased by a full 10% on last season’s $123,655,000 figure.

Here are the details, largely courtesy of a league press release:

  • Salary cap: $136,021,000
  • Luxury tax line: $165,294,000
  • First tax apron: $172,346,000
  • Second tax apron: $182,794,000
  • Minimum salary floor: $122,418,000
  • Non-taxpayer mid-level exception: $12,405,000
  • Taxpayer mid-level exception: $5,000,000
  • Room exception: $7,723,000
  • Bi-annual exception: $4,516,000
  • Maximum salaries:
    • 6 years or fewer: $34,005,250
    • 7-9 years: $40,806,300
    • 10+ years: $47,607,350
  • Early Bird exception: $12,015,150
  • Estimated average salary: $11,958,000
  • Trade cash limit: $6,999,000

The first tax apron for the 2023/24 league year will be the hard cap for any team that acquires a player via sign-and-trade, signs a player using more than the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception, signs a player using a bi-annual exception, or acquires more than 110% of the outgoing salary in a trade.

The second tax apron is the hard cap for a team that uses the taxpayer mid-level exception.

The salary floor is the minimum amount a team must pay its players in 2023/24. A team that doesn’t spend up to that amount by the start of the regular season will pay the shortfall to the NBA and will only be eligible for 50% of its full share of the luxury tax distribution at season’s end.

The Early Bird amount – which was confirmed to Hoops Rumors by Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype – is the maximum amount a team can offer a player it intends to re-sign using his Early Bird rights. Pelicans forward Herbert Jones has already agreed to an Early Bird deal.

Players earning below the estimated average salary this season who are eligible for a veteran extension can receive a starting salary of up to 140% of the estimated average salary on a new deal. So the maximum starting salary for a player earning below the league average who signs an extension that begins in 2024/25 will be $16,741,200.

The trade cash limit is the maximum amount of money a team can send or receive during the 2023/24 league year. The sent and received categories are separate, so if a team sends out $6,999,000 in one trade and receives $6,999,000 in another, they aren’t back at square one — they’ve reached both limits.

We have separate stories breaking the full year-by-year figures for this year’s maximum salaries, minimum salaries, and mid-level and bi-annual exceptions.

NBA Increases Salary Cap Projection For 2023/24

The NBA has updated its salary cap projection for the 2023/24 season, telling teams today that the cap is expected to be higher than previously anticipated, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania, the NBA’s updated projections call for a ’23/24 cap of $136MM, with a luxury tax line of $165MM.

The league previously estimated a $134MM cap with a tax threshold around $162MM.

The NBA and NBPA have agreed not to increase the salary cap by more than 10% per year. Because the 2022/23 cap was $123,655,000, the cap for ’23/24 can’t exceed $136,020,500. Based on Charania’s reporting, it sounds like this year’s cap bump might reach that maximum 10% increase, or at least come very close to it.

The new projections will give more wiggle room to clubs whose team salaries for 2023/24 project to be around the tax line or at or above one of the two tax aprons, which will be approximately $7MM and $17.5MM above the tax threshold. Teams that project to have cap space, meanwhile, should have a couple extra million dollars to work with as they weigh how to use that room.

Various exceptions that are tied to the salary cap, including the mid-level exception, bi-annual exception, and rookie scale, will get a slight bump based on the new cap projection. So will the minimum and maximum salaries, which means that players like Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, and Darius Garland will see their maximum-salary extensions increase by $3-4MM, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets.

The official cap figures for the coming league year are typically announced right near the end of June. However, when the NBA updates its projections this close to free agency, it’s safe to assume the actual numbers will be very similar to these estimates.

Updated Maximum, Minimum, MLE, BAE Projections For 2023/24

The NBA issued a new salary cap projection for the 2023/24 season on Friday, increasing its estimate for next year’s cap to $134MM.

There are a number of salary figures directly connected to the cap, including the league-wide maximum and minimum salaries, the mid-level exception, and the bi-annual exception. Those figures increase or decrease each year by the same percentage the cap does.

The NBA’s new cap projection meant we had a series of ’23/24 projections of our own in need of updating. Here are the links to those updated numbers:

Maximum salary projections for 2023/24

These are the projected earnings for players who signed maximum salary extensions that will go into effect in 2023, including Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid, among others. Jokic’s record-setting super-max extension, previously projected to be worth just shy of $270MM over five years, is now on track to be worth $272MM+.

Minimum salary projections for 2023/24

These are the minimum salaries that a player who signs a standard contract in 2023/24 will be eligible to earn. Next year’s rookie minimum is currently projected to exceed $1.1MM, while the minimum salary for a veteran with at least 10 years of NBA experience will surpass $3MM for the first time in league history.

Mid-level, bi-annual projections for 2023/24

These projections cover the various mid-level exceptions available to teams, including the full (non-taxpayer) mid-level exception, the taxpayer version of the MLE, and the “room” exception for teams that use cap space. A player who signs a four-year contract worth the full mid-level next summer would be in line to receive nearly $49MM over the life of the deal.

The bi-annual exception is also included in these projections — it projects to be worth a record $4,448,000 in ’23/24.

These projections can be found anytime on the right-hand sidebar of our desktop site under “Hoops Rumors Features” or on the “Features” page in our mobile menu. They’ll be updated again later this season if the NBA issues another new cap projection.

2023/24 Salary Cap Projection Increases By $1MM

The NBA has updated its salary cap projections for the 2023/24 season and is now forecasting a $134MM cap and a $162MM luxury tax line, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who notes that both figures are an increase of $1MM on the projections from the end of June.

The salary cap for the 2022/23 season is locked in at $123,655,000, so the cap is projected to increase by about $10.35MM. The tax line for this season is $150,267,000, so that figure is projected to increase by about $11.73MM.

We will continue to update our early ’23/24 projections for the minimum salary, maximum salary, and mid-level and bi-annual exceptions throughout the season.

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link), there is a 10% limit on how much the salary cap can increase from this season to next due to the “financial hardship” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, so $136MM is the maximum possible cap for the 2023/24 season.

Given the projections for ’23/24 have increased before the ’22/23 season has even tipped off, there’s a good chance that it could increase a little more throughout the league year. That could change of course, but as of right now, it seems like a reasonable bet.

Training camps start at the end of September, with the regular season set to start on October 18.

How Rising Salary Cap Could Impact NBA Teams, Players

The NBA’s revenue was significantly impacted in 2020 and 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic, but rebounded in a big way this past season, resulting in the league’s biggest single-year salary cap bump since 2016.

As John Hollinger of The Athletic writes, the salary cap projects to continue increasing rapidly in the coming years, particularly after the NBA completes a lucrative new television deal that will take effect in 2025. That rising cap will have a real impact on how teams approach contract and extension talks with their players, and how those players weigh their contract decisions.

For starters, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibits veteran players who are earning more than the league average salary from receiving a raise of more than 20% in the first year of an extension. As a result, players like Dejounte Murray and Jaylen Brown, who have significantly outperformed contracts in the range of $16-26MM per year, are extremely unlikely to sign extensions before they reach free agency, which could result in difficult decisions for teams.

For instance, an inability to extend Murray now and an uneasiness about going all the way to free agency in 2024 with him was believed to be one reason why the Spurs traded the All-Star guard this offseason. Now Brown finds himself in trade rumors as well.

For now, those extension rules are only really creating problems for teams who sign players for less than the maximum and then watch those players prove worthy of max extensions. However, the issue could become more widespread if the cap continues to rocket upward.

According to Hollinger, a “50-60 percent increase in the cap over a period of half a decade” isn’t out of the question, in which case even players who sign maximum-salary contracts may have to put off extensions until their next free agency in order to maximize their earnings.

Given the anticipated cap jumps coming in the next few years, Hollinger suggests that teams may be more willing to lock in long-term deals that look like bad present values, since they’ll be worth a much smaller percentage of the cap by the time they expire. He points to Jordan Poole, RJ Barrett, and Tyler Herro as examples of extension-eligible players who could be worth maximum-salary investments based on current and future cap numbers.

As Hollinger observes, locking in a player to a more lucrative longer-term deal now would also make it more viable to extend that player down the road, whereas a contract like Keldon Johnson‘s new four-year, $80MM pact with the Spurs could make him virtually unextendable if the cap continues to increase by 10% per year (or anything close to it).

Conversely, certain players might become more inclined to seek shorter-term contracts in order to reach unrestricted free agency in 2025 or shortly thereafter, after the NBA’s new TV deal money comes in.

There has been speculation that the NBA and NBPA may agree to “smooth” out a significant salary cap increase across several seasons this time around, rather than allowing a massive one-year spike like in 2016. But either way, the expectation is that there will be an influx of new revenue in the coming years, and the players are entitled to about half of it.

It’s still a little too early to say with any certainty how the NBA’s salary cap outlook is affecting teams’ and players’ decisions, but it’ll be an issue to keep a close eye on going forward.