NBA To Pay $366.7 Million to Players


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On Saturday, the NBA set the salary cap for the 2016-17 season at a record $94,143,000 – up from last season’s $70,000,0000.

In a memo sent out to the 30 teams, which was obtained by Basketball Insiders, the league also set the three tiers of maximum salaries.

For players with less than seven years of experience in the league, the maximum starting salary is $22,116,750.  For those with seven to nine years of experience, the max is $26,540,100.  Finally, players with at least 10 years in the league can earn up to $30,963,450.

Additionally, the salary cap threshold for the coming season will be $113,287,000.  Teams that trigger a hard cap, by either using their Mid-Level Exception, Bi-Annual Exception or acquiring a player via sign-and-trade, cannot spend a cent over $117,287,000.

The Mid-Level does not climb with the salary cap, set at $5,628,000 million in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The taxpayer Mid-Level will be $3,477,000 million; the Room Exception will be $2,898,000 million and the and the Bi-Annual Exception will be $2,203,000

Players with Early Bird rights can earn a salary starting $6,191,000 or 175 percent of their previous year’s salary, whichever is higher.

League basketball related income (BRI) for the 2015-16 season was $5.289 billion.  Players earned $2.346 billion in salaries and $212 million in benefits, for a total of $2.558 billion.

The players’ total share of income was just 48.36 percent, below the designated share of 50.83 percent ($2.689 billion).

The NBA will pay out an additional $130.9 million to the players’ union, to make up for the shortfall.  Teams will also return the $235.8 million withheld throughout the season from players’ checks in escrow – a combined $366.7 million.

Seven teams paid luxury taxes for a total of $117.2 million, the major percentage coming from the Cleveland Cavaliers ($54 million).

The Los Angeles Clippers ($19.9 million), Golden State Warriors ($14.8 million), Oklahoma City Thunder ($14.5 million), San Antonio Spurs ($4.9 million), Houston Rockets ($4.9 million) and Chicago Bulls ($4.2 million) were also taxpayers.

Half of the tax will fund revenue sharing, while the other will be distributed to the 23 non-taxpayers at $2.5 million apiece.

The Portland Trail Blazers fell short of the $63.0 million salary floor by $840,206.  The Orlando Magic were $58,268 under.  Both teams will need to compensate last season’s roster in the amount of the shortfall.

The minimum salary for the coming season will be $84,728,700

Finally, the NBA is still crunching numbers to project the salary cap and luxury tax level for future seasons.  That information will be sent out to teams before July 7.

The league’s previous projection for the 2017-18 season was $107 million.


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About Eric Pincus

Eric Pincus

Eric Pincus is a Senior Writer for Basketball Insiders, with a focus on the business side of the game.

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