NBA Lowers 2017-18 Cap Projection to $102 Million

The NBA lowered the 2017-18 salary cap projection from $107 million to $102 million, Basketball Insiders learned.

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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The NBA’s salary cap projection for the 2017-18 season has dropped from $107 million to $102 million.

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In a memo distributed to all 30 teams, which was obtained by Basketball Insiders, the NBA credits a “substantial increase in projected player spending for 2016-17” that will reduce the league’s projected shortfall to the players to $200 million.

Back in April, the league originally expected teams to fall below their proscribed obligation to the players of near 51 percent of Basketball Related Income (BRI) by $375 million.

For the 2015-16 season, the NBA will pay out an additional $130.9 million to players for falling below the 50.83 percent share of $2.689 billion due to the players – which, by the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), helped push the 2016-17 salary up to $94.1 million.

The NBA now expects teams to spend more this season, with the higher salary cap and luxury tax threshold ($113.3 million).  The league also didn’t expect quite as much high-level spending on free agents this July.

A reduced shortfall translates to a lower expected salary cap for 2017-18.  The league also projects a tax threshold of $122 million for next year.

The salary cap projects to climb to $108 million in 2018-19, $109 million in 2019-20 and $114 million in 2020-21.  The tax threshold is expected to rise to $130 million, $132 million and $139 million, respectively.

Note that both the NBA and the NBA Players Association can opt out of the current CBA on December 15.  Any projections beyond the 2017-18 season are based on the current rules, which could be subject to significant change in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The projected maximum salaries for 2017-18, based on a $102 million cap, would near $24 million for players with less than seven years of experience, $28.8 million with seven to nine and $33.5 million for those with 10 years or more.

The current max-salary tiers are $22.1 million, $26.5 million and $31 million, respectively.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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