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2015-16 NBA Salary Cap Could Be Higher Than Projected

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Ken Berger of CBSSports reports that initial projections of $67 million could be low.

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Ken Berger of CBSSports is reporting that league sources are indicating that the 2015-16 salary cap could rise to $69 million. This is nearly $2 million higher than initially projected.

Teams have been operating on an estimated cap of $67.1 million for the 2015-16 season, but the National Basketball Players Association revealed at the annual agents' summit in Los Angeles this week that the actual cap is expected to come in at least $1 million higher, and perhaps as much as $2 million higher, two people familiar with the matter said. The official number won't be set until July 8, when league audits will be completed at the end of the league's moratorium period on free-agent signings. Players and teams can begin negotiating deals after midnight ET Wednesday.

The luxury-tax threshold, projected to be $81.6 million for the coming season, also is expected to be pegged at a significantly higher number, sources said.

While $1-2 million per team seems like a modest number, it adds up to $30-60 million more for NBA players in aggregate. It also provides more wiggle room for signings and trades and may end up shifting some teams' cap and cap-exception status...or more importantly their luxury tax obligation.

The expected upward shift in the '15-'16 cap could help teams like the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, Pistons, Suns, Rockets, Bucks and others who are trying to create cap room to chase free agents from LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe and Tyson Chandler. It could also help big-spending teams like the Nets, and teams dipping for the first time into the luxury tax like the Thunder and Bulls, by easing their projected tax burden.

We won't know how this affects the Portland Trail Blazers definitively until we know what free agents they plan to re-sign. It won't affect their ability to sign max-level players but it could improve their chances of getting lesser free agents after the huge signings are done.