The NBA Salary Cap will rise approximately $8.5 million in 2022-23, an increase $2 million higher than initially forecast. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted the projections yesterday.
Sources: The NBA has informed teams of projected salary cap and tax level in 2022-23 — $121M and $147M, both are $2M higher than previous estimates.
The current cap stands at $112.4 million, with the luxury tax threshold at $136.6 million.
The Portland Trail Blazers are over the cap this season, but they ducked under the luxury tax threshold yesterday with a significant trade, moving forwards Robert Covington and Norman Powell to the Los Angeles Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, and Keon Johnson. The move will break Portland’s string of consecutive years over the tax line, relieving their obligation to pay Repeater Tax penalties should they exceed the threshold next year.
If nothing changes for Portland between now and July, the Blazers will be obligated to a minimum of $104.5 million in salaries. That includes the contracts of all seven of their guaranteed players. It presumes that Bledsoe’s contract will not be guaranteed and the Blazers will owe $3.9 million in parting fees.
Significantly, that figure does not include re-signing restricted free agent Anfernee Simons or unrestricted free agent Jusuf Nurkic. Nor does it include CJ Elleby’s $2 million qualifying offer.
Multiple things will change between now and July. The Blazers could make another trade, retain their 2022 first-round draft pick, or decide to pick up options on players. But at first glance, it looks like the Blazers will be choosing between retaining their own free agents or preserving a modest amount of cap space, about the same size as a cap exception.