Report: Salary cap could rise to $105 million in 2017-18

NBA players back out

The NBA’s current salary cap is $63.065 million.

Larry Coon projects $67.4 million for next season.

When I projected future caps under the new national TV contracts, using admittedly conservative numbers, I got $87 million for 2016-17 and $94 million for 2017-18.

Either the league predicts more revenue beyond those TV contracts or the TV contracts pay more money sooner, because the latest projections are even bigger.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

NBA teams using internal data are projecting the salary cap to jump to between $88 million and $92 million per team, sources told ESPN.

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

The cap could jump from $90 million in 2016-17 to as much as $105 million the year after, per league sources

This is part of the reason the players union rejected smoothing.

The league argued the cap spike would benefit only those who are free agents in 2016. But it appears free agents in 2017 will also have a chance to cash in as the cap leaps again. If money keeps flowing like this, that could be the case for several summers.

Of course, there’s a major catch: A lockout in 2017 and the subsequent Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations could completely change how the salary cap works.