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NBA announces record salary cap for 2016-17 after historic climb

The NBA's salary cap is up more than $24 million from last season, leading teams to go on a spending spree this summer. 

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The NBA’s salary cap just made a record leap to a record high.

The league announced Saturday that the 2016-17 salary cap will rise to $94.1 million. The luxury tax line will increase to $113.3 million and the salary cap floor will be set at $84.7 million. The new salary cap figure is $24.1 million more than the 2015-16 salary cap, representing a record for a single-season increase.

Remarkably, the NBA’s salary cap has never previously risen by more than $8 million in the modern era.

For comparison’s sake, the salary cap was set at $70 million last season, the luxury tax line was $84.74 million and the salary cap floor was at $63 million.

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As a reflection of this enormous increase in spending power, NBA teams reportedly agreed to hand out more than $2 billion in contract agreements in less than 48 hours after free agency opened on midnight Friday.

Additionally, the NBA set the 2016-17 non-taxpayer mid-level exception at $5.628 million, the taxpayer mid-level exception at $3.477 million and the mid-level for a team with room under the cap at $2.898 million. Those figures are up only slightly from last season, which saw a $5.464 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception, a $3.376 million taxpayer mid-level exception and a $2.814 million room mid-level exception.

NBA projections show that another significant increase in the salary cap is expected next season. USA Today Sports reported in April, citing an NBA memo, that the 2017-18 salary cap could reach $107 million, thanks in part to the NBA’s recent nine-year, $24 billion media rights deal. 

The chart below shows this year’s massive increase and future anticipated jumps (in red) compared to the last 16 years of more gradual growth. 


The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association both have the right to opt out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement in July 2017.