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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. 

salary-cap-increase.jpg

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