The NBA’s luxury tax figures for the 2015-16 season following the league’s official audit came in well higher than expected, and the Nets now have a little more wiggle room to fit under it.
The most recent projections for the cap and luxury tax sent out to NBA teams in April were set at $67.1 and $81.6 million, respectively. But the official numbers released by the NBA show a more optimistic projection, setting the cap at an even $70 million and the luxury tax figure at $84.74 million. The cap experienced an 11% increase over last season, while the tax line went up 10.3%.
For the Nets, that’s good news. The team currently has about $95 million in salary commitments (presuming Brook Lopez also got the bump from the full max), not including non-guaranteed deals for Earl Clark, Markel Brown, Cory Jefferson, and Ryan Boatright. A luxury tax line jump of $3 million shaves almost $12 million off the current Nets luxury tax bill, and brings them within $11 million of actually getting under the tax line.
The rising cap also means Deron Williams’s trade kicker, which we reported now matters again, matters even more. And yes: if they waive two of their non-guaranteed deals along with it, stretching Williams’s contract would bring the Nets under the luxury tax.