The NBA salary cap nearly surpassed the $100 million threshold in 2017-18 as the impact of the most recent collective bargaining agreement reflected the open vault players have enjoyed the past few seasons.
The cap is the total that can be spent by each team, not including a luxury tax penalty for exceeding it.
After a steady upward climb ($35.5 million in 2000-01 to $58.7 million in 2008-09) the cap surged to $70 million in 2015-16, then $94.1 million last year. This season it’s $99.093 million.
Things have cooled, however. Projections have the cap only moving incrementally next season, to $101 million. The era of backup centers like Portland’s Meyers Leonard getting a four-year, $41 million deal are a distant memory.
But that doesn’t mean that the league’s upper echelon is worrying about their portfolio. The NBA’s highest-paid players are among the richest athletes in all of pro sports, topped by the game’s two best players, Stephen Curry and LeBron James.
Who else is in the top tier when it comes to paychecks? Some of the names might surprise you.