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2022-23 NBA salary cap number set: A look at all 30 teams

Vincent Frank
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA salary cap for the 2022-23 season has reportedly been set at $122 million.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, this comes in at $1 million higher than previous projections. The NBA luxury tax number is $2 million more than original projections ($149 million).

There’s three teams who will be most impacted by the latter figure. That list includes the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors — all of whom are expected to pay a ton of cash into the luxury tax next season.

From a practical standpoint, the NBA salary cap increasing by a mere $1 million won’t have a major impact given very few teams have actual cap space to add NBA free agents outright.

Related: Top 2022 NBA free agents

What is the NBA salary cap?

It’s pretty much a soft cap unlike the NFL. That is to say, teams can go over the cap in order to retain their own free agents or sign bird-right players to contract extensions.

Those who are over the cap are limited in trades. The salaries have to pretty much match in said trade. They are also limited to signing players with mid-level or bi-annual cap exceptions.

As noted above, the NBA has this thing called the luxury tax. Once a team reaches that point, it must pay into said tax. Check out the NBA’s own FAQ when it comes to that.

Let’s start with the teams that are projected to be under the cap and then move on to those who will have no real cash to spend this summer.

2022 NBA salary cap: Teams with room to spend

Orlando Magic

nba salary cap: orlando magic
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
  • NBA salary cap space: $28.67 million

Orlando has a total of 10 players under contract for next season. Orlando’s top salary cap figures go to Jonathan Isaac ($17.4 million) and Markelle Fultz ($16.5 million) — both of whom have been injured plagued in their careers.

Boasting the worst record in the Eastern Conference, there’s a chance that Magic general manager Jeff Weltman will look to move off these contracts. With a talented young core group, we’re not necessarily expecting the Magic to use this cap room on an over-priced veteran. That’s not their MO right now.

Related: 2022 NBA mock draft

Detroit Pistons

nba salary cap: detroit pistons
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
  • NBA salary cap space: $25.80 million

Detroit is in an interesting situation in that Jerami Grant was the subject of rumors leading up to the February 10 NBA trade deadline. He has a $20.96 million salary cap figure in 2022-23 and is set to hit free agency the following summer. There’s a darn good chance that Detroit will move Grant as the team looks to build around the likes of Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey moving forward.

We also wouldn’t be surprised if Pistons general manager Troy Weaver looked to attach Kelly Olynyk’s contract to any Grant deal. He’s set to count $12.8 million against the cap in 2022-23 with only $3 million guaranteed the following season. That’s almost like an expiring deal, which could come in handy.

Indiana Pacers

nba salary cap: indiana pacers
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
  • NBA salary cap space: $25.09 million

Indiana’s decision to trade All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings for a package surrounding Tyrese Haliburton will have long-term ramifications for the team. However, we’re expecting more moves from the team’s front office after yet another disappointing season.

It would not be a surprise if the Pacers traded both Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner during the summer. They might also look to add Buddy Hield’s contract ($21.18 million cap hit in 2022-23) to any deal. Given the teams without cap room, contracts would likely have to match. However, Indiana might be able to add a top-end NBA free agent if it plays some cap gymanastics here.

Related: Top 50 players in the NBA right now

San Antonio Spurs

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
  • NBA salary cap space: $22.86 million

The Spurs moved off both Thaddeus Young and Derrick White at the deadline. In addition to acquiring two first-round picks in the 2022 NBA Draft, this gave them more cap flexibility for the summer.

Right now, stud guard Dejounte Murray is the team’s highest-paid player with a cap hit of $16.57 million. Veterans Doug McDermott ($13.75 million) and Josh Richardson ($12.20 million) don’t necessarily fit into the Spurs’ long-term plans and could be flipped this summer.

Portland Trail Blazers

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • NBA salary cap space: $21.11 million

Like San Antonio, the Blazers made cost-cutting moves ahead of the deadline. That included trading high-priced guard C.J. McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Primarily, the acquisition of Eric Bledsoe as a salary fill-in was interesting. Only $3.9 million of his $19.4 million cap hit for next season is guaranteed. Josh Hart’s $12.64 million cap figure is also non-guaranteed. We’re intrigued to see how this roster will be built behind Damian Lillard during the summer. There’s a ton of avenues for the Blazers to create a lot of NBA salary cap room when all is said and done.

Related: Updated NBA Playoff predictions

Oklahoma City Thunder

Feb 16, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) runs down the court against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Paycom Center. San Antonio won 114-106. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
  • NBA salary cap space: -$671,000

Oklahoma City has a $27.43 million dead cap hit relating to Kemba Walker. That’s insane given that the next three highest-paid players on OKC’s current roster behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are set to count a combined $22 million against the cap in 2022-23.

It’s all about roster building for general manager Sam Presti. He’s collected a ton of draft picks. He has two cornerstone players in SGA and Josh Giddey. That is to say, Oklahoma City will likely be more active on the trade block than the free-agent market.

Related: Top NBA Rookie of the Year candidates

2022-23 NBA salary cap: Where the rest of the league stands

Oct 19, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA;Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) and forward Anthony Davis (3) on the court during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. The Warriors won 121-114. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is different than other leagues in that there player options which will play a big role in the finances.

Someone like struggling Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook is all but guaranteed to pick up his player option of $47.06 million for next season.

On the other hand, the expectation is that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal will decline his option and re-sign with the team. All of this is taken into account below.

  • New York Knicks: -$4.87 million
  • Houston Rockets: -$15.04 million
  • Miami Heat: -$18.79 million
  • Boston Celtics: -$19.18 million
  • Philadelphia 76ers: -$19.66 million
  • Memphis Grizzlies: -$19.66 million
  • Charlotte Hornets: -$22.88 million
  • Sacramento Kings: -$23.89 million
  • Toronto Raptors: -$27.48 million
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: -$28.32 million
  • New Orleans Pelicans: -$29.95 million
  • Utah Jazz: -$37.64 million
  • Los Angeles Lakers: -$40.35 million
  • Chicago Bulls: -$43.87 million
  • Los Angeles Clippers: -$47.79 million
  • Dallas Mavericks: -$48.04 million
  • Washington Wizards: -$49.51 million
  • Milwaukee Bucks: -$51.57 million
  • Denver Nuggets: -$57.06 million
  • Phoenix Suns: -$60.23 million
  • Brooklyn Nets: -$66.07 million
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: -$68.80 million
  • Atlanta Hawks: -$79.56 million
  • Golden State Warriors: -$84.46 million

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