The 2023-24 NBA salary cap has been set at $136 million with free agency getting going after yet another increase from the 2022-23 NBA payroll limit due to continued record revenue. Several teams such as the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs find themselves in a great spot. Others? Not so much.
We will also provide a bit more information at the bottom relating to what the salary cap is and what it means. Keep this bookmarked and handy, it will be updated continuously throughout the summer.
Note: All updated cap financial figures are provided by Spotrac and include cap holds for next season.
Related: Top 100 NBA free agents of 2023
Best NBA salary cap situations
1. Houston Rockets
- Houston Rockets NBA salary cap room: $60.52 million
- Houston Rockets free agents: Frank Kaminsky, Boban Marjanovic
Rockets general manager Rafael Stone is expected to go big-game hunting during the offseason. Houston wants to not only expedite its rebuild, but also find a way to contend after a second consecutive 60-loss season. That includes going after two big-name free agents.
The Rockets’ two highest-paid players in that of Kevin Porter Jr. ($15.8 million) and Jalen Green ($9.8 million) could also be used as assets to acquire another star player. Given Houston’s cap space, moving off those salaries would enable the team to bring in two max-contract players. Add in 2022 No. 1 overall pick Jabari Smith Jr., and that’s a team worth monitoring. It’s all about how Stone navigates through the offseason after using the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft on Amen Thompson.
2. San Antonio Spurs
- San Antonio Spurs NBA salary cap room: $37.48 million
- San Antonio Spurs free agents: Stanley Johnson, Tre Jones (restricted), Sandro Mamukelashvili, Gorgui Dieng
San Antonio hit the lottery (literally) when it picked up the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and the right to select generational big man Victor Wembanyama from France. He’s going to be the franchise cornerstone for Gregg Popovich and Co.
Fresh off their fourth consecutive non-playoff season, the Spurs are going to want to do more than that. Pop isn’t getting any younger. The current core outside of Keldon Johnson and Wemby bring very little to the table.
We’ve read rumors of interest in a certain Los Angeles Lakers free agent by the name of Austin Reaves. But with nearly $38 million in cap space, the expectation is that San Antonio will do more than that. It also has some short-term contracts in that of Doug McDermott ($13.7 million), Devonte’ Graham ($12.1 million) and Zach Collins ($7.7 million) that might be of interest to other teams.
3. Indiana Pacers
- Indiana Pacers NBA salary cap room: $32.16 million
- Indiana Pacers free agents: George Hill, Oshae Brissett, James Johnson
- Key losses: Chris Duarte
Flush with north of $32 million, Indiana has already been linked to breakout Heat guard Max Strus. The team has to make a couple moves to find more talent behind the likes of All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton and center Myles Turner.
Whether it’s Strus or someone else, Indiana has the money to sign a player into the cap. Heck, it could add multiple rotational pieces as general manager Chad Buchanan looks to build a playoff contender.
4. Detroit Pistons
- Detroit Pistons NBA salary cap room: $27.82 million
- Detroit Pistons free agents: Nerlens Noel, Hamidou Diallo, Cory Joseph
Following the record-breaking contract Detroit gave Monty Williams to become its new head coach, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that the Pistons aren’t going to look to expedite their rebuild.
The good news? Detroit has the assets in the form of nearly $28 to get this done. It would also receive a nice little haul by trading veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic. Right now, the Pistons are set to build around Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Ausar Thomson, their three most-recent high draft picks. With that said, we do expect general manager Troy Weaver to look for immediate impact players with the cap room and assets he boasts.
5. Utah Jazz
- Utah Jazz NBA salary cap room: $25.07 million
- Utah Jazz free agents: N/A
- Key Additions: John Collins
- Key losses: Rudy Gay
Under the leadership of front office head Danny Ainge, the Jazz were much more competitive than most imagined following the offseason trades of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Utah finished with a 37-45 record after being linked to the top of the lottery at the start of the season.
We expect Ainge and Co. to continue with the forward-thinking mentality. Don’t look for this team to add aging veterans to the mix. Instead, picking up John Collins from Atlanta for pennies on the dollar before free agency opened tells us that Ainge is targeting young and long-term options.
Related: Highest-paid NBA players of 2023
Worst NBA salary cap situations
1. Portland Trail Blazers
- Portland Trail Blazers NBA salary cap room: -$77.84 million
- Portland Trail Blazers free agents: Jerami Grant, Cam Reddish, Justise Winslow
Portland’s figure includes cap holds of nearly $60 million for Jerami Grant, Cam Reddish and Matisse Thybulle. Once those come off the books as NBA free agency opens, the Blazers will be in a much better position.
Obviously, the larger question here is the status of Damian Lillard after he met with the Blazers’ brass. The NBA salary cap won’t matter should the seven-time All-Star request a trade and Portland grant it. If not, general manager Joe Cronin has a lot of summertime work to do.
2. Phoenix Suns
- Phoenix Suns NBA salary cap room: -$75.05 million
- Phoenix Suns free agents: Torrey Craig, Bismack Biyombo, T.J. Warren, Damion Lee, Terrence Ross, Josh Okogie
- Key additions: Bradley Beal
- Key losses: Chris Paul, Landry Shamet
The acquisition of Bradley Beal in a blockbuster trade with Washington created a big three in the desert. It will also lead to an absolutely disastrous NBA salary cap situation moving forward.
With only six players under contract, the Suns will have a lot of work to do in order to fill out a championship-caliber roster. Unfortunately, Phoenix can only offer up vet minimum deals. Perhaps, the team looks to move Deandre Ayton for multiple rotational pieces as the summer progresses.
3. Dallas Mavericks
- Dallas Mavericks NBA salary cap room: -$72.62 million
- Free agents: Kyrie Irving, Christian Wood, Dwight Powell, Markieff Morris, Justin Holiday
Dallas’ cap numbers includes north of $84 million in salary holds for free agents Kyrie Irving, Christian Wood and Dwight Powell. The latter two are as good as gone. At this point, retaining Irving is key. Sure he’s visiting with other teams, but a return to Big D seems to be in the cards.
The Mavs do have the non-taxpayer midlevel exception worth an estimated $12.4 million to offer a free agent. After a disappointing 2022-23 season, it’s all about building a winning supporting cast behind franchise cornerstone Luka Doncic.
4. Los Angeles Clippers
- Los Angeles Clippers NBA salary cap room: -$67.54 million
- Free agents: Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, Mason Plumlee
The Clippers’ decision not to guarantee Eric Gordon’s contract for next season saved them north of $100 million against the NBA luxury tax. That’s an astounding number. Unfortunately, the max deals Los Angeles is paying out to injury-plagued stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George handcuffs the organization heading into free agency.
Los Angeles only has the taxpayer midlevel exception ($5 million) and veteran minimums to offer up in free agency.
5. Philadelphia 76ers
- Philadelphia 76ers NBA salary cap room: -$67.41 million
- Free agents: Jalen McDaniels, Shake Milton, Georges Niang
James Harden’s decision to opt into his contract for next season changes the landscape big time in Philadelphia. He has seemingly requested a trade, leading to $75 million in 2023-24 NBA salary cap figures tied up to two players in Harden and Tobias Harris who are unlikely to be with the team next season. Philly does have the non-taxpayer midlevel exception worth $12.4 million to use in free agency.
NBA salary cap by team
|Rank||Team||NBA salary cap room|
|1||Houston Rockets||$60.52 million|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||$37.48 million|
|3||Indiana Pacers||$32.15 million|
|4||Detroit Pistons||$27.82 million|
|5||Utah Jazz||$25.07 million|
|6||Orlando Magic||$22.80 million|
|7||Oklahoma City Thunder||$16.61 million|
|8||Toronto Raptors||-$13.69 million|
|9||Atlanta Hawks||-$15.38 million|
|10||Sacramento Kings||-$18.02 million|
|11||New York Knicks||-$25 million|
|12||Memphis Grizzlies||-$27.24 million|
|13||Washington Wizards||-$31.83 million|
|14||Chicago Bulls||-$34.85 million|
|15||Milwaukee Bucks||-$39.05 million|
|16||Charlotte Hornets||-$41.17 million|
|17||Cleveland Cavaliers||-$45.10 million|
|18||Los Angeles Lakers||-$53.56 million|
|19||Boston Celtics||-$53.34 million|
|20||Brooklyn Nets||–$55.25 million|
|21||Denver Nuggets||-$59.53 million|
|22||Miami Heat||-$60.45 million|
|23||New Orleans Pelicans||-$60.68 million|
|24||Minnesota Timberwolves||-$65.76 million|
|25||Golden State Warriors||-$65.86 million|
|26||Philadelphia 76ers||-$67.41 million|
|27||Los Angeles Clippers||-$67.54 million|
|28||Dallas Mavericks||-$72.62 million|
|29||Phoenix Suns||-$75.05 million|
|30||Portland Trail Blazers||-$77.84 million|
NBA salary cap by year
- 2018-19: $101.87 million
- 2019-20: $109.14 million
- 2020-21: $109.1 million (COVID-19 economic downturn)
- 2021-22: $112.4 million
- 2022-23: $122.7 million
- 2023-24: $134 million
NBA Salary cap explained
- What is the NBA salary cap? It is set at $134 million for the 2023-24 season. The cap was first implemented by the NBA back in 1984-85 to help with competitive balance after the Los Angeles Lakers won three consecutive titles.
- What is the luxury tax in comparison to the NBA salary cap? The luxury tax threshold for the 2023-24 season is set at $162 million. Once teams reach this number, they have to pay other organizations for going over the tax. Under the new CBA, teams are limited signing veteran minimum players in NBA free agency and salary matching when it comes to trades.
- What is the NBA max salary in 2023-24? The max salary projection for 2023-24 is expected to be $46.9 million. Right now, Nikola Jokic has the highest annual salary of $54.4 million. When Damian Lillard’s extension kicks in ($60.89 AAV) he’ll hold the title.
- Who is the NBA highest payroll team? The Golden State Warriors boasted the NBA’s highest payroll (including luxury tax) in 2022-23 at $372 million. That could rise to nearly $500 million in 2023-24.