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The salary cap is falling! The salary cap is falling!

Apr 6, 2010, 8:34 AM EDT

We live in a world guided by expectations. Stock prices rise and fall on how a company does compared to what experts expected. Our friends set the expectations we have for a movie, then we think the movie did or did not live up to those expectations.

On that basis, what is about to happen to the NBA’s salary cap numbers next year are not that bad. That’s what Ken Berger at CBSSports reports.

As team executives get their books in order for the free-agent period that begins July 1, there are indications that the 2010-11 salary cap may not fall as much as earlier projections indicated. Two execs who expect to have cap space for the 2010 free-agent chase told CBSSports.com that their latest projections show the cap being no worse than $53 million – and quite possibly better than that. Last July, the league office circulated a memo to all 30 teams warning of a possible drop in league-wide revenues ranging from 2.5 percent to 5 percent. The result would have been a cap ranging from $50.4 million to $53.6 million. If revenues have been more robust than previously feared, the higher cap could give teams more money to spend on free agents than they’ve been projecting. Several teams continue to work off less optimistic projections for a $52 million cap, with the clear understanding that they’re being overly cautious.

This year’s cap is $57.5 million. The $53 million number would be about where the cap was during the 2006-07 season. Remember, this is the soft cap number (not the luxury tax number) that most teams will exceed because the NBA Salary Cap rules are far more complicated than the plot of LOST.

So, you know, not bad if you were expecting the apocalypse.

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