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Report: League’s salary cap, luxury tax will remain unchanged

Jun 23, 2012, 12:51 AM EDT

LeBron James (L) of the Miami Heat and R Getty Images

This is not really a surprise — while per-game attendance was good and television ratings were up this season (although ratings don’t immediately translate to revenue) it was expected not to really impact the cap in a shortened season.

Teams have been operating under the assumption that next year’s salary cap would be about the same as this year’s, and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says it will (hat tip IamaGM).

Under the CBA ratified by owners and players in December, the salary cap and luxury tax threshold cannot go lower in 2012-13 than their levels in the first year of the deal — $58 million and $70.3 million, respectively. Despite a robust post-lockout recovery that included salvaging all $900 million or so of the league’s national broadcast revenues, sources familiar with the NBA’s finances believe overall revenues did not increase enough in 2011-12 to push the cap and tax significantly beyond current levels until 2013-14, the first season under a more punitive luxury tax designed to rein in big-spending teams.

Current spending levels are expected to be status quo when the free-agent floodgates open July 1. But the restrictions within that model are much harsher, and it isn’t clear yet who the winners and losers will be.

Berger’s story talks a lot about the bigger issue — in 2014 the new CBA will really start to punish teams that live above the salary cap with a more severe tax. Of the final four teams in this year’s NBA playoffs three teams — Miami, Boston and San Antonio — were in the top 5 in the league in salary and Oklahoma City will join them soon as extensions for Russell Westbrook and James Harden start to kick in.

The goal of the new CBA is to flatten out the salaries in the NBA, to make it hard to put together a team like Miami or keep a team like Oklahoma City together. A lot of the owners wanted that because they felt like it was spending that was keeping them down.

But do fans really want parity when this finals shows us that stars draw the viewers?

  1. southpaw77 - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    We’ll see.
    Seems like every free agent is rumored to go to Miami, let’s see the big 3 keep winning all by themselves or will this soft cap continue to be gone over by the Heat.

  2. savvybynature - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    A star-laden Finals may boost rating, but a Finals is only 7 games at most.

    Who wants to watch the regular season or conference post season play when the winner seems all but predetermined? You need more than two All-Star teams to sell tickets to the 82 game regular season.

  3. southpaw77 - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    The NBA cap is a joke.
    The league was strong in the 80s because most teams had a hall of famer on their team and each team that came to your city had someone u wanted to see. Want examples?
    Mullin in GS, Miller in Indiana, Drexler in Portland, Olajuwon in Houston, Wilkins in Atlanta, Robinson in San Antonio, Barkley in Philly, Stockton/Malone in Utah, Mourning in Charlotte, Ewing in NY, Isiah in Detroit and so on. The talent was spread across so good drafting and keen trading was the difference, not just going over the cap.

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 23, 2012 at 3:14 AM

      Durant/Westbrook/Harden in OKC, LeBron/Wade/Bosh in Mia, Dirk in Dallas, Parker/Duncan/Manu in SA, Kobe in LAL, CP3/Griffin in LAC, Deron Williams in NJ, Dwight in Orl, Rose in Chi-Town, Melo/STAT in NY, Pierce/KG/Rondo/Allen in Boston, and so on.

      This generation of players is full of stars my friend.

  4. dgbk - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    I agree with wat savy said good rating dont mean healthy league…… rather silly to think these finals show parity will not be good… bucks fans and bobcat fans should have hope they team can put things together and make a run. lebron and the heat winnin a title dont sell tickets in those markets.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      “good rating dont mean healthy league”

      In what planet?

      • tsi431 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        The only planet that matters to the NBA. The Owners’ planet.

  5. sambacker95 - Jun 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    The salary cap isnt going to mean much if players take less money. Remember, lebron and Dwade took pay cuts. Chris Bosh actually is the highest paid player on the team.

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