CHART: In The NBA The Salary Cap Is Not Nearly As Frightening As The Tax Level

In the NBA teams need to worry about getting below the salary cap in the future if they want to be players in the free agent market. But for the purposes of in-season payroll levels, the salary cap is nearly meaningless compared to the tax level.

This season, 25 of the 30 teams have payrolls over the NBA’s 2013-14 salary cap ($58.7 million; data via Hoops Hype). According to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, there are a number of exceptions that allow teams to have a payroll above the salary cap.

More importantly, seven teams have payrolls above the tax level. Teams with payrolls above $US71.7 million must pay a rolling tax that increases the higher they go above the tax level. The Nets, with a payroll $US29.6 million above the tax level will owe approximately $US85 million in tax this season…

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