2023 NBA salary cap tracker by team: From healthy to disastrous

The 2023-24 NBA salary cap is expected to be set at $134 million 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.

Related: Top 100 NBA free agents of 2023

Best NBA salary cap situations

1. Houston Rockets

  • Houston Rockets NBA salary cap room: $65.13 million
  • Free agents: N/A

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 potentially bringing back James Harden during NBA free agency.

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 with Houston also boasting the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft.

Related: Highest-paid NBA players of 2023

2. Orlando Magic

2023 NBA salary cap tracker by team: From healthy to disastrous
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  • Orlando Magic NBA salary cap room: $59.14 million
  • Free agents: Moritz Wagner

Despite a fourth consecutive losing season, the Magic are not void of young talent. They boast reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero and another stud frontcourt player in that of Franz Wagner. Instead, it’s all about finding an identity and roster make up.

It seems as if Orlando’s three highest-paid players for 2023-24 in that of Jonathan Isaac ($17.4 million), Markelle Fultz ($17 million) and Wendell Carter Jr. ($13 million) don’t fit into their long-term plans. Each could be of interest to other teams around the Association. The same thing can be said about former first-round pick Cole Anthony.

The question here is whether front office head Jeff Weltman is going to use this cap space and assets, including two lottery picks, to add proven talent to the mix. Certainly, on the upswing, the time might be now to do just that.

3. San Antonio Spurs

nba salary cap: san antonio spurs
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  • San Antonio Spurs NBA salary cap room: $43.60 million
  • 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 brings 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 $44 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.

Related: Full 2023 NBA mock draft

4. Utah Jazz

  • Utah Jazz NBA salary cap room: $40.15 million
  • Free agents: Jordan Clarkson (player option), Talen Horton-Tucker (player option), Rudy Gay (player option)

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. If a young star such as Mikal Bridges or someone of that ilk becomes available, that’s certainly a possibility. Outside of this, the expectation is that Utah will look to move veteran players such as All-Star Lauri Markkanen for even more draft assets and young players.

5. Detroit Pistons

2023 nba salary cap: detroit pistons
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  • Detroit Pistons NBA salary cap room: $40.15 million
  • 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 the No. 5 pick and north of $40 million 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 young guards Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, their two 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.

Also Read:
NBA Power Rankings

Worst NBA salary cap situations

1. Golden State Warriors

nba salary cap tracker: golden state warriors
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • Golden State Warriors NBA salary cap room: -$79.99 million
  • Free agents: Donte DiVincenzo (player option), Draymond Green (player option), JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala

It’s already been noted on a never-ending loop. The Warriors are going to continue having a record payroll heading into 2023-24. Including the luxury tax, that number could approach $500 million in 2023-24.

Following GM Bob Myers’ decision to leave the organization after 12 seasons, owner Joe Lacob made it clear that the Warriors are going to win no matter what. That includes continuing spending money like it’s one-ply toilet paper.

The question here is in what direction the Warriors go. In terms of free agency, they are only able to sign veteran-minimum players. Youngsters such as Jordan Poole ($27.9 million) and Jonathan Kuminga ($6.0 million) could be moved for proven players. Meanwhile, Draymond Green will likely opt out of his contract and hit free agency. Fellow four-time champion Klay Thompson is entering the final year of his contract and wants to be extended. Decisions, decisions.

2. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Los Angeles Clippers NBA salary cap room: -$46.64 million
  • Free agents: Russell Westbrook, Mason Plumlee

The Clippers have $91.2 million of their NBA salary cap tied up to injury-plagued stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard next season. Without any cap room or real draft assets (first-round pick in 2028), Los Angeles has a decision it must make this summer. Will the team look to keep open an imaginary championship window or blow it up?

The assumption here is that the Clippers will run it back with George and Leonard. After that? Well, it’s anyone’s best guess. They could use Eric Gordon’s salary ($20.9 million) as well as Norman Powell’s ($18 million) to package for another star. But without draft picks, that becomes hard. Perhaps, Terance Mann will be of value to other teams. Either way, this summer will be interesting in Southern California.

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NBA trade rumors

3. Miami Heat

team payroll nba: miami heat, jimmy butler
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  • Miami Heat NBA salary cap room: -$43.63 million
  • Free agents: Gabe Vincent, Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Kevin Love

Fresh off a shocking run through the Eastern Conference, Miami will enter the summer with some decisions to make. Can Pat Riley and Co. find another true star to team up with Jimmy Butler? Continued championship contention might very well rely on this.

The great news? Miami has assets to get something done. Former NBA Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro brings upside and a salary ($27.0 million) that could work in a trade. Duncan Robinson ($18.1 million) could also be used as a filler. With multiple future first-round picks to use as assets, look for a huge move from the defending Eastern Conference champs once free agency opens.

4. Denver Nuggets

  • Denver Nuggets NBA salary cap room: -$36.65 million
  • Free agents: Thomas Bryant, DeAndre Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Ish Smith, Jeff Green

On to the Western Conference champions. There’s not much this team needs to do in order to remain in contention moving forward. All five of Denver’s impending free agents are league-minimum guys right now. The Nuggets also have youngsters such as Christian Braun and Peyton Watson who could be ready for larger roles.

The short of the story is clear. These Nuggets are going to be contenders over the long haul. It’s now all about general manager Calvin Booth filling in the margins.

5. Atlanta Hawks

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • Atlanta Hawks NBA salary cap room: -$33.34 million
  • Free agents: Aaron Holiday

Atlanta is in an interesting situation in that star guard Trae Young could very well be on the trade block this summer. Outside of that unlikelihood coming to fruition, it’s going to be up to general manager Landry Fields to actually build a contending roster behind him.

The trade for Dejounte Murray last offseason complicates things in that Atlanta yielded a ton of draft capital to San Antonio for the guard.

The good news? These Hawks have a number of pricy veterans in John Collins ($25.3 million), Clint Capela ($21.1 million) and Bogdan Bogdanovic ($18.7 million) that could be used as fillers to find another star. The presences of youngsters De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu, AJ Griffin and Jalen Johnson could also help out.

NBA salary cap by team

Rank Team Cap Room
1 Houston Rockets $65.13 million
2 Orlando Magic $59.14 million
3 San Antonio Spurs $43.60 million
4 Utah Jazz $40.15 million
5 Detroit Pistons $40.15 million
6 Oklahoma City Thunder $36.94 million
7 Los Angeles Lakers $29.57 million
8 Charlotte Hornets $28.46 million
9 Indiana Pacers $27.34 million
10 Sacramento Kings $21.65 million
11 Dallas Mavericks $21.23 million
12 Cleveland Cavaliers $12.77 million
13 Chicago Bulls $11.58 million
14 Portland Trail Blazers $10.84 million
15 Minnesota Timberwolves $6.96 million
16 New York Knicks -$5.15 million
17 Memphis Grizzlies -$5.66 million
18 Toronto Raptors -$6.40 million
19 Brooklyn Nets -$10.14 million
20 New Orleans Pelicans -$17.0 million
21 Phoenix Suns -$18.03 million
22 Washington Wizards -$19.02 million
23 Boston Celtics -$27.70 million
24 Milwaukee Bucks -$27.73 million
25 Philadelphia 76ers -$27.79 million
26 Atlanta Hawks -$33.34 million
27 Denver Nuggets -$36.65 million
28 Miami Heat -$43.63 million
29 Los Angeles Clippers -$46.64 million
30 Golden State Warriors -$79.99 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.

This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.

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