Teams that pushed up against the salary cap and luxury tax lines last season will get some, but not much, relief in 2013-14.
The NBA set those thresholds Tuesday, announcing a salary cap of $58.679 million and a luxury tax level of $71.748 million. Those are slight increases from the $58.044 million salary cap and $70.31 million tax level of the 2012-13 season. The NBA also announced a minimum salary level of $52.811 million, or 90 percent of the cap.
The league also outlined its new tax policy, which becomes more stringent this year and gets increasingly punitive over the next few years. Until this summer, teams have been taxed on a dollar-for-dollar basis for each dollar over the tax level. The tax in 2013-14 will start at $1.50 per $1 over the tax and increase with each $5 million a team is over the cap.
Three mid-level exceptions were also finalized based on the new salary rules. Non-taxpaying teams can offer a mid-level contract of $5.15 million for this season. Taxpaying teams can offer a mid-level of only $3.183 million. Teams will salary cap room can offer a mid-level of $2.652 million. (Teams below the salary cap presumably do not need to use the mid-level exception to control costs, thus the amount is lower than for teams above the cap or tax lines.)
The new cap and tax levels went into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET Wednesday, when the league lifted its ban on trades and free agent signings.