The figure the league announced Tuesday night was about $1 million less than last season's cap of $58.68 million, even though league-wide revenue rose 2.5 percent. The number is expected to drop further next season when the full effect of the economic difficulties hit.
The new salary cap went into effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, ending the NBA's moratorium period and allowing free agents to sign deals with teams.
The luxury tax level also dropped to $69.92 million. Any team whose salary exceeds that will have to pay $1 for every $1 it goes over.
(emphasis mine, and emphasis of the Bulls franchise)
I'll just copy the work of RealGM poster Tommy Udo 6, who figured how close the Bulls actually are to the tax threshold:
Brad Miller – $12,250,000
Luol Deng - $10,365,000
Kirk Hinrich - $9,500,000
Jerome James – $ 6,600,000
Tim Thomas – $6,466,600
John Salmons - $6,429,151
Derrick Rose - $5,184,480
Tyrus Thomas – $4,743,598
Joakim Noah – $2,445,680
TOTAL for 9 players above = $63,984,509
To be Signed:
James Johnson - $1,594,080 (120% of rookie scale)
Taj Gibson - $1,039,800 (120% of rookie scale)
Aaron Gray – $1,000,497 (Qualifying Offer)
Anthony Roberson – $855,189 (Unguaranteed; Guaranteed date: July 10)
DeMarcus Nelson - $736,420 (Unguaranteed)
TOTAL for 14 players above = $69,210,495
So yeah, it's very close.
A couple things to add:
- They have to carry at least 13 players on the roster
- The reason the rookie's deals are 120% of the rookie scale (instead of simply the scale amount) is because that's the maximum they can sign for, and teams universally decide to do so.
- It'll be a good indication as to whether Roberson's staying on the roster if he's on the Summer League roster.
- I do not know why the Bulls extended that Qualifying Offer to Aaron Gray. They can still recind it, though I'm not quite sure what kind of dance must be done in terms of the player taking the qualifying offer before the team pulls it. Maybe Reinsdorf can arbitrarily pull the offer like he did with the extension to Ben Gordon last summer?
- I tried to not mention Gordon, sorry. The release of these figures means he can officially become a Piston now, by the way.