In the last public NBA lockout deal proposal presented by the league, the minimum team salary rose from 75 percent of the salary cap to 85 percent for the 2011-12 season and 90 percent in 2012-13 and beyond. Reports suggest that has remained in place in the final deal reached Saturday morning.
The minimum team payroll in 2010-11 was $45 million; only one team, the Sacramento Kings, flirted with it. (It's widely held that a midseason trade for injured Marquis Daniels got the team over the minimum salary threshold, but the league uses total salary paid as the mechanism to determine whether a team violates the rule. The team was over the threshold before trading Carl Landry for Marcus Thornton in February -- before the Daniels deal -- and would have paid out just more than $45 million on the season before taking on Daniels.)
The Kings and other teams with low payrolls heading into the 2011-12 season, including the Indiana Pacers and L.A. Clippers, are expected to easily exceed the minimum. If they don't, teams are forced to split the deficit among players under contract. It's not known whether the new lockout deal added penalties to teams under the minimum payroll threshold.