Projections sent to NBA teams Friday suggest that the league's salary cap is expected to balloon to $108 million for the 2017-18 season. The jump follows a projected $22 million increase -- from $67.1 million to $89 million -- between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 salary caps.
The dramatic increases in available cap space is expected to spark heavy free agency spending. Heading into 2016, players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Dwyane Wade, Anthony Davis and several others will be up for bid. The free agent class of 2017 could feature the likes of Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.
The NBA's skyrocketing payrolls are the result of a lucrative television deal inked last October worth $9 billion dollars. Those upcoming free agency periods promise to be a hectic time for front offices. The NBA Players Association rejected a smoothing proposal that would artificially slow the rise of the salary cap so that general managers could more easily manage their money.
The salary cap is expected to fall to $100 million for the 2017-18, which could discourage teams from overspending too quickly.