After ballooning to $94 million this year, and being expected to hit $107 million next year, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported that the salary cap for the 2017-18 season is expected to fall to $102 million. Pincus also noted that the cap is projected to rise for the next few seasons after 2017-18.
The free agent class of next summer is star-studded, featuring the likes of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul, but, if the cap doesn’t rise as much as anticipated, second-tier guys on big-time teams will miss a payday from their respective franchise.
Grantland’s Zach Lowe pointed out how this might drastically alter the plans of some marquee teams, notably, Golden State. Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry are both free agents next year, and it wouldn’t be totally outrageous to see Curry get upwards of $170 million; a payday that big is not only warranted from the cap but also from seeing how Mike Conley got $153 million from Memphis. Both guys are very close in salary; both are instrumental to the team’s success, but Curry is far more talented and one of the top players in the league, so what are the odds he takes a pay cut?
Anything’s possible, but with the way money is being thrown around this summer, Curry, along with other superstars, will seek the cash that they feel they’ve earned, and ownership will probably go with their superstar over some less impactful players.