On the eve of the start of NBA free agency, the league has given teams a gift in the form of a higher-than-expected salary cap for the 2022-23 season.
The previous expectation was the cap would be set at $122 million with a $149 million luxury-tax threshold.
Per Keith Smith of Spotrac, the projected luxury tax will increase to $150.267 million and the hard cap will increase to $156.98 million.
ESPN's Kevin Pelton noted that the Golden State Warriors losing three potential closeout games on the road in the playoffs may have actually helped increase the NBA's salary cap:
Much has been made about how much of a financial advantage Chase Center is for the Warriors.
Per The Athletic's Tim Kawakami, the Warriors made approximately $42 million for six home games in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and NBA Finals games projected to earn the organization about $16 million gross per game at Chase Center.
Smith showed how the projected new cap impacts the teams that have the most money available:
The New York Knicks are a team that stands to benefit significantly from the additional $1.6 million in projected cap space. Their front office has already been making moves to clear enough money for their expected pursuit of Jalen Brunson.
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks agreed to send Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks, along with two future second-round draft picks and cash, to the Detroit Pistons. That came on the heels of a three-team trade between the Knicks, Pistons and Charlotte Hornets that also sent Kemba Walker to Detroit.
Having an extra $1-2 million in cap space available can make a huge difference for all 30 teams as they start to finalize what moves they want to make before the official start of the new league season—and free agency—on Thursday.