The NBA has announced the salary cap and luxury tax level for the 2012-2013 season.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears via Twitter, the figures will remain exactly the same as last season:
NBA salary cap set for $58.044 million next season. Tax level is $70.3 million, and teams exceeding it pay $1 tax of every $1 over.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 10, 2012
As expected, the figures didn't change, meaning that teams are free to do as planned this offseason.
It may seem a bit harsh to have a $1 tax for every $1 over, but there's no other way to deter big-spending teams from blatantly ignoring the luxury tax and doing as they please.
Per NBA.com, the minimum a team must spend on their players' collective salaries has been set at $49.337 million, which is 85 percent of the maximum cap.
Teams should take advantage of this dollar-for-dollar luxury tax penalty while they can, because there will be a much higher penalty instituted prior to the 2013-2014 season.
Next season's taxpayer "mini" mid-level exception will be $3.09 million. The mid-level exception will stay at the 2011-2012 level of $5 million.
Every year, the players' association and the league have a meeting of the minds to determine what the salary cap will be for the upcoming season. Their decision stems from the projected Basketball Related Income, as well as other factors.
There's little doubt that both the salary cap and the luxury tax level will rise as the revenue of the NBA as a whole does. The NBA is making more money than ever before, so there's no reason to think that the numbers for the coming seasons won't be striking.
This is what teams have been waiting for. Now that front offices know the salary cap and luxury tax level for sure, they will be able to sign various free agents with the July moratorium period coming to an end Wednesday morning, July 11, at 12:01 AM ET.