The NBA has reportedly set salary-cap projections for the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons as it attempts to smooth the losses expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the cap and tax projections for the future seasons as follows:
2021-2022: $112 million and $136.6 million
2022-2023: $115.7 million and $140 million
2023-2024: $119.2 million and $144.9 million
The cap for the 2020-21 season is set at $109.1 million with a $132.6 million luxury tax, which is flat from 2019-20.
Rather than have all of the league's financial losses hit over one or two seasons, the NBA is choosing to offset them over a longer period of time. Players will have 10 percent of their salaries placed in an escrow account, as is typical, and could potentially lose up to 20 percent of their salaries, per Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps. Losses above 10 percent will be spread out over three seasons.
While the league largely expects a return to normalcy beginning with the 2021-22 season, it's likely there will be a significant financial hit this upcoming year. Fan attendance will be minimal in most NBA arenas, if it's even allowed at all. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country, with the United States setting concerning highs with caseloads and hospitalizations in several states.
Vaccines are making promising progress, but it is unlikely one will be made widely available for most (if not all) of this upcoming season.
Setting cap expectations now will help the NBA better prepare itself and the players for what's to come.