How does the new NBA collective bargaining agreement affect the luxury tax?
NBA teams are trying to avoid the second apron, which is $17.5 million above the luxury tax (currently set at $165 million for next season).
The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has introduced a second apron that has been designed to make penalties more punitive for teams that spend above the luxury tax.
NBA salary cap, luxury tax, first apron and second apron in 2023-24
Salary cap: $136 million
Luxury tax: $165 million
First apron: $172 million
Second apron: $182.5 million
The salary cap ( $136 million) is the amount of money that each team has available to spend on their roster. When a team spends below the cap, they create space so they can then spend on free agents.
Teams are trying to avoid the second apron, which is $17.5 million above the luxury tax (currently set at $165 million for next season).
Previously, teams would only have additional fiscal responsibilities owed if they crossed into the luxury tax threshold. However, soon teams will also have on-court consequences for spending more than other teams.
Teams can go over the $136 million salary cap but try to stay under the $165 million luxury tax line, as that is when the penalties kick in.
Penalties for teams
Financial fines can be handed out. These are given to the non-taxpaying teams at the end of the year. The further teams go into the tax, the get closer to the apron where roster-building penalties are added in.
Penalties for the first apron
The first apron kicks in when a team’s payroll is over $172 million, and the following restrictions are triggered:
Penalties for the second apron
The penalties for the first apron apply to the second apron, which is triggered when a team’s salary is over $182.5 million. In 2023-24 one additional penalty is added when crossing the second apron: teams will have access to the $5 million taxpayer midlevel exception
At the end of the 2023-24 season, more restrictions will be added to the second apron.
The restrictions are as follows: