The NBA has released salary cap projections for next season and beyond, and as expected the numbers will be enormous once the league's new TV revenue is factored in, if Jonathan Givony of Draft Express is to be believed.
Next season the salary cap is expected to be $67.1 million, a 6.4 percent increase from last season. In the first year of the new TV deal, 2016-17, the salary cap is expected to be $89 million. In 2017-18, the number is expected to rise to $108 million. It is then expected to stabilize around the $100 million mark.
That means a young player signing a maximum contract this offseason, like, say, Greg Monroe, will make roughly $15.5 million per season, but that number will only represent roughly 14 percent of the salary cap in just a few short years (not counting salary escalators). To put that in perspective, that's the equivalent of what the Grizzlies paid Mike Conley this season and only a little bit more than the Pistons shelled out for Brandon Jennings.
It also means that even though Andre Drummond's anticipated maximum extension would kick in during the first year of the new TV deal and approach a starting value of $19 million, it will look much more affordable just one season later with the cap expected to jump up another 20 percent.
What's the moral of this story? Everyone is going to get paid handsomely this summer and no teams should be shy about matching any restricted free agent offer. Teams also should not be very worried about the dreaded repeater tax (a punitive tax penalty for those consistently over the cap in consecutive years). Conversely, players will have even more incentive to take either one-year deals or deals with player options this offseason.
This means that the Pistons have an even more miniscule shot at restricted free agents such as Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard and Khris Middleton.
It's going to be an interesting battle between players wanting financial security and knowing that patience could pay off to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.