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NBA Announces No ‘Smoothing’ of Salary Cap in 2016

Chris Pedota/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Are you ready for some crazy offseasons in the NBA? The league announced Wednesday that the NBPA won’t agree to any type of salary cap “smoothing” for the 2016-17 season, meaning the cap is going to skyrocket for that season thanks to the new lucrative television deal:

We had already heard over the All-Star break that the NBPA had rejected the smoothing proposal, but the two sides got together on Tuesday to try and work something out, according to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger. But there was no deal.

The salary cap is currently at $63.1 million, and it’ll see a small increase next year. But for 2016-17, some estimates have it going all the way up to around $90 million.

That huge spike will make these next two offseasons very interesting. This summer, unrestricted free agents may look to take shorter deals in order to become a free agent again sooner so they can take advantage of the new money. Restricted free agents could take qualifying offers and then become unrestricted free agents in 2016, or sign shorter offer sheets. Players with opt-outs could opt-in and then become unrestricted free agents in 2016. Teams may be willing to “overpay” a player because it won’t be an overpay moving forward.

Then in 2016, free agency will be a bonanza as teams have excess cap space thanks to the spike. Max contracts will be enormous. Lesser players should see more money because teams that miss out on the big fish will have plenty of money to spend. It’s going to be nuts.

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