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NBA Free Agency 2014: Salary cap raised to all-time high of $63 million, but lower than expected

There is good news, and bad news

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA have sent out a salary cap press release, and there is good news and bad news here.

NEW YORK, July 9, 2014 - The National Basketball Association today announced that the Salary Cap has increased by 7.5% to an all-time high of $63.065 million for the 2014-15 season. The tax level for the 2014-15 season increased by 7.1% to $76.829 million.

The Salary Cap and tax level go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 10, when the league's "moratorium period" ends and teams can begin signing free agents and making trades.

The minimum team salary, which is set at 90% of the Salary Cap, is $56.759 million for the 2014-15 season.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for three different mid-level exceptions depending on a team's salary level. The non-taxpayer mid-level for this season is $5.305 million, the taxpayer mid-level is $3.278 million and the mid-level for a team with room under the Salary Cap is $2.732 million.

What does this mean, in terms of how reality differs from the projections? Don't worry. I got you covered.

  • Salary Cap (projected vs. actual): $63,200,000 vs $63,065,000 ---> difference of -$135,000
  • Luxury Tax limit (projected vs. actual): $77,000,000 vs $76,829,000 ---> difference of -$171,000

And of course, the important one:

  • Minimum target salary (90% of the cap) (projected vs. actual): $56,880,000 vs. $56,759,000 ---> difference of -$121,000

So the numbers are off by a little bit, but the cap still rose. This much cap space is the difference between signing a guy like Kyle Weaver for a few weeks of work vs. having to not sign Kyle Weaver for a few weeks of work. How does it change things on the Jazz cap front? Assuming the Jazz do match the reported offer for Hayward and do give the normal, 120% value to the rookie scale deals, they are still on the books for $50,258,049 bucks.

The minimum they need to hit is that $56,759,000 value, and right now they are $6,500,951 dollars short. There are three spots to fill, and you can do it with that much money. I don't think the Jazz are going to target just the minimum they need to hit, as the actual cap is set at $63,065,000. So the range of money the Jazz have left to spend on these remaining roster spots is actually $6,500,951 to $12,806,951.

Appreciably this is no different than what we wrote about this late last morning -- where I placed our ranged to e between $6.62m to $12.94 million. Now it's just $6.50m to $12.81 m. The team is going to be fine.

The only minor difference will be on the salaries that are adjusted for this small cap adjustment. Some of the figures will no longer be exact, and I will update when I receive them.

So I guess the homework for you all is to come back with interesting ideas for how to spend $6.5 to $12.8 million on three guys! That's kind of what Dennis Lindsey and the rest of the Jazz front office are doing right now.

As for the cap and actual specifics, please follow @Peter_J_Novak on twitter, and expect great stuff from him whenever he tweets about it!