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Sport: How the NBA's new TV deal could affect the salary cap

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The NBA has been rumored most of the year to be seeking a new multi-year TV deal to follow their current one, which expires in 2024. With news of a very lucrative contract becoming a reality also comes discussions as to how an expensive deal would affect the league's salary cap. (h/t CBS Sports)

Anthony Davis standing in front of a television © Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Questions about the salary cap stem from a report from Jabari Young of CNBC back in March saying a new TV deal for the NBA could be worth up to $75 million, which would be an astronomical increase over the nine-year, $24 million deal that started ahead of the 2016-17 season.

As Morten Jensen of Forbes pointed out this weekend, the current $24 million raised the cap significantly, largely in part because the players' union didn't want to incorporate cap smoothing.  With the new annual TV income potentially going up $5.7 billion, the cap spike would follow suit.

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Jensen explained: "Working under the assumption that the players' union will once again prefer a major spike, a one-year increase of over $50 million isn't out of the realm of possibility… According to a league source, projections indicate that a $171 million salary cap is possible, assuming no cap smoothing, by 2025… Should the NBPA instead agree to cap smoothing, it's likely the league will still see annual increases to the extent of $15 million, according to source."

Of course, a new TV deal hasn't officially been agreed upon yet. But as CBS Sports points out, a big new deal is something to keep in mind as teams and players make financial decisions over the next couple of seasons. This could lead to players seeking short-term deals ahead of the 2024-25 season so they can take advantage of signing a new deal under the raised cap. CBS says this could also mean "players in line for a rookie extension in 2024 could opt to sign the qualifying offer and become unrestricted free agents in 2025."

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