NBA Salary Cap

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The NBA Salary cap is an interesting topic. It is a little different than other sports' salary caps. A salary cap is a limit on the amount of money that a team can spend on player contracts. (Coon, 1) Although the NBA has a salary cap, teams can still go over the amount of the cap and are allowed. The NBA Salary cap is considered to be a soft cap because of the exceptions teams can use to pay more money for certain players and go over the salary cap. In other sports they may not have a certain limit on how much money a team can spend on a player or their team. Baseball for example, they are allowed to spend as much money as they want on a team. That is why the New York Yankees have a lot of big name players with high paying contracts. In most other sports there is a limit though on how much you can spend on a team. Teams gain revenue from tickets purchased, food and beverages sold at the game, parking, television, advertising, merchandising fees, and corporate sponsors. (Judson, 73) This revenue is what teams are able to pay for the players. So is it a good thing for the NBA to have a salary cap? Also does this really make the competition in the league really any better between the teams? The NBA's first season was in 1946-47. Even in the first season when there wasn't even a lot of money to be given out to players in the league there was the start of the salary cap. The salary cap that year was $55,000 and Joe Fulks was the highest paid athlete in the NBA with a contract of $8,000. (Coon, 1) By the 1984-85 season the salary cap started to change into what is today's soft cap. That years salary cap was $3.6 million. This year the salary cap is $49.5 million. So it is safe to say that people are a lot more people got interested in the NBA between the 84-85 season and the 05-06 season. In twenty one years the salary cap went up $45.9 million. From the 46-47 season and the 84-85 season, in thirty eight years the salary cap only went up from $55,000 to $3.6 million. Starting after the 84-85 season is when the salary cap started to increase a lot from year to year. There is one exception from season to season where the salary cap actually went down from the last season. The 01-02 season cap was $42.5 million but for the 02-03 season went down to $40.271 million. (2004CNN/SportsIllustrated, 1) The reason for the loss of money for the in the salary cap is because of the lost interest of the games being televised. Player salaries are based on how many years they have been in the NBA. The league has set a maximum amount of money for players under a certain amount of years in the league and a minimum amount that a team can pay a player based on a scale. (Insidehoops, 1)For example, Lebron James is getting paid $19 million for a four year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the Leagues max for a rookie. This may hurt teams because of the older players in the league that may not be as good as some of the younger players. The team has to pay him more just because of the number of years he has been in the league. There used to be a rule if a team signs another teams free agent the team that lost the free agent would get money or the would be able to get a draft pick. This is most famous because that is how the Los Angeles Lakers were able to get Magic Johnson. (Coon, 1) The average NBA salary cap for a player during the 03-04 season was $1.8 million. (Insidehoops, 1)So the players that do not even hardly ever play are getting somewhere near this amount. The league computes the average salary by taking the total salaries paid during the previous season, divide it by 13.2 times the number of teams excluding the expansion teams in their first two seasons and then add eight percent. (Insidehoops, 1)

The highest ever paid athlete in the NBA was Michael Jordan in the 97-98 season with the Chicago Bulls with a contract of $33 million. (Badenausen, 64) Most people think that he was worth all of...
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