The NBA is planning big on the salary cap and how it affects the Miami Heat

September 14, 2022

The NBA informed teams that the 2023-2024 salary cap would increase by more than $10 million over this season’s salary cap, The Athletic reported last Friday. But even the projected $134 million cap hit for 2023-24 won’t be enough to leave the Heat with no cap space next summer, based on the roster’s current makeup. The Heat currently has $132.4 million committed to their top five players guaranteed through the 2023-24 season: Jimmy Butler ($45.2 million), Adebayo ($32.6 million), Kyle Lowry ($29 .7 million), Duncan Robinson ($18.2 million) and Caleb Martin ($6.8 million).

Additionally, Tyler Herro’s cap hit in 2023-24 will be significant provided he makes the team, whether Miami gives him a lucrative extension through the Oct. 18 rookie extension deadline or re-signs him as a restricted free agent next summer. Herro could make $25 million per season in a new contract starting in 2023-24, Victor Oladipo has a $9.4 million player option through 2023-24, and Dwayne Dedmon’s $4.3 million salary this season is completely non-guaranteed.

Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, and Yurtseven will be free agents after next season, and the team can go over a salary cap and re-sign them. Nikola Jovic will be paid $2.4 million in 2023-24. If Herro gets the sizeable raise he expects and most of the rest of the roster remains intact, the Heat will likely exceed the projected $162 million tax cap for 2023-24, regardless of whether Oladipo selects in or not.

That could motivate the Miami Heat to try to shorten Robinson’s contract, which has four more years and $75 million.

Miami would have exception money next summer but would likely have to pay a significant tax on spending that exception money unless the salary is reduced through trades next year. Bottom line? For the foreseeable future, the most realistic way for the Heat to improve their roster is through trades. The projected $134 million cap and $162 million tax bracket for 2023-2024 are $1 million higher than previous projections.