With the NBA season starting in just a few days, teams are finalizing their roster and trying to get under the salary cap. So far, every team but two has managed to do so.
Those two are the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers only enter the luxury tax cap by a few million, but the Cavs are $32.4 million over as it stands.
The 2016-17 NBA season opens Tuesday with just two teams in the luxury tax: Cleveland ($32.4 million) and the LA Clippers ($3.6 million).
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 25, 2016
The new extension for J.R. Smith didn’t help the Cavs out, but even if they’d paid him less or let him go, they’d still be well over the limit. The Clippers could conceivably cut their salary below the luxury tax cap if they traded with another team, but given their goals of making it deep into the playoffs this year, it seems unlikely that they’d want to unload any of their talent.
The Cavs front office has stated they have no problems paying the luxury taxes as long as the team continues to improve. Given that they won the championship last year, it seems obvious that the team has their eyes set on building a dynasty.