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Clippings: Could another cap spike be on the way?

A new TV deal could have massive financial ramifications for the league.

LA Clippers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

In 2016, the NBA experienced a cap spike due to a massive new television deal. There might have been an opportunity for the league and players union to agree to a smoothing provision that would have allowed for more moderate increases over a few years, but instead, the entire jump came that one summer.

As a result, certain teams were tremendous beneficiaries — like Golden State, who added Kevin Durant to a team that was already the two-time defending Western Conference champions. Others were big losers — like the Lakers, who didn’t know what to do with their money and gave long, oversized contracts to Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov.

The ramifications of that offseason were felt for numerous subsequent years, and there’s a chance the league could be headed for another monumental summer.

Jabari Young of CNBC reported last season that the NBA is looking to triple its current national television deal in 2025. Per Morten Jensen of Forbes, if the union/league once again decides to forgo smoothing, that could result in a $50 million jump in the salary cap in 2025. Consider that the cap is only $112.4 million — that would be a huge increase.

Should this situation come to pass, the best way for a team to take advantage of a potential jump would be to lock in players to long-term contracts during the 2024 offseason. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are both set to have player options that year, and Luke Kennard has a team option, so getting those three players signed to extensions (assuming the Clippers want them around) in the summer of 2024 would be smart business. The timing of the contracts the Clippers sign going forward could be worth keeping an eye on so that the front office is prepared to take advantage of a changing cap environment.

Or the players union could decide that a cap spike is the wrong course of action this time around. Whatever happens, this new source of income for the league will cause some changes.

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