While teams over the luxury tax will be hurt financially with a punitive penalty, the limitations of sign-and-trades for those teams will be even more of an issue in the eyes of Mark Cuban.
"The financial side isn't the big hurdle," Cuban said. "That's just money. It's the flexibility. I don't want to be in a position where I can't do a sign-and-trade for somebody if that can help my team. I can't get a free agent because I have no cap room -- all I have is $3 million -- and I can't do a sign-and-trade. The trades are limited to 125 percent [in matching salary], so you can't be that team that takes on a bunch of bad contracts. ... That's how we've always done it, taking somebody else's mistakes."
Under the previous CBA, the Mavericks frequently agreed to sign-and-trades while already being over the tax threshold.
"It's tougher to put finishing pieces in place," Cuban said. "And it's tougher to trade your way to a championship team if you're over the tax. You're going to have to take a step back and create flexibility in order to do the trades because otherwise, if you're already over the tax, you're stuck.
"Everybody's saying, 'Oh, there's all these people spending all this money,' " Cuban said. "There's what, seven teams that went crazy early on and spent all the money, and 23 did nothing except re-sign their own guys or a little play here or there? So I think it's dramatically changed the activities. Maybe we're all wrong and the seven teams that went crazy are right. We'll see."