Cavaliers' luxury-tax burden to grow

The Cleveland Cavaliers' acquisitions of Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov this week have hiked their season-ending bill in luxury tax to a projected $6.7 million.

The New York Knicks' shedding of Shumpert, Smith and Samuel Dalembert, by contrast, has reduced their projected luxury-tax bill all the way down to $5.8 million, only the league's third-highest.

There are only five teams, furthermore, presently on course to pay luxury tax at season's end, with the Brooklyn Nets leading the league at a whopping $26.1 million. The Cavaliers and Knicks are second and third behind Brooklyn, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers ($3.44 million) and Oklahoma City Thunder ($3.4 million).

Official luxury-tax calculations for the 2014-15 season will be computed by the league office based on where teams stand financially on June 30. The projections in this story were calculated by the ESPN.com NBA staff based on the league's widely circulated salary numbers.

As of now, each of the NBA's 25 teams not in tax territory is projected to collect a check for $909,812 at season's end, which represents their share of the $45.4 million paid into the pot by tax teams.

‎Five other teams, however, are close to straying past the league's $76.8 million tax threshold depending on what sort of moves they make the rest of the season. They are: Toronto ($732,477), Houston ($850,510), Washington ($1,020,035), Memphis ($1,141,103) and Indiana ($1,502,865‎).

After this week's flurry of trades and releases, leading into the Jan. 10 date on which non-guaranteed contracts become fully guaranteed for the rest of the season, there are 15 open roster spots throughout the league.

The following 13 teams are carrying 14 players at the moment, one shy of the league maximum: Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans, Sacramento and Washington.

The Knicks, meanwhile, have two open spots with 13 players on the roster, which represents the league's minimum roster requirement.