NBA free agency 2018: Four factors will impact team spending, player paydays

For two years, the Space Race columns have helped set the table for the offseason to come, first with the $1 billion projection in 2016, then the much smaller $400 million this June.

The 2017 offseason is not done yet, but the transition from July to August and slowdown of signings made this a good time to take an early look ahead.

Using the same methodology of the last two years, the current estimate for the Summer of 2018 is $400 million, basically the same as June 2017. That may look like a stabilizing cap, but teams will take many actions between now and June 2018 that will almost exclusively reduce that number, making it look like an even leaner offseason for free agents