EXPLAINED: The Sal's NBL Salary System

Sal’s NBL Free Agency has been open since late November, and teams have been steadily announcing players. From high school phenoms to established Tall Blacks, the Sal’s NBL looks set to be populated once again with some eye-catching talent. But you may wonder how teams construct their rosters? What restrictions do they have? Wonder no more – here is our guide to the 2022 Sal’s NBL Salary System.


The Salary System, as it is each year, was discussed and agreed upon by all ten teams at October’s Franchise Meeting. It was then ratified by the League’s Board. Its aim is to provide a balanced competition, and to keep our franchises sustainable and here for the long haul.


Similar to last year due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2022 Salary System is multi-tiered:

  • Tier 1

  • Local players (NZ citizens who are eligible for the Tall Blacks and are not playing in an overseas leagues)

  • FIBA Oceania Programme Players (NZ citizens who have represented FIBA Oceania nations and have resided in New Zealand for 5 years or more)

  • Returning Kiwis (NZ citizens who are eligible for the Tall Blacks and are playing in overseas leagues)

  • Tier 2

  • Up to 3 imports

  • Returning Kiwis (NZ citizens who are eligible for the Tall Blacks and are playing in overseas leagues)

  • If a Returning Kiwi is signed in Tier 2, then he replaces an import sport. So, a team can only sign 3 players in Tier 2.

The salary cap goes up by nearly 50% when Tier 2 opens.


While Tier 1 has been open since late November, the League has kept Tier 2 shut due to uncertainty around the New Zealand border. After recent developments however, we’re excited to say that Tier 2 is now open and imports can be signed (subject to visa approval).


Teams must sign a minimum of 12 players to their 2022 roster, with a maximum of 15 roster spots allowed per team.


Sal’s NBL General Manager Huw Beynon is full of praise for the franchises during difficult times.


“Our clubs have embraced a system that provides competitive balance, and increased sustainability. Our history is littered with teams coming into the league, and folding shortly after. Over the last three years, player wages have gone up across the league, there is now more money being spent on players than ever before, but it is being done in a sustainable way, with last year over two thirds of our teams returning surpluses.”


So, watch this space as teams complete their rosters before the 2022 Sal’s NBL season tips-off on April 28 - when the Mike Pero Nelson Giants host the Night n’ Day Otago Nuggets.



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