With less than 24 hours until the NBA Draft (and nine days until free agency begins), the salary cap for the 2017-18 season has been set -- and it's not nearly as high as what was previously expected.

According to a report from ESPN's Brian Windhorst, NBA teams have been informed the cap will be at $99 million, down from the projected number of $102 million.

Although the number isn't far off on paper, the $3 million gap could be the difference between a team offering a star a max contract and missing on one by coming up short on dough. Teams carefully study the projected cap and plan well in advance. With a lower-than-expected number, it could drastically alter the free-agency approach of some teams or how they choose to spend their money with players currently on the roster.

With NBA contracts as high as they've ever been, the margin for error is razor thin in the books. This is professional sports, but it's a multi-billion dollar industry. So this new development could leave some teams looking to dump hefty, unwanted contracts or making trades in order to maintain flexibility on the current books and later down the road in free agency.