The "hard cap" that people talk about is the ballooned up luxury tax. There isn't actually a decrease in flexibility as far as vet mins/MLE go. We will be paying some luxury tax no matter what because of Stat, Melo, and Chandler-so the limitations of luxury tax paying teams will apply no matter what. The only question is how much luxury tax will we pay.
Here is the chart taken from wiki and the impact on Dolan's wallet: Keep in mind that this chart works just like regular taxes where you pay 1.5 on the first 5 million over, 1.75 on the next 5, then 2.5 on the third five (average tax of 1.9 for being 15 million over). So, to be 25 million dollars over the tax (landry +Lin) would cost 1.5*5 + 1.75*5 +2.5*5 +3.25*10=61.25 million. That's a lot of money, but it's just money from Dolan, all off the books in the same year as our 60 million committed to Stat/Melo/Chandler.
Amount over tax threshold Standard tax Repeat offender tax
$5 million or less $1.50 $2.50
$5 million to $10 million $1.75 $2.75
$10 million to $15 million $2.50 $3.50
$15 million to $25 million $3.25 $4.25