NBA Salary Structure

Published on 5-Nov-2012 by J Square Humboldt

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Review

Share this article

Here are the details of the current National Basketball Association collective bargaining agreement, compiled by Lance Hornby of the QMI agency:

Rookie Salary Cap: To stop freshmen holding out for big money -- in many cases paying them more than veterans -- the NBA moved to a sliding scale for first round picks almost 20 years ago. For 2012-13, rookies get $4.2 million up to $4.6 million in the course of a three years, with the last season being a team option. Teams can bump that up 26.1% in the fourth year and another 30% in Year 5 as a qualifying offer before free agency.

Standard Player Contract: Most contracts are guaranteed, save for fringe players. Base salary is guaranteed, not bonuses or incentives. Some guarantees depend on certain dates or clauses such as “lack of skill” for declining players. For example, $2.4 million of Lamar Odom’s $8.2 million salary for 2012-13 was set aside for lack of skill, but since the Clippers did not put him on waivers by 29 June, Odom’s entire salary became guaranteed.

Buyouts & Bonuses: Once a player clears waivers, his salary will be reduced or eliminated. Even though he’s supposed to get the full amount should he be bought out after mid-season, there is often a financial deal struck to allow him to leave.

Bonuses are mostly numerical as well as complicated. They’re calculated on a yearly basis as to whether they are likely to be achieved.

Minimum Salary: $473,604

Average Salary: $5.276 million (2012-13 projection)

Career Earnings: $21.5 million

SALARY CAP: The soft cap is often exceeded. This year’s cap is set at $58.044 million per team, with a luxury tax height of $70.307 million. Any team whose salary exceeds the latter figure pays $1 for each $1 over the tax limit. The floor is $49.337 million.

PLAYERS SHARE OF REVENUES: Players get around 50% of revenues, down from 57% from the previous CBA.