In the case of Yi, his base salary pays just the minimum for a player with five years of experience ($1.1 million). In fact, his full $8 million salary is only guaranteed for $250,000. The bulk of Yi’s contract is incentive-based. The most a team can pay a player in an unlikely incentive is 15 percent of the base salary. In Yi’s case, his entire salary, including the $6 million in bonuses, is considered likely by the NBA, opening the door for his uniquely-structured deal.
The Cavaliers guaranteed $1 million to No. 54 pick Kay Felder, and No. 52 pick Joel Bolomboy – just signed by the Jazz – will get even more. Bolomboy’s $600,000 salary this season is fully guaranteed, and $452,625 of his salary next season is guaranteed, according to Basketball Insiders. That’s a grand total of $1,052,625 guaranteed on a three-year contract.
Smith is believed to be coveting a multi-year contract for around $15 million per season. The 30-year-old shooting guard averaged 12.4 points on 41 percent from the field, including 40 percent from 3-point range.
Ryan Ward: For those tripping about the reports of one-year $8M for Jianlian, this should put your mind at ease: “Mike Bresnahan: NBA source calls Yi Jianlian’s contract “very creative.” Non-guaranteed vet’s min deal for $1.1 mill can increase to $8 mill w/ incentives. Eric Pincus: @RyanWardLA except that’s not legal.