Unlike other professional leagues, pretty much all money is guaranteed in contracts in the NBA. However, there’s quite a bit of money at stake if players reach certain benchmarks on the year, whether it be total games played, a specifical statistical average or earning awards at the end of the year like All-Star or All-NBA honors, which teams often pay players for through salary bonuses. These bonuses often go unreported for a while and are counted as a total part of players’ newly signed salaries when new contracts are reported upon, but if the players don’t reach the benchmarks they need to in their deals, they obviously don’t get their bonuses.
Below, we break down every salary bonus around the league that we know of.
Clint Capela ($1,000,000: Has to reach the conference finals. Solid chance that could have happened in Houston, but with Atlanta, it’s not happening.
Clint Capela ($500,000): Needs to play at least 2,000 minutes this season. He’s not expected back from injury until at least the 61st or 62nd game of the season, which would mean, in the best-case scenario, he’d have to average 34.3 minutes per game over the final 21 games of the season to reach that. Considering the Hawks are likely to bring him back slowly since they have one of the worst records in the NBA, this doesn’t seem that likely.
Capela ($500,000): Has to hit at least 65 percent of his free throws. Presently making 52.9 percent, albeit on a pretty small sample size, so that could change quickly.
Capela ($500,000): Requires a 30 percent defensive rebound rate. Currently at 26.5 percent, but he’ll be able to nab more rebounds with Atlanta than with a Rockets team that had a lot of able rebounders.
Dewayne Dedmon ($150,000): Needs 48-plus wins and to participate in 70-plus games or advance to the second round of the playoffs. He’s already missed 16 games and the Hawks more than likely aren’t even qualifying for the postseason.
Taurean Prince ($334,375): Needs to average 7.6 three-point attempts per 36 minutes and hit 41.5 percent of those attempts. That’s going to be a long shot since he’s shooting only 35.4 percent from three, though he is attempting 8.3 three-pointers per 36 minutes.
Prince ($334,375): Needs to have a defensive rating lower than 105. Also unlikely to reach that, as his defensive rating currently sits at 107.9.
Thaddeus Young ($150,000): Needed to make playoffs and the Bulls had to reach 48-plus wins. Chicago currently has 20 wins with 24 games remaining, so this one is out of reach already.
Dante Exum ($200,000): Had to play 67-plus games. Impossible now that he’s missed 22 outings and is injured again.
Exum ($200,000): Would have received another bonus for reaching 72-plus games. Also won’t happen for the aforementioned reasons.
Exum ($100,000): Was eligible for one more bonus for playing 67-plus games and having a defensive rating under 100. His defensive rating with Cleveland is 110.2.
John Henson ($250,000): Needed to play over 60 games, but he’s already missed 23 games.
Henson ($250,000): Was up for another big bonus for reaching 75 games, but that’s also impossible now.
Delon Wright ($350,000): Needed to be an All-Star, or receive Most Improved Player or All-Defense Team honors at the end of the season. Very little chance the latter two distinctions happen.
Maxi Kleber ($150,000): Needs to make an All-Defense Team. Not likely to happen.
Kleber ($150,000): Needs to hit 40-plus percent of his threes. Currently at 38.2 percent, so this would require a serious hot run of form from the outside to close the year.
Kleber ($100,000): Has to average at least 8.0 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s at 7.6 rebounds per 36 minutes right now.
Kleber ($75,000): Needs to make 80-plus percent of his free throws this season. Currently making 89 percent, though on a small sample size of 73 attempts, so this could fluctuate easily.
Nikola Jokic ($431,000): Denver has to make the playoffs. They currently sit second in the West with a 39-18 record.
Nikola Jokic ($431,000): The Nuggets have to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Solid chance that happens.
Gary Harris ($350,000): Like Jokic, the Nuggets have to advance to the second round for Harris to get this bonus.
Harris ($500,000): Needs to win Most Improved Player. Considering he’s having a down year, this isn’t all that likely.
Paul Millsap ($500,000): Needed to be an All-Star this year. That did not happen.
Millsap ($150,000): Had to play 65-plus games and average at least 7.0 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s already missed 20 games this season.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($500,000): Needs the Lakers to reach the conference finals. Solid chance.
Caldwell-Pope ($350,000): Has to average 1.85-plus assists per game. Currently at 1.73 assists per game.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($350,000): Has to average 4.0-plus rebounds per game. Presently at 2.1 rebounds per game.
Caldwell-Pope ($350,000): Has to average 1.2-plus steals per game. Currently at 0.8 steals per game.
Caldwell-Pope ($163,000): Would need to make an All-Defense Team. Very low chance that happens.
Tyus Jones ($858,000): The Grizzlies need to win 33 games. They have 28 wins with 25 games remaining.
Solomon Hill ($531,614): Needs to play 1,000-plus minutes. He’s at 923 minutes with 25 games left.
Kelly Olynyk ($1,000,000): Has to play 1,700-plus minutes this year. Currently at 986 minutes. With 25 games left in Miami’s season and averaging under 20 minutes per game this season, it’s going to be tough for Olynyk to get there. He projects to reach 1,468 minutes this year if he doesn’t get injured.
Dion Waiters ($1,150,000): He needed to reach 70 games played this year. Currently a free agent, he’s seen action in just three games this year.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
Jrue Holiday ($255,000): Needs to play 67-plus games and average 3.15-plus rebounds. He’s missed nine games so far so he can only miss six more, but he is comfortably averaging 4.7 rebounds.
Holiday ($100,000): Has to make an All-Defense Team. Tough to predict, but if the Pelicans keep winning, Holiday has a chance to gain enough spotlight to earn that distinction for the third year in a row.
NEW YORK KNICKS
Moe Harkless ($500,000): Needs to finish the year with a three-point percentage of 35-plus percent. It’ll be close, as he’s currently making 36.3 percent on just 80 attempts for the season.
Julius Randle ($900,000): Had to be an All-Star, make an All-Defense Team or make the playoffs while seeing action in 65-plus games. Pretty close to impossible.
Aaron Gordon ($500,000): Needs to make an All-NBA, All-Star or All-Defense Team. He’s already 0-for-1 of those three distinctions.
Terrence Ross ($500,000): Has to play 63-plus games, average over 22 minutes and have a defensive rating under 100. He’s looking good to go on the first two but his defensive rating is currently 106.2.
Ross ($500,000): Orlando has to reach the NBA Finals. Not looking too likely.
Devin Booker (30 percent of the salary cap): Needs to make an All-NBA Team. He’s having a fantastic individual season, and if Phoenix can make a playoff push, this is certainly possible.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
Jusuf Nurkic ($1.250,000): Requires him to play 70-plus games and for Portland to win 50-plus games. Nurkic has yet to play this season, and there’s still no word on when he may be back.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Rudy Gay ($1,500,000): Needs 52-plus wins, to play in 60-plus games, shooting 37.5-plus percent from three, make at least 100 three-pointers, have under a 103 defensive rating and have a defensive rebound rate of at least 20. Even if the Spurs win out, they would only win 50 games this year, so this one is out of the question already.
Kyle Lowry ($500,000): Needed to be an All-Star and play at least 65 games. He was an All-Star but has already missed 12 games, so that’ll be on to keep an eye on.
Lowry ($500,000): Needs to advance to the conference finals. The Raptors are one of the best teams in basketball, so this is very much in play.
Lowry ($500,000): Needs to advance to the Finals. Also very possible.
Lowry ($500,000): Needs to win the NBA championship.
Lowry ($200,000): Needs to be 1st Team or 2nd Team All-NBA, or make an All-Defense Team. Lowry is having a great year for an excellent team, so perhaps.
Rudy Gobert ($1,000,000): He needed to be an All-Star, which he finally did this season for the first time.
Gobert ($500,000): Needs to be 1st Team All-Defense. He’s the two-time running Defensive Player of the Year and he’s still dominant on that end, so this is possible.
Davis Bertans ($250,000): Has to play 70-plus games, make 165-plus three-pointers and average 6.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s on track for the first two but is only averaging 4.8 rebounds per 36 minutes.