Salaries Rumors

The league spent $3.75 billion on player salaries this year, and a replacement-level player would command the veteran’s minimum of $1,618,520. Work backward and overall, a player who was 1 point per 100 possessions above replacement level (say, Landry Shamet or Langston Galloway) was worth $3,183 more than the minimum for every minute he played. Such a player playing 1,000 minutes over the course of the season was worth just less than $5 million. The most valuable player based on this was (duh) Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose production this year was worth $63.75 million in my methodology. I didn’t use negative values for players — the vast majority of the most terrible players are rookies or developmental players who are holding down roster spots for future purposes. For the curious, the two least valuable by this metric were both 20-year-old guards — Cleveland’s Darius Garland and Portland’s Anfernee Simons.
The NBA will use March 11 as the end date of the regular season for incentives clauses. That means player bonuses will be prorated over the amount of games his team had played at the time the season was postponed. For example, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday has a games-played bonus in his contract that will be prorated from 66 down to 51 games. The bonus is considered met since Holiday played in 55 games — more than his new threshold of 51 games played. The 76ers’ Joel Embiid will have the remaining three years left on his salary — $29.5 million, $31.6 million and $33.6 million — become fully guaranteed, even if he suffers a career-ending injury to his feet or lower back. Embiid had a benchmark for playing 1,650 minutes that has been reduced to 1,307 based on the 65 games Philadelphia played as of March 11. At the time the season was postponed, Embiid had played 1,329 minutes.
With basketball related income (BRI) projected to come in at around $7 billion, players will lose the full $380 million held in escrow (10% of total pay) plus a projected $200 million in salary (5% of total pay). Half of that $200 million has already been collected from three paychecks to players on May 15, June 1 and June 15. The additional deductions will offset the 59% of projected BRI that players are scheduled to receive, moving the BRI split back to the agreed-upon 51/49 amount. Players will continue to see a 25% reduction in each paycheck, with the last reduction likely to occur no later than Aug. 1. However, the NBA does have the right to deduct additional salary past Aug. 1 if financial projections indicate BRI will fall short of $7 billion.

Bertans’ agent, Arturs Kalnitis, explained why his client chose not to play. “To be completely honest, Davis was prepared to play and then he made a last-minute decision to sit out,” Kalnitis told HoopsHype. “We’re playing the cards that we were dealt. When the NBA announced that players who sit out wouldn’t face consequences and would just lose 1 percent of their salary for each game missed, we sat down to discuss this. Davis is about to sign the biggest deal of his life, so he would be taking a big risk by playing. It wasn’t a tough decision, to be honest. If the Wizards were in the fifth or sixth seed (or maybe even the eighth seed), it would be completely different. Davis is a competitor. But in this situation, he decided to sit out.”
Storyline: Davis Bertans Free Agency
“Not playing, it’s just an economic disaster, it really is,” Marks said. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version, as gleaned from Marks’ expert accounting: The NBA placed 10 percent of its players’ total salaries — $380 million — into an escrow account, which they use at the end of the year to balance the revenue shares (players are entitled to 51%). That’s gone for the players. They’re not getting that back because the league has already lost too much money.
“Lebron is making $34.7 million and he’ll lose like $13 million (if the NBA doesn’t resume), so like 35 percent of his pay,” Marks said. “Whereas if he’s going back to Orlando, he’s probably looking at a loss of between $5.5 to $6 million.” Dropping $13 million won’t disrupt LeBron, but, as Marks noted, 72 percent of the players are paid below the average salary of $9.4 million. It’s a top-heavy system, not unlike American society. “There are a lot more Ed Davis’ of the NBA world (who is making $4.7 million with the Utah Jazz) than Kyrie Irving’s of the world (who is making $31.7 million),” Marks said. “There’s a group of guys making over $20 million but the majority of them are making less than 5.”

Shane Larkin signs new deal in Europe

Anadolu Efes star Shane Larkin signed a new two-year contract with the club, according to Eurohoops sources. The 27-year-old American, who also received Turkish citizenship this season, has an NBA out option for 2021 in the contract. Larkin will earn a total of $7.7 million (3.7 + 4) from Efes in the next two seasons.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 43 more rumors

Joel Embiid's final three years of contract now guaranteed

One agreement finalized in recent days includes the NBA prorating performance bonuses and incentives using March 11 as the end date of the regular season — eliminating the eight additional seeding games in Orlando as part of the formula, sources said. For Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid, it means meeting the minutes-played criteria needed to fully guarantee the final three years and nearly $95 million on his $148 million maximum contract, sources said.
Embiid signed a five-year, $148 million deal extension in 2017 that included financial protections for the Sixers had Embiid suffered career-ending injuries involving his back or feet. Those protections are moot now; Embiid has shown his durability and his All-NBA production has actually outsized his contract. Embiid needed 1,650 minutes this season to fully guarantee the contract, but prorated over the Sixers’ 65 games that lowered the requirement to below the 1,329 minutes he had played this season.