Q: Does the fact that your salary jumps from $5.9 million to $19.2 million this upcoming season put added pressure on you? Tyler Johnson: “It don’t bother me. It’s just a nicer paycheck when I go home. It’s no bother to me, though. I know for other people maybe on the outside looking in, it’s: ‘This guy is not worth what that is.’ But I would say, the Heat wouldn’t have matched that contract if they didn’t. It was all laid out from the get-go. So it’s not like a surprise. It’s not like salaries are unveiled every year. It’s been known what it was going to be. It’s not any added pressure to me. Maybe it is to everybody else who thinks I should be this or that.”
A study conducted by The Athletic — using publicly available contractual information collected and organized by Eric Pincus and Spotrac in addition to sources within the NBA — shows that second-round salaries and the frequency that second-rounders selected directly from the NCAA have received guaranteed contacts have risen substantially over the last four years, particularly for players picked in the first 10 spots of the second round. While it may be technically correct to say that each NBA Draft only has “30 guaranteed contracts” handed out to first-round picks, it’s no longer true that those are the only players getting substantial guarantees in their contracts.
But the shifting paradigm toward a much more advantageous fiscal situation awaiting them in the NBA must be considered. In practice, there are no longer just “30 guaranteed contracts” in the NBA Draft, and those who discuss the sport should not act as such. There’s money waiting for kids in the second round, just as there is in the first round, where the 30th overall pick, at approximately $3.1 million guaranteed over two years — now gets paid on a scale similar with second-round picks. This analysis also does not even include the effect of two-way contracts, which allow players to make at least $75,000 — and up to approximately $300,000 in their first year if they spend 45 days with the NBA club. Among the seven college second-round picks who didn’t sign guaranteed contracts in the 2017 NBA Draft, five of them signed two-way contracts, allowing them to make good money in their first year out of school without having to leave the United States. These contracts give borderline NBA players even further incentive to test their luck with the NBA Draft.
Albert Nahmad: Warriors would get huge salary + luxury tax savings by signing Klay Thompson to an extension, which’d kick in for 2019-20 (along with the repeater tax). How huge? Over first 3 years, the ~$10M/year reduction in salary from the max could easily translate to ~$80M/year in savings.
Bobby Marks: The Tyler Cavanaugh contract would have been guaranteed for $450K (out of $1.4M) if he was not waived by May 15. Not including their four draft picks in June, Atlanta now has 12 players under contract, including 3 on non-guaranteed contracts.
Jamal Crawford opting out of his $4.5M contract for 2018-19 now has Minnesota with $117M in salary (including the OKC 1st), $6M below the luxury tax. The Timberwolves can create $4.9M in additional flexibility if they waive Cole Aldrich by June 30. The center has $2.05M in salary protection. Crawford has non-bird rights and Minnesota is restricted to $5.19M in the first year they can offer the guard. Minnesota does have the $8.6M midlevel and $3.4M biannual exception available but using more than $5.29M of the midlevel would hard cap the team.