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NBA proposing 50% paycheck reduction beginning this month

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The NBA is proposing a drastic salary cut as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And as a result, upcoming draft decisions for college basketball players could certainly be affected.

According to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA has proposed a 50% paycheck reduction beginning April 15. In response, the NBPA has counter-proposed a 25% paycheck reduction that would begin next month as opposed to April.

With the NBA Draft originally slated to take place in late June, how would a pay cut of this magnitude affect rookie contracts and initial payments to players?

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is expected to make roughly $8.5 million in the first year of his deal, meaning a 50% cut would drop their paychecks to that of a player making $4.25 million per year. For the No. 30 overall pick and their anticipated $1.7 million first-year salary, their payments would represent that of a $850,000 salary.

Even if the NBPA’s counter-proposal is accepted, a 25% pay-cut would still make a significant difference.

The anticipated 2020-21 NBA Rookie Scale can be seen below:

Pick 1st Year Salary 2nd Year Salary 3rd Year Option Salary 4th Year Option:
Percentage Increased Over 3rd Year Salary
Qualifying Offer:
Percentage Increase Over 4th Year Salary
1 $8,567,800 $8,996,400 $9,424,700 26.1% 30.0%
2 $7,665,900 $8,049,200 $8,432,500 26.2% 30.5%
3 $6,884,000 $7,228,100 $7,572,500 26.4% 31.2%
4 $6,206,600 $6,517,000 $6,827,300 26.5% 31.9%
5 $5,620,500 $5,901,400 $6,182,500 26.7% 32.6%
6 $5,104,900 $5,360,100 $5,615,400 26.8% 33.4%
7 $4,660,200 $4,893,300 $5,125,900 27.0% 34.1%
8 $4,269,200 $4,482,700 $4,696,100 27.2% 34.8%
9 $3,924,300 $4,120,600 $4,316,800 27.4% 35.5%
10 $3,728,100 $3,914,600 $4,100,700 27.5% 36.2%
11 $3,541,800 $3,718,800 $3,896,000 32.7% 36.9%
12 $3,364,600 $3,533,100 $3,701,300 37.8% 37.6%
13 $3,196,400 $3,356,200 $3,516,100 42.9% 38.3%
14 $3,036,700 $3,188,600 $3,340,500 48.1% 39.1%
15 $2,884,600 $3,028,800 $3,173,000 53.3% 39.8%
16 $2,740,500 $2,877,500 $3,014,700 53.4% 40.5%
17 $2,603,300 $2,733,700 $2,863,800 53.6% 41.2%
18 $2,473,300 $2,597,000 $2,720,600 53.8% 41.9%
19 $2,361,900 $2,480,100 $2,598,300 54.0% 42.6%
20 $2,267,400 $2,380,800 $2,493,900 54.2% 43.3%
21 $2,176,600 $2,285,500 $2,394,400 59.3% 44.1%
22 $2,089,600 $2,194,100 $2,298,700 64.5% 44.8%
23 $2,006,200 $2,106,600 $2,206,600 69.7% 45.5%
24 $1,926,000 $2,022,300 $2,118,700 74.9% 46.2%
25 $1,848,900 $1,941,100 $2,033,900 80.1% 46.9%
26 $1,787,600 $1,876,900 $1,966,200 80.3% 47.6%
27 $1,735,900 $1,822,800 $1,909,700 80.4% 48.3%
28 $1,725,200 $1,811,800 $1,897,900 80.5% 49.0%
29 $1,712,700 $1,798,300 $1,884,100 80.5% 50.0%
30 $1,700,400 $1,785,200 $1,870,500 80.5% 50.0%

To make things even more complicated, second-round picks are already non-guaranteed, meaning those players will now have yet another hurdle to clear. Those who do fight to make NBA rosters – 16 of the 30 second-rounders in 2019 earned guaranteed contracts – will be left making a fraction of whatever franchises are willing to spend on end-of-rotation players. This past year, only seven of those 16 second-round guaranteed contracts were more than the NBA rookie minimum, which was a hair under $900,000 this past year.

Those who don’t earn contracts earn two-way deals or get stuck in the G-League, where salaries are currently less than $80,000 a year before any pay reduction.

While it’s certainly not chopped liver, these numbers and potential pay cuts only add to the growing instability players are set to face in the coming months. For draft prospects such as, say, Immanuel Quickley, Ashton Hagans, and Nick Richards, the security of being a second round pick is even lower than it was before with a non-guaranteed contract. For potentially undrafted players like EJ Montgomery? Things aren’t looking positive in the slightest.

Will players assume this will all blow over and take the temporary financial loss in stride? Or will they see this as yet another reason to come back to school, especially as fringe first-rounders/firm second-rounders?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

15 Comments for NBA proposing 50aycheck reduction beginning this month



  1. UKinIN
    5:49 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

    I don’t know this for a fact, but I would think UK players live bigger lives at UK than they would on $400K. UK pays for food, room, travel, medical, etc.



    • JoeMoney333
      5:57 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

      This is a joke right?



  2. Bluehender
    5:53 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

    Boy I don’t know how those second round picks are gonna make it on $450,000. Maybe they could get food stamps



    • kiowa99
      7:04 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

      You should look into incomes. The people that own the teams are billionaires. That is 1,000,000,000. multiple times. They own teams, but they are not dependent on the income. The NBA team owner own a team more of a prestige thing and fun toy to play with. According to Forbes magazine “valuations of the 30 teams of the NBA, total revenue across the organization reached $8 billion last season.”. Your misplaced anger at the players for making “too munch money” and complaining is like yelling at a walmart employ for being upset about taking a pay cut as the CEO gets his million dollar pay check.



    • Bluehender
      7:20 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

      Misplaced anger?? Lol…I’m not angry at all. It was all in jest. Lighten up a little. Make the best of your situation.



  3. CrystalBall
    6:04 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

    They could declare themselves “illegals” and be eligible for all types of government assistance.



  4. tdub
    7:53 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

    Come on back guys. Get better and go get some big money next year.



  5. kiowa99
    8:19 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

    Sorry, but everyone places blame on players. I get their salaries are high, but the organizations they play for make billions. The most socialist thing in our lives are the NBA and NFL. They have an artificial salary cap in place regardless of what the make. So if a football teams makes $500 million, the salary cap, is $198.2 million. What if the team makes $1 billion, the salary cap is $198.2 million. They make the players look like the bad guys as they sit it their booths sharing billions. “The NFL shared $8.78 billion in national revenue with its 32 teams this past season.”. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose you get a cut. So what is the incentive to win. You get $27 million on top of stadium incomes. They have convinced the fans the players are bad, and there is a fair degree of racism present there. And the owners loved the entire national anthem controversy, it allowed them to make the players to look like the bad guys. Te players point was to say look at policing in black communities and the owners and president said it was unpatriotic, nonsense, I served for twenty years, the only thing that was unpatriotic was their use of the flag to attack a legitimate protest, and to unite white america against a predominate number of black players. You watch what you watch and by into whatever that is, but going after someone that makes a million dollars when the owner make billions is ridiculous. You should have a discussion with the kid that made your shirt as $.25 and hour.



  6. dan1965
    10:29 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

    First of all the players nfl protest WAS UNPATRIOTIC AS HELL !
    I really don’t care what u say,or taking up for the players because they ONLY MAKE MILLIONS $$$ , compared to BILLIONS to owners ! Boo the hell who !!!!
    Millions,Billings,both are still rich than hell and get paid to play a GAME !Real people don’t make no where near that,and CANT PROTEST AT THERE JOBS ! You or I couldn’t protest in the middle of walmart while working there ! Players were at work,protest later,we tune in to watch a game,that’s what we pay $$$ for,not to see F’&$%&% sit down protest of the American flag that our soldiers fight for,shed blood for,and die for !
    If you want to protest during games,that’s fine,but give them back there dam money $$$,that’s right,protest,no games at all,march in protest if the games,and if its that important,give the $$$ back and then protest !
    But if your being paid, MILLiONS OF $$$$ to play,performance,do a job,stand up,do your F”%&$%& job,and play,protest AFTER YOU ARE OFF THE CLOCK !!!



    • CrystalBall
      10:43 pm April 3, 2020 Permalink

      Right dan1965. Freedom of Speech does not include the work place.



    • kiowa99
      5:25 pm April 4, 2020 Permalink

      Again they were not protesting the flag or the United States, but the high rate of African Americans shot by the police.

      The protest occurred before the game and had no impact on anyone. I give them credit for at least taking a stand and having a purpose during the national anthem. I have been at games when their are people all over talking and drinking during the anthem. That is far more insulting.

      I appreciate you caps and profanity. You argument is well laid out.



  7. Wilfred Smith
    8:11 am April 4, 2020 Permalink

    If teams are refunding ticket purchases and TV and radio money – then it’s reasonable for pay cuts to happen.



  8. bbn606
    8:27 am April 4, 2020 Permalink

    Probably not the best year to come out and enter the draft.



  9. dan1965
    12:47 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

    Thats right, there is no freedom of speech at work,have you not seen how many times the liberal left have fired someone for something that was said or done on company time !
    And I don’t care what they were protesting,there being paid to play the game,once they arrive at work,there on the dam clock, no protest plain and simple ! And I’m tired of hearing about cops shooting blacks,there is a higher percentage of whites being shot !
    And most of the time there shot because they don’t obey the order of the officer ! Stop,freeze,show your hands,don’t put your hands inside the car,etc… And yes I do know,I’m a former Deputy,and dam proud of it ! And I have saw all the numbers about blacks and white shootings.



  10. dan1965
    12:56 am April 5, 2020 Permalink

    And again crystal ball, no most places fire you on the spot if you protest on the clock,ESPECIALLY if its something the company disagrees with !
    For example if your anti abortion,yet a company supports abortion,I would bet if you wore a shirt to work even that said abortion is just killing babies, you’d be forced to take it off immediately or be fired,or possibly fired anyway. Movie stars that are right fingers are even black listed out of making movies if they came out for Trump ! And alit of that was even on there own time,twitter or something.