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Can NBA Players Restructure Contracts?

Contracts are an integral part of the NBA. This is a subject that often causes a lot of confusion and understanding the essence of deals between players and teams is necessary to have more knowledge on how contracts work.

Can NBA players restructure contracts? Players can restructure their contracts under some conditions. Generally it is not accepted for teams to renegotiate contracts with their players between March 1 and June 30 of any year.

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Contracts are generally restructured, when there are problems both with a player’s performance and discontent with the current salary. In this article we will explore more details contracts and the case of restructuring meticulously. 

NBA Contract Types

Before we move to restructuring and how they are carried out we should say a few words regarding the types of contracts that exist in the NBA. Here are the most popular and widely-used ones:

Rookie Contract

Rookie contracts, as the description itself already explains, is a deal which is signed with a rookie player that is picked in the first round. The contract must be 2 years long and the team option can be activated for the 3rd and 4th years. Extension of a rookie contract is possible and we have seen that in numerous cases. Most notably it was Luka Doncic, whose achievements led to improvement of the existing contract.

Veteran Contract

Veteran player contracts rarely exceed 1 year. Generally teams sign players with 3 or more years of experience to avoid salary cap problems and they set a minimum salary for these veterans. There was a case of Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, both of whom the Brooklyn Nets signed.

Standard Contract

Standard contracts can be signed with any player in the NBA. It could involve a star player as well and there are no limitations on the number of years or salaries. Standard NBA contracts can be adjusted to various conditions. 

Why Players Go For Restructuring? 

There are various reasons why players might ask for renegotiating their contracts. Below we will mention some of them and how they are carried out.

Discontent 

When there is a deal signed with any player, situations arise when a tough atmosphere can emerge and an athlete is no longer delighted with the existing situation in the team. A player might either ask a team to restructure a contract or demand a transfer. Teams then go on a compromise and change some conditions in the deal.

Increase in Salary

Salary increase is one of the main requirements that players might ask before they go for restructuring their contracts. If a player performs well and becomes one of the leaders of the team then he might ask for an increase in salary, which a lot of teams agree with. 

Some of the Worst Contracts in the NBA

There have also been a lot of cases, when the contracts were so badly negotiated, that they were impossible to change. Let’s have a look at some of them:

John Wall

Wall received $ 79.5 million from the Washington Wizards without playing a single match in two years. After heel surgery and a ruptured Achilles tendon, the point guard was far from the previous level, which provided him with 5 selections in the NBA All-Star Game.

Wall issued a transfer request to Washington after general manager Tommy Sheppard announced that the team would be built around Bradley Beal. After that he finally moved to the Houston Rockets but the contract became really bad for the Wizard, even though Wall was one of the leading players in the beginning.

Russell Westbrook

Westbrook’s contract is in effect for three years with a salary of $132.5 million. Westbrook did not get along with James Harden, who will receive $133 million in three years. Westbrook has never won a title in the NBA. But the recent move to the Los Angeles Lakers could provide some chances for the point guard. The point guard is unlikely to be upset. 

Klay Thompson

Thompson received  $68 million from the Golden State Warriors over the past and current seasons, but he did not play a single match in the previous season. And then for another three years he will be hanging in the Warriors payment with a salary of $122 million. Achilles injury led to the appearance of Thompson on this list. In other circumstances, it should be said that Golden State justly rewarded the basketball player who played a huge role in the birth of a dynasty that won three titles and dominated the NBA in 2015-2019.

The Warriors are not yet thinking of dropping Thompson’s contract, but if they tried, they would have failed. Overall, Golden State’s payroll is a problem right now. Steve Kerr’s team has only one superstar player – Stephen Curry, who will be paid $89 million over the next two years. Draymond Green will receive $100 million over 4 years, which doesn’t look good considering the player’s aging and regression. Andrew Wiggins, with a salary of $95 million over three years, is another bad deal on Golden State’s balance sheet.

Klay’s contract is still non-exchangeable. The example of DeMarcus Cousins ​​with similar injuries is indicative. The former contender for the maximum contract is now interrupted by the minimum contracts and is in the infirmary most of the time. The difference is that Thompson got his contract before the damage to the Achilles. Financially, Thompson is not offended, but he certainly does not receive moral satisfaction because of the way his career unfolds.