10-day contracts are one of the most common forms of signing other players for NBA teams. Normally, they happen during the second half of the season, when teams want to enhance their rosters and enhance the depth.
How much is a 10-day contract in the NBA? 10-day contracts in the NBA last exactly for 10 days. These contracts are valued from $50,000 to $130,000 depending on the experience and playing years in the NBA. Sometimes players are signed for three matches as well.
After a 10-day contract expires, teams must either keep a player in a squad or release him. This is mandatory. Let’s have a look at further details regarding these types of contracts and how they work.
Standard and Hardship 10-day Contracts – Main Differences
As we talk about 10-day contracts it is pivotal to distinguish between standard and hardship deals. With standard 10-day contracts, players are only allowed to sign with the same team only twice, while hardship deals allow players to have more than 2 opportunities.
Another important point to point out while discussing 10-day contracts is the availability of additional spots in a roster. Normally, with standard ones you should have one place in a 15-man roster. However, if any of the teams in the NBA is guaranteed a hardship exception, then they can add more players. At some point the Atlanta Hawks were a team that had 9 players on hardship contracts.
The third and final difference between these 2 is about salary caps. Standard 10-day contracts count against a team’s salary cap and hardship 10-day deals do not. There are other exceptions too, but they are not too important when we talk about 10-day deals.
Why Teams Go for 10-day Contracts?
Any team in the NBA can utilize the following contract for different reasons. The first reason is injury. Quite a lot of teams are struggling with them, when the season is entering the decisive phase. Players become burnt out and they cannot keep up with the same tensions. Leaders are injured so teams need to come up with something to replace them effectively. 10-day contracts help to overcome such issues and meet the minimum roster requirements.
The second reason could be a potential long-term signing. At the beginning of our article, we have mentioned that teams need to release a player or sign him, once the contract expires. If during these 10 days (or 3 matches) a player proves himself and shows good basketball, then a particular team might look for a permanent contract. Such things happened in the NBA several times.
How Much are Players Paid?
When players decide to sign a 10-day contract with NBA teams, they are paid more than an established minimum salary in the league. The formula is pretty straightforward. For example, the 2020/2021 season is 174 days long. A player’s minimum salary can be divided by 174 and in such a way we will calculate a daily salary. To find out how much a particular player will be paid during a 10-day contract you should multiple the daily salary by 10.
Though, there are some exceptions, which we have already discussed. Depending on the experience and the years spent in the NBA, sometimes players are paid more during 10-day contracts. Rookies and veterans do not fall in the same category. A rookie who has just joined the NBA will barely make $1 million, while veterans who have 10 or more years of service can reportedly make more than $2.5 million.
Isaiah Thomas and His 10-Day Contract
Isiah Thomas, who plays as a point guard in the NBA, in 2021 signed 2 10-day contracts in a short period of time. The first time it happened was with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he had decent statistics and the second time he signed a contract on December 29, 2021. Most likely he will be released after the following stint with the Mavericks, even though he was one of the best players in the league at one time.
Covid Reality Disrupts the NBA
Before the coronavirus pandemic erupted in the world, everything was different. The same can be said for American sports. Because of the pandemic, the NBA was halted for 6 months in 2020. A lot of players tested positive for the virus and in 2021 omicron strain appeared, which according to experts is more contagious than the previous ones.
As players who have the coronavirus are not eligible for playing before the virus is gone, numerous teams are left with few players in their rosters. To meet the minimum requirements, 10-day contracts are prevalent and usually, these players are below average. A lot of games have already been postponed and to avoid that the league makes exceptions for NBA teams.
Notable 10-Day Contracts
In the NBA, several times when players were signed on a 10-day deal, they managed to fit into the team comfortably. Perhaps, the first player that comes to our mind is Shaun Livingston. During the 2009/2010 season he signed 2 10-day contracts with the Washington Wizards and was an important figure for the club. In 2014, when he moved to the Golden State Warriors he won 3 championships.
Matt Barnes is another representative of a player who signed a 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. In addition to the “Death Lineup”, Barnes was coming from the bench.