NBA players have overcome all odds to become the best in the world at their respective sport. Defying the odds welcomes massive amounts of money in just the span of one year. NBA players regularly NBA players top the Forbes list as the richest sportsman in the world.
How much money do NBA players make in a year? NBA players make different amounts of money depending on the contract they have signed. In the 2020-21 season, players will make anywhere from $898,310-$43,006,362. Certain factors can influence the amount a player can make, such as performance, the amount of cap space teams have to spend, and experience in the NBA.
Each year the cap in the NBA increases, opening up new opportunities for players to rack in more cash. It is important to know how much money your favorite player is eligible to make, and how players market themselves to make as much money as possible. One thing remains true, no matter the circumstances of the league the NBA is indeed a business.
How does the salary cap affect the amount of money NBA players can make?
NBA players have made much more money in recent days than ever before. Increased earning is due to the cap space for teams in the league. With about 110-million to spend per team this season, the average player can make 7.3-million dollars. However, the NBA does not have a hard cap like the NFL. Teams can extend players and exceed the limit of the salary cap, but teams have to pay tax if they spend over 132-million dollars in one season. So, organizations that spend just under the luxury tax limit can spend an average of about 9-million dollars per player on their team. Compared to thirty years ago, the average player makes 3-million dollars less than the entire salary cap of an NBA team. In the 1990-91 season, the cap was 11-million dollars, 1100% less than it is today. A player that earns 10% of a team’s salary cap in 1990 would make 1.1-million dollars. Today, a player that makes 10% of a team’s salary cap will earn 11-million dollars. Yes, the increasing salary cap in the NBA opens a whole new world of opportunity for earning money in the NBA. One thing is certain, rookies and veterans alike will generate more money than ever in the coming years if the league’s payroll continues to increase as it has in the last thirty years.
How much money can you make in the NBA on a rookie contract?
Over the years, the amount of money rookies make has increased immensely. Ten years ago the number one pick in the NBA draft (Kyrie Irving) made 4-million dollars in the first year of his rookie contract. Today, Anthony Edwards makes just under 10 million dollars in the first year of his rookie deal, for a total of 44 million dollars in 4 years. NBA players are earning more now than ever before. This doesn’t even take into account endorsements. Zion Williamson made 95-million dollars before playing a single game in the NBA. Shoe deals and sponsorships have the potential to accumulate more revenue than NBA contracts for the league’s brightest stars. Considering this, what used to be humble beginnings for NBA rookies in terms of earning money, are now time to capitalize on endorsements to make upwards to 20-million dollars a year on a rookie contract. The least a rookie drafted in the first round can make is 1.6 million dollars. Rookies have come a long way in the NBA in terms of the contract they receive.
How does experience in the NBA affect the amount of money players can make?
It is no secret that over that players make the most amount of money by playing many years in the NBA. Longevity is key when it comes to earning in the NBA, but it is extremely difficult for many. With an average career length of just over four years, many players cannot even stay in the league long enough to sign their first contract. This is evident in the veteran minimum contract for players that have played over ten years in the NBA. Players make a minimum of 2.5-million dollars if they have played over ten years, 200% more than a player with zero NBA experience will make on a minimum contract. It is easy to recognize that the league rewards those who have served many years in the NBA, visible in the cash veterans can generate in one season. Not only does experience affect the minimum contract in the NBA, but the largest contract possible to earn, the supermax. Depending on the amount of years a player has spent in the league, he can earn a higher percentage of a team’s salary cap.
How does performance affect the amount of money an NBA player can make?
Performance may be the greatest factor in generating money in the NBA. Players that win Defensive Player of the Year, MVP, or are selected to an All-NBA team are eligible for a supermax in the NBA, worth 35% of a team’s salary cap. Players who have recently signed the supermax are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Rudy Gobert, and James Harden, eligible due to meeting NBA’s issued requirements. A max contract is the maximum amount of money that a player can make who does not meet the requirements of the supermax extension. This means that the most money an NBA player who is not eligible is about 35-million dollars in a season, the average worth of a max contract in a single season. Not only does performance influence the amount of money a player can make on a contract, but endorsement opportunities also. LeBron James, for example, makes nearly twice the amount of money on endorsements than his NBA contract. Superstars not only make the league entertaining, but they also rake in much more cash than other players, up to 90-million dollars a year for the NBA’s brightest stars.