LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Paul George won’t face impending NBA pay cuts, owe instead
Five of the NBA’s top-10 earners this season; LeBron James, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Blake Griffin and Paul George, will not face a pay decrease on Friday as the NBA prepares to withhold more than $30 million in contract money. They will instead owe a portion of their pay through their 2020-21 salary, according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks.
The salary reductions will come out of their advances for the 2020-21 season on Oct. 1 or beginning with their Nov. 15 paychecks, according to how their respective contracts have been structured.
Each player will essentially have an IOU per paycheck to his team ranging from $420,000 (Curry) to $390,000 (James) each time it calls for a scheduled 25% pay reduction. The amount could increase if games are eventually canceled.
The rest of the players will receive their first salary reduction since the league and the National Basketball Players’ Association agreed to a plan to temporarily cut pay by 25%.
If the league was to cancel the remainder of the regular season and jump straight into the postseason, players could see that 25% paycheck reduction increase to a more substantial 40%.
If the NBA decides to cancel the entire season (including playoffs) players could lose more than $1 billion in total salary.
The money will go back to each respective franchise, as teams prepare to see a massive decline in the salary cap next season — though each team is able to spend the money however it deems fit.
After the next round of salary withholding on June 1, “refunds” could be as high of $2.8 million for a team like the Portland Trail Blazers or as low as half that — $1.4 million to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Out of 434 players under contract, 100 of them will see their scheduled paychecks drop by at least $100,000.