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Nets’ Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving made $6-8 million more in guaranteed money after Warriors offered sign-and-trade

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The newly-assembled duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant caught a big financial break at the time of signing with the Brooklyn Nets. The franchise was expecting to sign them to their respective max contracts, including $4-5 million in unlikely bonuses so that the stipulations fit into the salary cap. However once the Golden State Warriors came in offering a sign-and-trade, that number was reduced to only $1 million for each, according to ESPN Insider Bobby Marks.

While the contract numbers are relatively the same, the Nets would have had up to $10 million in unlikely bonuses attached to Irving and Durant, but the sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell canceled out the need to sign Durant into the cap. Instead, Durant and Irving received $6-8 million more in guaranteed money than they would have had, had the Warriors not stepped in to swing that deal.

That free cap space was used to sign big man DeAndre Jordan to a four-year, $40 million pact.

“Because cap space was not required to sign Durant, Brooklyn only needed to structure $1 million in unlikely bonuses for Irving to still have room for Jordan and (second-rounder Nicolas) Claxton. In total, Durant and Irving could have opened the door to lose a combined $16 million had the Warriors not stepped in at the last minute.”

Irving’s $1 million in unlikely incentives is broken into eight $125,000 bonuses, ranging from games played, reaching certain statistic-based milestones and his offensive/defensive rating. All eight of them are deemed unlikely for cap purposes since they weren’t achieved during the 2018-19 season.

Durant still has a $1 million bonus based on the success of the team, a bonus that he could earn even if he doesn’t play this season. Should Brooklyn reach the first round of the playoffs or win at least 43 games, Durant will reach the criteria and earn another million, even if he doesn’t step foot on the court.