Whether you like it or love it, learn about Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Ja Morant, and the biggest financial winners and losers from this year’s All-NBA honors.
A new NBA collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NBPA begins in July, and though there are some legitimately cool details in there regarding athlete equity, cannabis policy, and the front office boogeyman known as the luxury tax, one thing that won’t be changing is an occasionally fun, often agonizing detail of the Association’s salary structure: The super-sized importance of making an All-NBA team.
And not just making one — making one at the absolute perfect time. Specifically, your seventh or eighth season in the league.
Yes, due to the particulars of what’s colloquially known as the “supermax” contract and literally known as the Designated Veteran Player Exception, earning All-NBA honors at exactly the right time can mean a difference of about $50 million in value on a five-year contract extension. Fortunately for a couple of Boston Celtics, however, Supermax Santa came down the chimney and dumped out a big ol’ bag onto the TD Garden parquet.
Others, meanwhile, were not similarly lucky.
With that in mind, let’s explore all the financial implications of the 2023 All-NBA teams, from one-time bonuses to salary escalators to record-setting extensions and beyond.
All-NBA Player Salary Bonuses & Supermax Eligibility
Though most NBA contracts are fully guaranteed, a couple of notable players earned incentive-based salary bumps after receiving All-NBA honors.
The following players received one-time All-NBA salary bonuses (via Spotrac):
- Kings PF Domantas Sabonis: $1.3 million
- Celtics SG Jaylen Brown: $1.1 million
The following players became eligible to receive the Designated Veteran Player Exception, a.k.a. the supermax:
- Celtics SG Jaylen Brown
- Brown has seven seasons in the league and is thereby eligible to sign a supermax contract this summer that would begin in 2024-25 following his current extension. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes, the deal would be worth approximately $295 million over five years.
- Celtics SF Jayson Tatum
- Tatum is eligible to sign a supermax contract in summer 2024 following his seventh NBA season; he does not need to make All-NBA in 2023-24. That deal would begin in 2025-26 in place of the player option on his current extension. Per Marks, such an extension would be worth approximately $316 million over five years, larger than any contract that has ever been signed in NBA history as of this writing.
- Click here for Tatum’s active contract details with Boston.
Take a moment and check out this quick refresher on 35% supemax eligibility, as there’s some fine print involved:
Players Eliminated From Supermax Contract Eligibility
Players who become eligible to sign their first career NBA extension can be offered a deal that starts at 25% of the league’s salary cap, known as the Designated Rookie Extension. If a 25% player makes All-NBA the season before that extension was due to start, it escalates to 30% of the cap as part of what is colloquially known as “The Derrick Rose Rule.”
With that in mind, for missing out on All-NBA this time around…
The following players missed out on escalating their 25% rookie max extensions to 30% “Rose Rule” deals:
- Grizzlies PG Ja Morant
- Pelicans PF Zion Williamson
- Cavaliers SG Darius Garland
Now, back to the true 35% supermax (which each of those three players listed above can qualify for via All-NBA or a major award in their seventh or eighth seasons).
Last summer, Boardroom’s Shlomo Sprung looked at the broader list of players with a chance to earn a Designated Veteran Player Exception offer. Outside of Tatum and Brown, not everyone is ultimately going home happy.
The following are notable examples of players who missed out on becoming eligible for the Designated Veteran Player Extension:
- Raptors PF Pascal Siakam
- Nuggets PG Jamal Murray
- Raptors PG/SG Fred Van Vleet
- Pelicans SF/PF Brandon Ingram
Pascal Siakam is the only member of this group to earn All-NBA honors in the past. These players are eligible to sign for no more than 30% of the cap on any extension signed this summer, but with 2022-23 being their seventh seasons in the league, each can still give it one last shot and earn supermax eligibility by earning an All-NBA nod next year.
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