I wish I lived the type of life where I could wake up, read a tweet, and learn that I just made $6.8 million. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that will ever happen, I’m afraid.
That could be how Paul George started his day though. My guess is that he got the info in a text or in a phone call, but regardless of the delivery method, he today learned that he made third team All-NBA, and thus his salary next year will be 27% of the salary cap*. Had he not made an All-NBA team this season, his max would only make 25% of the cap, but the honor gives him a bump of roughly $1.2 million next year and some $6.8 million over the life of his five-year deal.
The salary bonus comes as a result of “The Derrick Rose” rule, which allows teams to designate just one player on their roster for a 5-year contract extension. Then, if that player either (a) wins one MVP award, (b) is twice voted as an All-Star Game starter, or (c) twice is named to an All-NBA team, he is eligible to see his salary jump from 25% of the cap to 30% of the cap. However, the 30% isn’t automatic; the team and player negotiate it. And as first reported by Zach Lowe of Grantland, the Pacers and PG settled on 27%. (He probably took less in exchange for the final-year player option that his contract includes.)
Regardless, the relevant thing is that Paul George’s salary for next year just increased by $1.2 million, and this leaves Indiana a little less space below the luxury tax threshold. And that will make it a bit more difficult to re-sign Lance Stephenson this summer or find an acceptable replacement should he leave in free agency.
Specifically, this puts the maximum starting salary available for Lance at probably around $6.5 million, provided the don’t clear any space. They do have ways to make room, however. That figure could increase to about $8.5 million, for example, if they release Luis Scola, whose salary for next year is only partially guaranteed.
As for the All-NBA honor itself, which is voted on by media members at the end of the regular season, ere are the final results.
* It isn’t 27% of the actual salary cap. For individual salary calculation purposes, the collective bargaining agreement uses a smaller figure, which I believe equates to something around 42% of “basketball-related income.” And max salaries are tied to that number. I’m not exactly sure why. It’s all very convoluted.