With the NBA salary cap for the 2017-2018 season projected at $101 million as well as the rise of super teams drawing in and signing ring chasing superstars from across the league, it’s no surprise that most mid tier teams are doing anything in their power to secure their superstars.
After the Warriors secured Steph Curry as their starting point guard with a $201 million contract, teams such as the Rockets, Wizards, and Clippers have followed suit and secured their own stars with contract extensions exceeding $150 million. James Harden received the largest payout with a $228 million contract, while John Wall and Blake Griffin each received $170 million and $173 million contracts respectively.
A rising salary cap and a larger frequency of contracts exceeding $100 million shows just how influential the rise of the Warriors super team was on the rest of the NBA. Players such as Kevin Durant, who were not locked down by these huge multi-year contracts, were drawn in to super teams by the desire to win an NBA championship. In fact, Kevin Durant famously took a pay cut in order to allow the Warriors to pay all of their all star caliber players showing that money alone may not be enough to deter players from holding off on a championship. Others such as superstar Lebron James believe that the recent large payouts are not enough. In fact, James expressed his frustration at the salary cap claiming that Steph Curry’s $201 million contract wasn’t fair for a player of his quality.
Whether these large payouts will benefit or hurt the NBA will only be answered with time. However, if the recent trend continues, talented players should expect larger payouts in order to ensure their loyalty and to draw them away from the desire of playing for a super team.