Most of the money teams are handing out to free agents this summer is guaranteed, as usual, but that still leaves several players who'll have to prove they're worth the full value of their deals before they can collect on them. Most non-guaranteed contracts are for the minimum salary or slightly more, but a few leverage quite a lot of cash on a player's performance. None of this year's signees have as much on the line as Andrew Bynum, as the Cavaliers can dodge more than 75% of his nearly $25MM contract.
The majority of the money on Keith Bogans' deal is non-guaranteed, too, but even though there aren't nearly the health questions about him as there are of Bynum, the veteran shooting guard seems much less likely to collect on his entire contract. The Nets shipped him to the Celtics in a sign-and-trade that allowed the salaries to match up for the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce blockbuster. Sign-and-trade contracts must be for three years, but there's no stipulation that any season other than the first be guaranteed. So, Bogans' contract is non-guaranteed in years two and three.
Seven veterans have agreed to deals that include at least $3MM in non-guaranteed money. Marreese Speights is one of them, even though his non-guaranteed money is in the form of a team option for 2015/16. Several first-round picks have $3MM+ in team options on their rookie-scale deals, but since that's standard practice, we'll leave them off this list:
- Andrew Bynum, Cavaliers: $18,790,000 of his $24,790,000
- Keith Bogans, Celtics: $10,799,252 of his $15,857,450
- Martell Webster, Wizards: $5,845,250 of his $21,990,500
- Jarrett Jack, Cavaliers: $5,800,000 of his $25,200,000
- Earl Clark, Cavaliers: $4,250,000 of his $8,500,000
- Marreese Speights, Grizzlies: $3,815,000 of his $10,972,500 (in the form of a team option for 2015/16)
- Carlos Delfino, Bucks: $3,250,000 of his $9,750,000
Just barely missing the cutoff is Quentin Richardson, for whom $2,987,948 of his three-year minimum salary deal is non-guaranteed. Richardson was signed-and-traded as part of the Andrea Bargnani swap, and, as with Bogans, the second and third years of his deal are non-guaranteed. Those seasons become fully guaranteed if he's not waived on or before this coming New Year's Day, so the Raptors seem like a safe bet to release him by that date.
ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.