With the NBA regular season around the corner, nearly all of the 60 players selected in the 2013 draft appears to have jobs lined up for the coming year. Of course, not all those jobs will be for NBA teams, as many draftees were stashed overseas and others could wind up in the D-League. But at the moment, there are no notable names still in search of a contract.
As I outlined after this year’s draft, there isn’t a whole lot of uncertainty for most first-round picks. The NBA’s rookie scale dictates that first-year players receive a set amount depending on where in the first round they were selected. Salaries can be for as little as 80% or as much as 120% of that amount, and the latter has become a league-wide standard, with teams typically paying rookies the highest amount possible.
That’s not always the case though. 26 of this year’s 30 first-rounders signed rookie deals with their respective teams for the full 120%, but that still leaves four exceptions. Here are the situations for those four players:
- Lucas Nogueira, Hawks (16th overall): Nogueira is still just 21 years old and fairly raw, so the Hawks opted to let him continue developing overseas rather than paying a buyout to bring him stateside immediately. As we heard in August, the young big man will play for Spain’s Asefa Estudiantes Madrid in 2013/14.
- Dennis Schröder, Hawks (17th overall): Schröder will only be receiving 100% of the rookie scale amount for the 17th overall pick ($1,348,200) in his first season, though that will increase to 120% for the rest of his rookie deal. Atlanta reportedly paid $550K to buy Schröder out of his contract overseas, so perhaps that was the motivation for reducing the point guard’s first-year salary.
- Andre Roberson, Thunder (26th overall): Like Schröder, Roberson will receive the standard 120% of his rookie scale amount after this season, but he’ll just earn 80% in year one, good for a $740,560 salary. Roberson wasn’t projected as a first-round pick by draft experts, so being given the opportunity to secure a guaranteed deal may have made him more inclined to take a discount. The Thunder are also dangerously close to tax territory, making those small savings important for the club.
- Livio Jean-Charles, Spurs (28th overall): It was always clear that the Spurs intended to draft-and-stash Jean-Charles, which is exactly what they’ll do in 2013/14 — he’ll continue playing for ASVEL Villeurbanne in France, as our international tracker shows. A pre-draft report suggested that San Antonio planned to develop Jean-Charles overseas for at least one year after drafting him, so we’ll have to wait and see when the club decides to bring him to the NBA.
ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.