Soon-to-be free agent Jimmy Butler aside, the last pick in the first round rarely ends up playing to the level of the first overall pick. That’s reflected in the rookie scale, which features widely varying salary amounts from pick No. 1 down to the 30th choice.
Teams almost always pay their first-round picks 120% of the scale amount, the maximum they’re allowed to give. That results in an even greater disparity, since an extra 20% of the higher scale amount for the top picks is greater than 20% better than the 30th scale slot. The upshot is that the Timberwolves, picking first overall, can expect to pay their choice more than $26.6MM over his four-year rookie scale deal, while the Warriors, who hold the last pick of the first round, are limited to dishing out slightly less than $5.776MM.
Here, via the scale amounts listed on Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ, are the expected salaries for each pick of this year’s first round at the standard 120% of scale. Each season in the four-year rookie contracts is reflected as well as the total: