Highest-Paid Rookies On Non-Scale Deals

Negotiations between the Magic and 51st overall pick Romero Osby seemed to move at a snail’s pace, and it wasn’t until three months after draft night, just as training camp was starting, that the team finally announced it had a deal. Happy Walters of Relativity Sports didn’t make his client wait without reason. The Magic wound up using part of their mid-level exception to give Osby a three-year deal that includes a first-year salary of $682,180, according to HoopsWorld’s Eric Pincus, making him more highly paid this season than all but one other player taken in the second round this June. The contract reverts to the minimum salary in seasons two and three, and it’s non-guaranteed, but it does call for a $100K partial guarantee on this season to kick in if he makes the opening-night roster.

Osby’s deal will give him less than Andre Roberson, this year’s lowest-paid player among those signing the rookie scale contracts afforded first-round picks. It’s still an accomplishment for Walters and company, since Osby is one of only 14 rookies who weren’t drafted in the first round to sign for more than the minimum this year. The four highest earners among them aren’t second-round picks. They’re players from overseas who signed with their teams as free agents, led by Vitor Faverani, who secured $2MM from the Celtics.

Allen Crabbe, the first player drafted in the second round this year, checks in fifth on that list. He’s followed by Dwight Buycks, an American-born player who went undrafted in 2011, plied his trade in the D-League and international circuits, and wound up with a guaranteed $700K from the Raptors.

Draft position doesn’t dictate how much a second-round pick will earn as a rookie, as Osby demonstrates. Ricky Ledo, the 43rd overall pick, is set to earn more this year than five players taken ahead of him. And, as you can see in our complete list of this year’s highest paid rookies not taken in the first-round, the draft order is jumbled throughout.

  • Vitor Faverani, Celtics: $2MM (signed as a free agent)
  • Luigi Datome, Pistons, $1.75MM (signed as a free agent)
  • Miroslav Raduljica, Bucks, $1.5MM (signed as a free agent)
  • Pero Antic, Hawks: $1.2MM (signed as a free agent)
  • Allen Crabbe, Trail Blazers: $825K (31st overall pick)
  • Dwight Buycks, Raptors: $700K (signed as a free agent)
  • Romero Osby, Magic: $682,180 (51st overall pick)
  • Isaiah Canaan, Rockets: $570,515 (34th overall pick)
  • Ricky Ledo, Mavericks $544K (43rd overall pick)
  • Jamaal Franklin, Grizzlies: $535K (41st overall pick)
  • Ray McCallum, Kings: $524,616 (36th overall pick)
  • Carrick Felix, Cavaliers: $510K  (33rd overall pick)
  • Tony Mitchell, Pistons: $500K (37th overall pick)
  • Nate Wolters, Bucks: $500K (38th overall pick)

HoopsWorld and ShamSports were used in the creation of this post.

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