News that another former All-Star will probably miss the season broke Friday, as Al Horford went down with a torn pectoral muscle. He joins a group of seven players who are either definitively out for the year or appear to have a strong chance of missing the rest of the season. Derrick Rose‘s more than $17.6MM salary leads the bunch, and put together, those injured players will make $54,200,765 in 2013/14. All of that money is guaranteed salary.
It’s a figure that’s just a few million dollars shy of the $58.679MM salary cap, and it’s greater than the entire payroll of the Sixers, who have a player of their own on the list in Nerlens Noel. That total doesn’t include the salaries of recovering stars like Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook and Marc Gasol, who are all missing significant time but should return later this season. It also doesn’t account for players like Danilo Gallinari and Carl Landry, who’ve yet to play this season because of injury but are slated to come back at some point before 2013/14 is over.
Some of the teams with players who are out for the season may wind up with some additional flexibility via the disabled player exception, but even that wouldn’t make an injured player’s salary stop counting against the salary cap or toward luxury tax penalties. When a player with a fully guaranteed contract goes down for the season, it’s a sunk cost.
Here are the seven players lost for 2013/14, in descending order of their salaries:
- Derrick Rose, Bulls ($17,632,688)
- Brook Lopez, Nets ($14,693,906)
- Emeka Okafor, Suns ($14,487,500)
- Al Horford, Hawks ($12MM)
- Nerlens Noel, Sixers ($3,172,320)
- Quincy Pondexter, Grizzlies ($2,225,479)
- Jeff Taylor, Bobcats ($788,872)
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