Largest Pay Declines From 2014/15 To 2015/16

Playing in the NBA is a lucrative proposition in just about any circumstance. However, to several players who signed new deals this summer, the paychecks they’ll see this season won’t look all that impressive. Amar’e Stoudemire is chief among them, even though he’s technically coming off a minimum-salary deal. He signed that contract with the Mavericks shortly after the Knicks waived him in a buyout arrangement, one that still left him with nearly $21MM from New York last season. The Knicks’ obligation to Stoudemire is complete, and in the season ahead he’ll see less than $1.5MM with the Heat.

It’s debatable how much more Stoudemire could have signed for this season, but we know that David West passed up a $12.6MM player option with the Pacers to sign with the Spurs for the minimum salary. It’s quite a statement about his priorities, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he feels a tinge of regret this year as he collects a salary much less than the value of his option or his $12MM pay from last season. Deron Williams was also a willing participant in his own pay reduction, agreeing to a buyout that turned what would have been a raise to nearly $21.042MM on his more than $19.754MM pay from last season into a pay cut in excess of $8.9MM.

We’ve factored in the money that Williams will receive on his new deal with the Mavericks as well as the pay he’s still in line to see from the Nets this season. Brooklyn figures to recoup some of that via set-off rights, meaning Williams’ reduction in pay will likely end up having been even greater when set-off is calculated at season’s end.

Also, we included the amount that Luis Scola was due from the Rockets through the amnesty provision in his total from last season on the list below. Additionally, we counted Jeremy Lin‘s actual salary, and not his much cheaper cap hit, from last season.

Carlos Boozer will probably join this group in the near future, as he’d face a stiff challenge to come close to the $16.8MM he made last season combined between the Bulls and the Lakers. For now, here are the players set to feel the pinch most profoundly this year:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire, Heat, $1,499,187 (Last year: $20,910,988 with Knicks and $306,876 with Mavs) — total decrease: $19,718,677
  • Jeremy Lin, Hornets, $2,139,000 (Last year: $14,898,938 from Lakers via Gilbert Arenas Provision) — total decrease: $12,759,938
  • David West, Spurs, $1,499,187 (Last year: $12MM with Pacers) — total decrease: $10,500,813
  • Andrea Bargnani, Nets, $1,362,897 (Last year: $11.5MM with Knicks) — total decrease: $10,137,103
  • Deron Williams, Mavs, $5,378,974, plus $5,474,787 on buyout and stretch provision from Nets (Last year: $19,754,465 with Nets) — total decrease: $8,900,704
  • Luis Scola, Raptors, approximately $3MM (Last year: $6,172,538 with Rockets via amnesty and $4,868,499 with Pacers) — total decrease: $8,041,037
  • Marcus Thornton, Rockets, $1,185,784 (Last year: $8.575MM with Suns) — total decrease: $7,389,216

Aside from West’s minimum-salary deal, which deal gives the team the best bargain? Leave a comment to let us know.

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

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