Cap Hits, Salaries For 10-Day Contracts

No NBA games have been played so far this week, but the league’s transactions wire has been active. Since Sunday’s All-Star Game, the Hawks, Cavaliers, Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Suns, Pacers, Knicks, and Magic have all signed players to their rosters — and all of those deals have been 10-day contracts.

This is a prime time of the season for teams to take advantage of 10-day contracts. For rebuilding teams, they’re a great tool for getting a brief look at multiple prospects and identifying which one(s) could be capable of sticking with the club through the offseason. For contenders, 10-day deals can represent an opportunity to get a look at potential playoff contributors without committing to them for the rest of the season.

Of course, since they only last 10 days, these deals are also cheaper than rest-of-season contracts. How much cheaper? We break that down in the chart below.

While 10-day contracts don’t have to be worth the minimum salary, they nearly always are. Listed below are the actual salaries a player earns on a minimum-salary 10-day contract, along with the cap hit a team would assume for that same deal.

These figures are based on a player’s years of NBA experience coming into the 2017/18 season. So a player like Antonius Cleveland, who signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks, would be counted as having zero years of NBA experience, despite playing for the Mavericks earlier this season, since he hadn’t played in the NBA before ’17/18.

Here are the cap hits and salaries for standard 10-day contracts:

Years in NBA
Cap Hit
0 $46,080 $46,080
1 $74,159 $74,159
2 $83,129 $83,129
3 $83,129 $86,119
4 $83,129 $89,109
5 $83,129 $96,584
6 $83,129 $104,059
7 $83,129 $111,534
8 $83,129 $119,010
9 $83,129 $119,602
10+ $83,129 $131,562

A few additional notes on those 10-day contract figures:

  • As is the case for one-year minimum salary contracts, the NBA reimburses teams for a portion of a player’s salary if the player has more than two years of NBA experience. That rule is designed to prevent teams from avoiding older players because they’d be more expensive. It’s also why most of the cap charges listed above are the same.
  • For tax purposes, all minimum salary 10-day contracts are considered to be worth $83,129. So for a team looking to keep its tax bill in check, there’s no added benefit to signing a rookie.
  • For a limited number of 10-day contracts that ran through the All-Star break, these figures will look slightly different. A 10-day contract must cover at least three NBA games, so a deal like Emeka Okafor‘s with the Pelicans is actually worth $157,875 with a cap hit of $99,755, since it’s technically a 12-day pact.
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