NBA Minimum Salaries For 2019/20

While some NBA teams will head into free agency with more than enough cap room to add a maximum-salary player, other clubs will be totally capped out. However, each of the NBA’s 30 franchises will be on common ground in one respect: No team will be ineligible to sign a player to a minimum salary contract.

Teams with cap room available will have a little more flexibility to sign players to longer-term minimum salary contracts, but over-the-cap clubs will still be able to use the minimum salary exception to add as many players as roster limits allow, for contracts of up to two years. Unlike other exceptions, such as the mid-level or the bi-annual, the minimum salary exception can be used multiple times.

[RELATED: Values of 2019/20 mid-level, bi-annual exceptions]

Undrafted free agents and late second-round picks are often recipients of minimum salary contracts, but there are plenty of veterans who end up settling for the minimum too. Of course, because a player’s minimum salary is determined by how much NBA experience he has, many veterans will earn more than twice as much money as a rookie will in 2019/20 on a minimum salary contract.

Listed below are 2019/20’s minimum salary figures, sorted by years of NBA experience. If a player spent any time on an NBA club’s active regular season roster in a given season, he earned one year of experience. So any player with zero years of experience has not yet made his NBA debut.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Years of Experience Salary
0 $898,310
1 $1,445,697
2 $1,620,564
3 $1,678,854
4 $1,737,145
5 $1,882,867
6 $2,028,594
7 $2,174,318
8 $2,320,044
9 $2,331,593
10+ $2,564,753

Because the NBA doesn’t want teams to avoid signing veteran players in favor of cheaper, younger players, the league reimburses clubs who sign veterans with three or more years of experience to one-year, minimum salary contracts. Those deals will only count against the cap – and against a team’s bank balance – for $1,620,564, the minimum salary for a player with two years of experience.

For instance, if Tyson Chandler – who has 18 years of NBA experience – signs a one-year, minimum salary contract with a new team, that team would only be charged $1,620,564 for Chandler’s contract. He’d earn $2,564,753, but the NBA would make up the difference. This only applies to one-year contracts, rather than multiyear deals.

If a player signs a minimum salary contract after the regular season begins, he’ll earn a pro-rated portion of the amount listed above.

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3 thoughts on “NBA Minimum Salaries For 2019/20

  1. stevep-4

    Man 1 game in the NBA and now you qualify for 868k a year? That is some pay raise for G Leaguers and undrafted players who manage to get 10-day contracts at the end of a season and land on a team the next year. Anyone have stats on how often that happens?

    • phenomenalajs

      Actually, $1.45M is what one game the previous season will get you. I don’t have any stats on it, but it would apply to 2-way and 10-day contract players.

    • Alex Ashton

      “Only” good enough to play one game in the NBA is still a pretty high standard. And it’s more than that, because they also have to be seen as good enough for a team to pick them up the next year. And given that the top players are making $40 mil, that doesn’t seem so high to me. A lot of these guys have devoted much of their youth and all of their young adult lives to becoming highly-skilled B-Ball players, and their career life expectancy is not very long, even if they don’t get hurt, so if they’re good enough to get picked up by and NBA team, I don’t begrudge them a $1.45 million salary. Borderline pros and G-League players are an important part of the League eco-system.

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