When a player signs a 10-day contract, his team can theoretically use cap room or an exception to pay him more than the minimum salary. However, in practice, that never happens — virtually every player that signs a 10-day deal receives a prorated portion of the minimum salary.
The minimum salary in a given season differs from player to player, based on his years of NBA experience entering the season. For instance, in 2021/22, a rookie on a full-season minimum deal will earn $925,258, whereas a 10-year veteran who is earning the minimum will make $2,641,691.
[RELATED: NBA Minimum Salaries For 2021/22]
The same is true for 10-day deals. A rookie will earn significantly less over the course of his 10 days with a team than a tenured NBA veteran will.
Because the 2021/22 season is 174 days long, a player’s full-season minimum salary can be divided by 174 to calculate his daily salary. From there, it’s just a matter of multiplying by 10 to determine his salary on a 10-day contract.
Using that formula, here’s the full breakdown of what salaries for 10-day deals look like in ’21/22:
|Years in NBA||Salary|
Because the NBA doesn’t want teams to avoid signing veteran players in favor of cheaper, younger options, the league reimburses clubs who sign veterans with three or more years of experience to 10-day, minimum-salary contracts.
In those instances, teams are on the hook for $95,930, the minimum salary for a player with two years of experience, while the NBA covers the difference. So a team would pay the same amount whether they sign a player with three years under his belt or a player with 12 years of NBA experience.
Based on the new temporary roster rules agreed upon by the league and the players’ union, 10-day contracts signed via hardship exceptions don’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes. So even though the team is responsible for paying $95,930 to a player signed to a 10-day hardship deal, that money won’t count against the team’s cap. Normally, the portion of the player’s salary paid by the team would be his cap hit, even if he’s technically earning a higher salary.
Here are a few examples based on 10-day deals that are currently active:
|Player||Team||Years||Salary||Paid by team|