After the NBA’s biggest-name free agents come off the board, many teams shift their focus to filling out their training camp rosters. Teams can only carry 15 players on NBA contracts (plus three on two-way deals) during the regular season, but their maximum roster size increases to 21 players in the offseason, allowing clubs to bring a few extra players to camp to audition for a place on the regular season roster or a spot on the team’s G League affiliate.
Many of those players will sign a contract with an Exhibit 10 clause. Introduced in the NBA’s 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement, Exhibit 10 contracts are one-year deals worth the minimum salary. They don’t come with any compensation protection, but can include an optional bonus worth as little as $5K and – in 2023/24 – as much as $75K.
Let’s say an undrafted rookie signs an Exhibit 10 contract with the Jazz that includes a $75K bonus. He attends camp with the Jazz, but is waived before the regular season begins, with Utah designating him an affiliate player in order to retain his G League rights. In that scenario, if the rookie elects to play in the G League for the Salt Lake City Stars and remains with the club for 60 days, he’d be entitled to his full $75K bonus.
The player wouldn’t receive that bonus if he opts to sign with a team overseas after being waived by the Jazz. Essentially, the Exhibit 10 bonus serves as an incentive for players to stick with their team’s G League affiliate — they must spend at least 60 days with the NBAGL club in order to get their bonus.
There’s another scenario in which that undrafted rookie who signs an Exhibit 10 deal with the Jazz would receive his $75K. Exhibit 10 contracts can be converted into two-way contracts before the regular season begins, so if Utah opted to do that, the $75K bonus would turn into a salary guarantee for the player. As soon as his contract becomes a two-way deal, he’s entitled to that bonus, even if the Jazz waive him a week later.
The maximum Exhibit 10 bonus will increase in future seasons at the same rate as the NBA salary cap. For instance, if the cap rises by 10% in 2024/25, the maximum Exhibit 10 bonus would rise by 10% too, from $75,000 to $82,500.
Only teams with a G League affiliate can include an Exhibit 10 bonus in a contract. In 2023/24, the Trail Blazers will become the 29th NBA team with its own affiliate, leaving only the Suns on the outside looking in (they’re aiming to get an NBAGL team in place by ’24/25). Phoenix could technically sign players to Exhibit 10 deals, but wouldn’t be able to include bonus money.
Exhibit 10 contracts don’t count against a team’s salary cap during the offseason. However, they would begin to count against the cap if a team decides to keep a player on an Exhibit 10 contract into the regular season, essentially converting his deal to a standard one-year, minimum-salary deal.
Although they’re not technically required to, virtually every Exhibit 10 contract also contains an Exhibit 9 clause, which provides a team protections when a player on a non-guaranteed training camp contract suffers an injury. If a team wants to sign a player to a deal that includes both an Exhibit 9 and Exhibit 10 clause, it must already be carrying at least 14 players on standard contracts.
Here are a few more notes relating to Exhibit 10 contracts:
- A team can’t carry more than six Exhibit 10 contracts at a time.
- An Exhibit 10 contract can only be converted to a two-way deal before the regular season begins.
- An Exhibit 10 contract that gets converted to a two-way deal can subsequently be converted into a standard NBA contract.
- An Exhibit 10 bonus earned by a player who ends up in the G League or on a two-way contract isn’t counted toward the NBA team’s total salary.
Note: This is a Hoops Rumors Glossary entry. Our glossary posts will explain specific rules relating to trades, free agency, or other aspects of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ was used in the creation of this post.
Earlier versions of this post were published in 2018 and 2019.