Salary Cap

And-Ones: Young, Scola, Breakout Candidates, Salary Cap

Guard Joe Young is taking a proactive approach to getting back in the league. He’ll work out for NBA teams in Houston this week, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tweets. Young, who appeared in 127 games for the Pacers from 2015-18, has been playing in China since the Pacers parted ways with him.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Longtime NBA forward Luis Scola has been named CEO of Italy’s Pallacanestro Varese, Sportando relays. Scola retired after playing for Varese last season and Argentina’s national team in the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Darius Garland, Keldon Johnson and Jaren Jackson Jr. are some of the top breakout candidates for the upcoming season, according to a poll of 15 NBA executives conducted by Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto.
  • The salary cap could increase significantly when new TV deals are signed, Morten Jensen of Forbes Sports notes. Citing a league source, Jensen writes that a $171MM salary cap is possible, assuming no cap smoothing, by 2025. Even with cap smoothing, the cap will likely increase by $15MM annually. However, it should be pointed out that it’s unknown how much the NBA’s next TV deal will be worth, so these figures are speculative.

NBA Minimum Salaries For 2021/22

An NBA team that has spent all its cap space and doesn’t have any of its mid-level or bi-annual exception available still always has the ability to sign a player to a minimum-salary contract, unless that club is right up against its hard cap.

Teams with cap room or with access to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception will have a little more flexibility to sign players to longer-term minimum-salary contracts. However, teams without cap room and without any other exceptions on hand can still use the minimum salary exception to add as many players as roster limits and the hard cap 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 2021/22 mid-level, bi-annual exceptions]

Undrafted free agents and second-round picks are often recipients of minimum-salary contracts, but there are plenty of veterans who end up settling for the minimum too. 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 2021/22 on a minimum-salary contract.

Listed below are 2021/22’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.

These figures represent a 3% increase on last season’s figures, since that’s the amount of the NBA’s salary cap increase for 2021/22.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Years of Experience Salary
0 $925,258
1 $1,489,065
2 $1,669,178
3 $1,729,217
4 $1,789,256
5 $1,939,350
6 $2,089,448
7 $2,239,544
8 $2,389,641
9 $2,401,537
10+ $2,641,691

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 $1,669,178, the minimum salary for a player with two years of experience.

For instance, Trevor Ariza, who has 17 seasons of NBA experience, is signing a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Lakers, who will only be charged $1,669,178 for Ariza’s contract. He’ll earn $2,641,691, but the NBA will 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 prorated portion of the amount listed above.

Those figures listed above also only apply to players who are signing new contracts in 2021/22. Players who are in the second, third, or fourth year of a minimum-salary deal will be earning a slightly different predetermined amount.

For example, a player like Spurs guard Tre Jones – who signed a minimum-salary contract last offseason and now has one year of NBA experience – will earn a $1,517,981 salary in the second year of his contract, exceeding the $1,489,065 he’d receive if he were signing a new minimum deal this fall. That’s because his second-year salary is based on a 5% raise over last season’s minimum salary for a player with one year of experience.

Here’s what multiyear minimum-salary contracts signed in 2021/22 will look like:

Experience
2021/22 2022/23 2023/24 2024/25
0 $925,258 $1,563,518 $1,836,096 $1,988,598
1 $1,489,065 $1,752,638 $1,902,137 $2,057,646
2 $1,669,178 $1,815,677 $1,968,182 $2,230,253
3 $1,729,217 $1,878,720 $2,133,285 $2,402,862
4 $1,789,256 $2,036,318 $2,298,390 $2,575,475
5 $1,939,350 $2,193,920 $2,463,498 $2,748,090
6 $2,089,448 $2,351,521 $2,628,607 $2,761,767
7 $2,239,544 $2,509,123 $2,641,690 $3,037,946
8 $2,389,641 $2,521,613 $2,905,862 $3,037,946
9 $2,401,537 $2,773,776 $2,905,862 $3,037,946
10+ $2,641,691 $2,773,776 $2,905,862 $3,037,946

Technically, a minimum-salary contract could cover five years for a player with full Bird rights, but in actuality, that never happens. While some second-round picks and undrafted free agents will sign three- or four-year minimum-salary contracts, a minimum deal exceeding two years is rare for a player with more than a year or two of NBA experience under his belt.

Information from RealGM was used in the creation of this post.

Rookie Scale Salaries For 2021 NBA First-Round Picks

With the NBA’s salary cap set at $112,414,000 for the 2021/22 league year, the rookie scale has been set as well. The rookie scale locks in the value of contracts for first-round picks.

In every NBA league year, rookie scale amounts are assigned to each first-round slot, from No. 1 through No. 30. Teams can sign their first-rounders to as little as 80% of that rookie scale amount, or up to 120% of that figure.

While that rule theoretically affords teams some flexibility, first-round picks virtually always sign contracts worth 120% of their rookie scale amount, and unsigned first-rounders have a cap hold worth 120% of their rookie scale amount.

Listed below are the salary figures that represent 120% of the rookie scale amounts for 2021’s first-round picks. If a first-round pick signs a rookie scale contract in 2021/22, it will be for the amount below unless he accepts a deal worth less than the maximum allowable 120%. If that happens, we’ll adjust their amounts below.

These salary figures will only apply if the player signs in 2021/22. For instance, if Usman Garuba decides not to come stateside right away, his rookie contract will look a little different in future seasons. Meanwhile, if Leandro Bolmaro – last year’s No. 23 overall pick who remained overseas in 2020/21 – signs his rookie contract with the Timberwolves this year, it will look like identical to the deal listed below for Garuba (2021’s No. 23 pick).

Rookie scale contracts are guaranteed for the first two years, with team options on the third and fourth years.

Here’s the 2021 breakdown:

Player 2021/22 2022/23 2023/24 2024/25 Total
Cade Cunningham $10,050,120 $10,552,800 $11,055,360 $13,940,809 $45,599,089
Jalen Green $8,992,080 $9,441,840 $9,891,480 $12,483,048 $40,808,448
Evan Mobley $8,075,160 $8,478,720 $8,882,640 $11,227,657 $36,664,177
Scottie Barnes $7,280,400 $7,644,600 $8,008,680 $10,130,980 $33,064,660
Jalen Suggs $6,592,920 $6,922,320 $7,252,080 $9,188,385 $29,955,705
Josh Giddey $5,988,000 $6,287,400 $6,587,040 $8,352,367 $27,214,807
Jonathan Kuminga $5,466,360 $5,739,840 $6,012,840 $7,636,307 $24,855,347
Franz Wagner $5,007,840 $5,258,280 $5,508,720 $7,007,092 $22,781,932
Davion Mitchell $4,603,200 $4,833,600 $5,063,640 $6,451,077 $20,951,517
Ziaire Williams $4,373,040 $4,591,680 $4,810,200 $6,133,005 $19,907,925
James Bouknight $4,154,400 $4,362,240 $4,570,080 $6,064,496 $19,151,216
Joshua Primo $3,946,800 $4,144,320 $4,341,600 $5,982,725 $18,415,445
Chris Duarte $3,749,400 $3,936,960 $4,124,400 $5,893,768 $17,704,528
Moses Moody $3,562,200 $3,740,160 $3,918,480 $5,803,269 $17,024,109
Corey Kispert $3,383,640 $3,552,840 $3,722,040 $5,705,887 $16,364,407
Alperen Sengun $3,214,680 $3,375,360 $3,536,280 $5,424,654 $15,550,974
Trey Murphy $3,053,760 $3,206,520 $3,359,280 $5,159,854 $14,779,414
Tre Mann $2,901,240 $3,046,200 $3,191,400 $4,908,373 $14,047,213
Kai Jones $2,770,560 $2,909,040 $3,047,880 $4,693,735 $13,421,215
Jalen Johnson $2,659,680 $2,792,640 $2,925,360 $4,510,905 $12,888,585
Keon Johnson $2,553,240 $2,681,040 $2,808,720 $4,474,291 $12,517,291
Isaiah Jackson $2,451,240 $2,573,760 $2,696,280 $4,435,381 $12,156,661
Usman Garuba $2,353,320 $2,471,160 $2,588,400 $4,392,515 $11,805,395
Josh Christopher $2,259,240 $2,372,160 $2,485,200 $4,346,615 $11,463,215
Quentin Grimes $2,168,640 $2,277,000 $2,385,720 $4,296,682 $11,128,042
Bones Hyland $2,096,880 $2,201,520 $2,306,400 $4,158,439 $10,763,239
Cameron Thomas $2,036,280 $2,138,160 $2,240,160 $4,041,249 $10,455,849
Jaden Springer $2,023,680 $2,125,200 $2,226,240 $4,018,363 $10,393,483
Day’Ron Sharpe $2,009,160 $2,109,480 $2,210,040 $3,989,122 $10,317,802
Santi Aldama $1,994,520 $2,094,120 $2,194,200 $3,960,531 $10,243,371

Information from RealGM was used in the creation of this post.

Values Of 2021/22 Mid-Level, Bi-Annual Exceptions

The salary cap for the 2021/22 NBA league year has officially been set, with the league announcing that the cap will be $112,414,000, a 3% increase on last year’s number.

Under the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the values of the mid-level, room, and bi-annual exceptions are tied to the percentage that the salary cap shifts in a given year. Because the cap figure for 2021/22 increased by 3%, the values of the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions will increase by the same amount.

Listed below are the maximum annual and total values of each of these exceptions, along with a brief explanation of how they work and which teams will have access to them.


Mid-Level Exception (Non-Taxpayer):

Year Salary
2021/22 $9,536,000
2022/23 $10,012,800
2023/24 $10,489,600
2024/25 $10,966,400
Total $41,004,800

The non-taxpayer mid-level exception is the primary tool available for over-the-cap teams to add free agents. As long as a team hasn’t dipped below the cap to use cap space and doesn’t go over the tax apron ($143MM) at all, it can use this MLE, which runs for up to four years with 5% annual raises.


Mid-Level Exception (Taxpayer):

Year Salary
2021/22 $5,890,000
2022/23 $6,184,500
2023/24 $6,479,000
Total $18,553,500

If an over-the-cap team currently projects to be a taxpayer or expects to move into tax territory later in the 2021/22 season, it will have access to this smaller mid-level exception for taxpaying teams.

If a team uses more than $5,890,000 of its mid-level exception, it is forbidden from surpassing the tax apron at any time during the league year. So even if a team isn’t above the apron when it uses its MLE, it might make sense to play it safe by avoiding using the full MLE and imposing a hard cap.

The taxpayer MLE can be used to sign a player for up to three years, with 5% annual raises.


Room Exception:

Year Salary
2021/22 $4,910,000
2022/23 $5,155,500
Total $10,065,500

Although this is also a mid-level exception of sorts, it’s colloquially known as the “room” exception, since it’s only available to teams that go below the cap and use their cap room.

If a club goes under the cap, it loses its full mid-level exception, but gets this smaller room exception, which allows the team to go over the cap to sign a player once the team has used up all its cap space. It can be used to sign players for up to two years, with a 5% raise for the second season.


Bi-Annual Exception:

Year Salary
2021/22 $3,732,000
2022/23 $3,918,600
Total $7,650,600

The bi-annual exception, as its name suggests, is only available to teams once every two years. Of the NBA’s 30 clubs, only three – the Nuggets, Lakers, and Bucksused it in 2020/21, so they won’t have access to it in 2021/22. The league’s other 27 teams could theoretically use it this season.

Still, even if a team didn’t use its BAE in ’20/21, that club doesn’t necessarily have access to it for the coming year. As is the case with the non-taxpayer MLE, this exception disappears once a team goes under the cap. It’s also not available to teams over the tax apron — using the BAE creates a hard cap at the apron.

The BAE can be used to sign players for up to two years, with a 5% raise after year one.

Note: Be sure to check out our Hoops Rumors Glossary for more information on the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception.

NBA Maximum Salaries For 2021/22

Now that the NBA has set its salary cap for the 2021/22 league year at $109,140,000, we have a clear idea of what maximum-salary contracts will look like for the coming season. Conveniently, the cap increase came in at almost exactly 3%, which is precisely what the NBA had been forecasting all year, so our projections won’t change much.

Listed below are the maximum-salary contracts for players signing contracts that start in 2021/22. The first chart shows the maximum salaries for a player re-signing with his own team — a player’s previous team can offer five years instead of four, and 8% annual raises instead of 5% raises. The second chart shows the maximum salaries for a player signing with a new team.

These figures will apply to a number of players who signed maximum-salary contract extensions that will go into effect in 2021/22: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, and De’Aaron Fox. They’ll also apply to anyone who signs a maximum-salary contract as a free agent this offseason — Kawhi Leonard is the most viable candidate.

A player’s maximum salary is generally determined by his years of NBA experience, so there’s a wide gap between potential earnings for younger and older players.

In the charts below, the “6 years or less” column details the maximum contracts for players like Tatum, Mitchell, Adebayo, and Fox; the “7-9 years” column applies to free agents like Beal; and the “10+ years” column applies to the league’s most experienced vets or those who qualified for the super-max, including Antetokounmpo, George, and Lillard.

Here are the maximum salary figures for 2021/22:


A player re-signing with his own team (8% annual raises, up to five years):

Year 6 years or less 7-9 years 10+ years
2021/22 $28,103,500 $33,724,200 $39,344,900
2022/23 $30,351,780 $36,422,136 $42,492,492
2023/24 $32,600,060 $39,120,072 $45,640,084
2024/25 $34,848,340 $41,818,008 $48,787,676
2025/26 $37,096,620 $44,515,944 $51,935,268
Total $163,000,300 $195,600,360 $228,200,420

A player signing with a new team (5% annual raises, up to four years):

Year 6 years or less 7-9 years 10+ years
2021/22 $28,103,500 $33,724,200 $39,344,900
2022/23 $29,508,675 $35,410,410 $41,312,145
2023/24 $30,913,850 $37,096,620 $43,279,390
2024/25 $32,319,025 $38,782,830 $45,246,635
Total $120,845,050 $145,014,060 $169,183,070

It’s worth noting that none of the maximum-salary figures listed above will apply to extension-eligible players whose new contracts would start in 2022/23.

This group includes players like Stephen Curry and Jimmy Butler, who appear on track to sign extensions with the Warriors and Heat, respectively. It also includes players who will sign maximum-salary rookie scale extensions, such as Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Even if they officially sign new deals sooner rather than later, the exact value of their next contracts will depend on where the cap lands for 2022/23. The NBA has announced that the cap for ’22/23 is projected to come in at $119MM, but there’s plenty of time for that estimate to fluctuate between now and next summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Salary Cap, Tax Line Set For 2021/22 NBA Season

While it flew under the radar amidst a flurry of contract agreements during the first few hours of 2021’s free agent period, the NBA has officially set the salary cap for its 2021/22 season. As expected, the cap increased by right around 3% on last season’s $109,140,000 figure. Here are the details, courtesy of a league press release:

  • Salary cap: $112,414,000
  • Luxury tax line: $136,606,000
  • Salary floor: $101,173,000
  • Non-taxpayer mid-level exception: $9,536,000
  • Taxpayer mid-level exception: $5,890,000
  • Room exception: $4,910,000
  • Maximum salaries:
    • 6 years or fewer: $28,103,500
    • 7-9 years: $33,724,200
    • 10+ years: $39,344,900
  • Early Bird exception: $10,384,500
  • Estimated average salary: $10,335,000
  • Tax apron: $143,002,000

The tax apron for the 2021/22 league year will be the hard cap for any team that acquires a player via sign-and-trade, signs a player using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, or signs a player using a bi-annual exception.

[RELATED: Maximum Salaries For 2021/22]

[RELATED: Minimum Salaries For 2021/22]

[RELATED: Values Of 2021/22 Mid-Level, Bi-Annual Exceptions]

While the 2021/22 figures are essentially what we expected, the NBA has adjusted its 2022/23 projections and is now forecasting a $119MM cap and a $145MM tax line, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The most recent projections for ’22/23, from last November, were a $115.7MM cap and a $140MM tax line, so that’s a significant increase and suggests that the NBA’s revenue projections are more positive than initially anticipated.

Rookie Scale Salaries For 2020 NBA First-Round Picks

With the NBA’s salary cap set once again at $109,140,000 for the 2020/21 league year, the rookie scale has been set as well. The rookie scale locks in the value of contracts for first-round picks.

In every NBA league year, rookie scale amounts are assigned to each first-round slot, from No. 1 through No. 30. Teams can sign their first-rounders to as little as 80% of that rookie scale amount, or up to 120% of that figure. While that rule theoretically affords teams some flexibility, first-round picks virtually always sign contracts worth 120% of their rookie scale amount, and unsigned first-rounders have a cap hold worth 120% of their rookie scale amount.

Listed below are the salary figures that represent 120% of the rookie scale amounts for 2020’s first-round picks. Players will sign for these amounts unless they accept a deal worth less than the maximum allowable 120%. If they do, we’ll adjust their amounts below. Rookie scale contracts are guaranteed for the first two years, with team options on the third and fourth years.

Here’s the 2020 breakdown:

Player 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23 2023/24 Total
Anthony Edwards $9,757,440 $10,245,480 $10,733,400 $13,534,817 $44,271,137
James Wiseman $8,730,240 $9,166,800 $9,603,360 $12,119,440 $39,619,840
LaMelo Ball $7,839,960 $8,231,760 $8,623,920 $10,900,635 $35,596,275
Patrick Williams $7,068,360 $7,422,000 $7,775,400 $9,835,881 $32,101,641
Isaac Okoro $6,400,920 $6,720,720 $7,040,880 $8,920,795 $29,083,315
Onyeka Okongwu $5,813,640 $6,104,280 $6,395,160 $8,109,063 $26,422,143
Killian Hayes $5,307,120 $5,572,680 $5,837,760 $7,413,955 $24,131,515
Obi Toppin $4,862,040 $5,105,160 $5,348,280 $6,803,012 $22,118,492
Deni Avdija $4,469,160 $4,692,840 $4,916,160 $6,263,188 $20,341,348
Jalen Smith $4,245,720 $4,458,000 $4,670,160 $5,954,454 $19,328,334
Devin Vassell $4,033,440 $4,235,160 $4,437,000 $5,887,899 $18,593,499
Tyrese Haliburton $3,831,840 $4,023,600 $4,215,120 $5,808,435 $17,878,995
Kira Lewis Jr. $3,640,200 $3,822,240 $4,004,280 $5,722,116 $17,188,836
Aaron Nesmith $3,458,400 $3,631,200 $3,804,360 $5,634,257 $16,528,217
Cole Anthony $3,285,120 $3,449,400 $3,613,680 $5,539,771 $15,887,971
Isaiah Stewart $3,121,080 $3,277,080 $3,433,320 $5,266,713 $15,098,193
Aleksej Pokusevski $2,964,840 $3,113,160 $3,261,480 $5,009,633 $14,349,113
Josh Green $2,816,760 $2,957,520 $3,098,400 $4,765,339 $13,638,019
Saddiq Bey $2,689,920 $2,824,320 $2,959,080 $4,556,983 $13,030,303
Precious Achiuwa $2,582,160 $2,711,280 $2,840,160 $4,379,527 $12,513,127
Tyrese Maxey $2,478,840 $2,602,920 $2,726,880 $4,343,920 $12,152,560
Zeke Nnaji $2,379,840 $2,498,760 $2,617,800 $4,306,281 $11,802,681
Leandro Bolmaro * $2,284,800 $2,399,160 $2,513,040 $4,264,629 $11,461,629
RJ Hampton $2,193,480 $2,303,040 $2,412,840 $4,220,057 $11,129,417
Immanuel Quickley $2,105,520 $2,210,640 $2,316,240 $4,171,548 $10,803,948
Payton Pritchard $2,035,800 $2,137,440 $2,239,200 $4,037,278 $10,449,718
Udoka Azubuike $1,977,000 $2,075,880 $2,174,880 $3,923,484 $10,151,244
Jaden McDaniels $1,964,760 $2,063,280 $2,161,440 $3,901,399 $10,090,879
Malachi Flynn $1,950,600 $2,048,040 $2,145,720 $3,873,025 $10,017,385
Desmond Bane $1,936,440 $2,033,160 $2,130,240 $3,845,083 $9,944,923

* Bolmaro isn’t expected to sign his rookie contract this season.

Trade Moratorium To Be Lifted At Noon ET Monday

The NBA is a little more than 24 hours away from allowing teams to start making trades, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Sources tell Woj that the moratorium will end at 12:00 pm eastern time on Monday, giving teams a small window to complete deals before Wednesday night’s draft.

The league has also established some important dates for the upcoming season, Wojnarowski adds, with opening night set for December 22 as expected (Twitter link). An All-Star break will take place from March 5-10, although no game will be played.

The regular season is projected to end between May 17 and 21 with a play-in tournament to determine seeds seven through 10. The conference semifinals will begin June 7, with the conference finals starting June 22 and the NBA Finals set for July 8-22. The trade deadline hasn’t been determined yet, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

The play-in tournament must be approved by the Board of Governors, but a source tells Wojnarowski that’s considered a formality (Twitter link). As with the series in Orlando between the Trail Blazers and Grizzlies, the No. 7 and 8 seeds will just need one win to advance, while the ninth and 10th seeds would have to win twice. May 17-21 are the tentative dates for the tournament.

As expected, this year’s salary cap ($109.1MM) and luxury tax figures ($132.6MM) will be maintained for next season (Twitter link). According to Woj’s sources, the early cap and tax projections for future seasons are $112.4MM and $136.6MM for 2021/22, $115.7MM and $140MM for 2022/23 and $119.2MM and $144.9MM for 2023/24 (Twitter link).

In addition, the league and its players union have reached a deal that either side can terminate the Collective Bargaining Agreement after next season or the 2021/22 season, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Both sides already had a mutual option to terminate the CBA after the 2022/23 season.

December 21 will be the last day for players to sign super-max and rookie scale extensions, Marks tweets. That deadline is especially significant in Milwaukee, where the Bucks hope to reach a long-term deal with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Most player and team option decisions throughout the league will have to be made by 5:00 pm ET Thursday, a source tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). A prominent exception appears to be Anthony Davis of the Lakers, who may have to decide on his $28.75MM player option by Monday.

NBA Sets Estimated Average Salary, Early Bird Exception For 2020/21

The NBA revealed today that the estimated average salary for the 2020/21 season will be $10,000,000, while the Early Bird exception amount will be $10,047,450, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter links).

The estimated average salary for a league year is defined as 104.5% of the average salary for the NBA’s previous league year, while the Early Bird amount is 105% of the previous average salary. Those figures are important for different reasons.

When a player signs a veteran contract extension, he can receive a starting salary worth either 120% of the final-year salary in his current deal or 120% of the league’s estimated average salary. So, extension-eligible players earning below $10MM in 2020/21 will be able to receive $12MM in the first season of a four-year extension.

As Marks notes, this would apply to players like Trail Blazers wing Gary Trent Jr., Nuggets guard Monte Morris, and Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham. If they want to sign extensions this fall that go into effect in 2021/22, they’d be eligible to receive up to $53.76MM over four years.

As for the Early Bird exception, it represents the starting salary that teams can offer to their own free agents using Early Bird rights, assuming that amount is greater than 175% of the player’s previous salary.

This will apply this offseason to free agents like Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo and Pistons big man Christian Wood. If their own teams want to re-sign them using Early Bird rights, the offers won’t be able to exceed $10,047,450 in year one. In order to offer a higher starting salary, those teams would have to use cap room (which the Pistons will have, but the Lakers won’t).

Because the salary cap isn’t increasing or decreasing for 2020/21, other values tied to the cap will remain unchanged. This applies to the maximum and minimum salaries, as well as the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, as we explained earlier in the week. The tax apron ($138,928,000) and the limit on cash sent/received in trades ($5,617,000) will also be the same in ’20/21 as they were in ’19/20.

NBA Minimum Salaries For 2020/21

Most NBA clubs will enter this year’s free agent period without any cap room, but each of the league’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 2020/21 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. 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 2020/21 on a minimum salary contract.

Listed below are 2020/21’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.

These figures are the same as in 2019/20, since the NBA has artificially set its ’20/21 salary cap to match last season’s.

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 Courtney Lee – who has 12 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 Lee’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. Those figures also only apply to players who are signing new contracts in 2020/21. Players who are in the second, third, or fourth year of a minimum salary deal will be earning a slightly different predetermined amount.

For instance, a player like Raptors guard Terence Davis, who has one year of NBA experience, will be earning a $1,517,981 salary in the second year of his contract, exceeding the $1,445,697 he’d receive if he were signing a new minimum deal this fall. More details on multiyear minimum contracts can be found at RealGM.