On the eve of free agency, a lot of people’s perceptions about what constitutes a lot of money for an NBA player is about to be shattered.
The San Antonio Spurs currently have about $12 million in cap space, and there was once a time in the not-so-distant past that $12 million was a great deal of money for a team to hand out in free agency.
Those days are gone. With the salary cap estimated to be at $94 million for next season, teams are going to have a lot of money to spend.
The biggest winners are going to be “average” players who’ll likely be getting paid what elite players once got a handful of years ago.
For some perspective, the NBA salary cap in 2013-2014 was about $59 million. In 2017-2018, it’s estimated to be $107 million. In just 5 years, that’s an increase of more than 181%.
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The superstars will be getting more money, but bench players/fringe starters will be the biggest benefactors.
Last season, the average NBA salary was just over $4 million dollars. Expect that to rise dramatically next season.
Large numbers are going to be thrown around for players that will definitely raise eyebrows, but it’s all about market value. An 8 figure deal isn’t what it used to be.
In the 1999-2000 season, only 11 players made at least $10 million for that year. That’s a bargain nowadays. In the 2015-2016 season, 77 players made at least $10 million.
The NBA has grown as a brand, and the players benefit from that success through an increase in pay. Congratulations to them, because they are the cogs that make this league successful.
What a fantastic time to be a free agent, and on this NBA Free Agency Eve, the players should take a moment to pat themselves on the back for their hard work. They earned this.