There are two players on the San Antonio Spurs roster who are Klutch Sports clients, meaning they won’t be affected by hiatus-related pay cuts.
With the NBA on halt until further notice, a big part of the discourse regarding the league’s next steps are regarding whether or not the players will be paid their full salaries. For the San Antonio Spurs, it seems like almost all of the players will have salaries reduced by games missed.
Due to a clause in the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), NBA team owners/governors will seek to activate “force majeure,” which will reduce the player’s salary by 1.08 percent for each game missed. San Antonio has 19 games left unplayed in the regular season, which would call for a sizeable 20.52 percent pay reductions for the 2019-20 season.
Nothing is guaranteed just yet because the league’s intention is to resume play once it’s considered safe to do so. However, all we can do for the time being is wait and see how the next few weeks play out from a public health and safety perspective. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will not endanger the players, coaches, staff or fans, so it may be a while before teams suit up.
There is, however, a loophole for certain players to receive the money they originally expected. Clients of agency Klutch Sports, which is run by the infamous Rich Paul of LeBron James‘ close friend group, have a different clause in their contracts that’ll keep their paychecks safe.
According to reporting by esteemed NBA reporter Marc Stein of The New York Times, the nine players represented by Klutch have contracts that are guaranteed to have 90 percent of player’s salaries to them by April 1, 2020. Of the nine players, including LeBron himself, are two Spurs: Starters Dejounte Murray and Trey Lyles.
NBA players receive paychecks Wednesday but have not been assured further payments. Some details to keep in mind if the NBA seeks to withhold 1.08 percent of each player's 2019-20 salary for every game missed by invoking a "force majeure" clause designed for emergency situations:
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 31, 2020
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With this being the case, Murray and Lyles won’t have to worry about the force majeure since most of their money is already in the bank. The remaining 10 percent will be impacted, but the league certainly isn’t going to ask for money back from its players.
Murray has been with the Spurs since getting drafted back in 2016 and has a four-year contract extension locked up beginning next year. Lyles, on the other hand, is on the first leg of a two-year deal with San Antonio that’s worth $11 million ($5.5 million each season).
With the blessing of one of the three greatest players to ever grace the game, Klutch is considered one of the friskiest, most player-friendly agencies in professional sports. They do everything in their ability to empower the players they represent, which is really shining through with their players being the only group to keep their money safe from the force majeure.
This is a strategy that other agents are going to adopt in the future, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see clients dropping their agents and rushing to Klutch after this move.