Posted on July 2, 2017, by Travis Pulver
There are bound to be a few parents out in the world that think Lavar Ball isn’t out of his mind. His antics are foolish and they make him look stupid. But with the kind of money that is in play after just two days of free agency–who wouldn’t be? As expected, free agent spending has been a little wild and a whole lot of crazy. The dollar amounts are insane, to say the least—and a lot of big name players are still in play!
Several players in the NFL have expressed their envy of some of the deals that have been agreed to, and it is not hard to understand why. Who wants to destroy their body playing football for a few million dollars a year when you can play basketball, risk having bad knees someday, and take up $15-40 million a year?
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Not everyone makes in that range. But with the size of the salary cap and the relatively small number of players on a basketball team, players are more likely to be paid better in the NBA than the other major professional sports in the United States.
The average player salary last season was $4.56 million; a number inflated by the larger contracts, of course. But would anyone complain about being a rookie and making $815,000? If that is your salary, you are probably a reserve. So—would anyone complain about making $815,000 to watch basketball games from the sideline every night during the season?
The dream, of course, would be to get a deal like Steph Curry’s or Blake Griffin, Jrue Holiday, or Kyle Lowry (all $100 million or better)—and play. There would be nothing wrong with getting ones like Serge Ibaka, Jeff Teague, Joe Ingles, or Patty Mills ($50 million or better) either.
With free agency beginning just two days ago, it seems insane that teams and players have already agreed on contracts valued at more than $1.1 billion. The ten biggest are as follows (Sportrac):
10. Tony Snell, SF, Milwaukee Bucks—four years, $46 million
9. Andre Iguodala, SG, Golden State Warriors—three years, $48 million
8. Patrick Mills, PG, San Antonio Spurs—four years, $50 million
7. Joe Ingles, SF, Utah Jazz—four years, $52 million
6. Jeff Teague, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves— three years, $57 million
5. Serge Ibaka, PF, Toronto Raptors— three years, $65 million
4. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors— three years, $100 million
3. Jrue Holiday, PG, New Orleans Pelicans— five years, $126 million
2. Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers—five years, $172.3 million
1. Steph Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors—five years, $201.2 million
After two days, the owners have guaranteed $1.098 billion to 24 players. With several notable players yet to agree to new deals, that number is only going to get bigger. John Wall has a $170 million deal on the table from the Washington Wizards. Golden State will certainly take care of Kevin Durant again. Whoever signs Paul Milsap, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol, or Gordon Hayward will have to pay a pretty penny for their services.
Crazy, right? Maybe—but history tells us it is only going to get crazier. Last year teams spent over $3.6 billion in free agency. The year before it was $2.51 billion and the year before that $1.2 billion.
So—kids, practice your jump shots. By the time you are old enough to play there is no telling what kind of money we’ll be talking about players making!