The NBA announced the All-NBA teams for the 2022-23 season on Wednesday. As always, it’s an honor for any player to be named All-NBA. For a handful of players, the honor (or lack thereof for one) had some major contractual implications too.
(Please Note: All contracts referenced here are estimates/projections. The NBA salary cap is in a bit of an unpredictable place with both a new CBA in place and a new media rights deal coming soon.)
Jaylen Brown being named to his first All-NBA team (he was on the Second Team) earned him a nice immediate bonus, while being a boon to his long-term earning potential as well.
For this season, Brown getting named All-NBA maxed out his somewhat complex bonus set. Brown’s incentives are broken up into two parts. The first part is related to his games played and team success. Brown had already achieved the maximum of just over $1 million for that section.
The second part of Brown’s incentives are an either/or scenario of postseason awards and team success. None of them can stack upon one another, but he had different paths to earning the full bonus amount. Brown had already achieved a portion of this second incentive by making the All-Star team, but he got 100% of this section by being named All-NBA. This earned Brown about $2.1 million in additional incentives.
Added together, Brown earned roughly $3.1 million in total bonuses for this season. That sees his salary number rise from $26.7 million to $29.8 million for this past year. In addition, Brown’s cap hit for the 2023-24 season will now be at $31.8 million, as his bonuses are now deemed likely. (A bonus is deemed “likely” or “unlikely” based on the simple formula of “Did it happen last year?” If the bonus was achieved, it’s likely. If not, it’s unlikely.)
While congratulations are in order for Jaylen Brown for the All-NBA nod and the extra $3.1 million earned, there are now bigger fish to fry.
As we covered previously, Brown had major stakes for his next contract by making All-NBA. We won’t rehash that entire article, but by being named All-NBA, Brown is now eligible for a Designated Veteran Extension, or the so-called Super Max. That contract projects to look like this:
- 2024-25: $50,050,000
- 2025-26: $54,054,000
- 2026-27: $58,058,000
- 2027-28: $62,062,000
- 2028-29: $66,066,000
- Total: five years, $290,290,000
Boston is now eligible to offer Brown a deal starting at 35% of the salary cap vs 30% of the cap, by virtue of the All-NBA honor. That deal would come with 8% raises, and would likely include some form of player option on the final season.
It’s important to note that this deal would start with the 2024-25 season, as Brown still has one more season under contract with the Celtics. Should Brown turn down the Designated Veteran Extension (or in the unlikely scenario Boston doesn’t offer it), he can sign a four-year deal with another team in the summer of 2024. That contract projects to look like this:
- 2024-25: $42,900,000
- 2025-26: $45,045,000
- 2026-27: $47,190,000
- 2027-28: $49,335,000
- Total: four years, $184,470,000
That’s a pretty significant difference, even if you compare four-year to four-year values. That’s about $40 million over the same four-year period.
One last note (and this will come up with another player!): Brown can only get the Super Max from the Celtics. You can only offer a Super Max extension to a player you drafted or a player that you acquired while they were on their rookie deal. In addition, if Brown signs a Designated Veteran Extension, he’d have a one-year trade restriction from the date of signing.
We’re going to keep this one simple, as Jayson Tatum still has at least two years left on the rookie scale extension he signed with the Celtics a couple of years ago. That means he’s not extension-eligible until the summer of 2024 and that extension would then start with the 2025-26 season.
Because he’s now made All-NBA the last two years, Tatum is already eligible to sign a Designated Veteran Extension. One of the criteria is to make All-NBA for two of the previous three seasons (or the one season prior), meaning Tatum has met that marker, no matter what happens in the 2023-24 season.
Tatum’s projected Super Max extension looks like this:
- 2025-26: $53,198,250
- 2026-27: $57,454,110
- 2027-28: $61,709,970
- 2028-29: $65,965,830
- 2029-30: $70,221,690
- Total: five years, $308,549,850
That’s 35% of the cap with 8% raises. Like with Brown, the final season would likely be a player option. In addition, to sign this full five-year extension, Tatum would need to first decline his current player option for the 2025-26 season.
This past summer, Ja Morant signed a Designated Rookie Extension, or so-called Rose Rule extension. (It’s a bit more complicated than that, but the terms have become used interchangeably.) That contract could have seen Morant jump from 25% of the cap to the 30% of the cap tier, had he been named All-NBA.
As Morant didn’t make any of the three All-NBA teams, he’ll now stay at the 25% of the cap tier. That contract projects to look like this:
- 2023-24: $33,500,000
- 2024-25: $36,180,000
- 2025-26: $38,860,000
- 2026-27: $41,540,000
- 2027-28: $44,220,000
- Total: five years, $194,300,000
Had Morant made All-NBA, his deal would have jumped to $233.2 million over five years.
For what’s it worth, Darius Garland and Zion Williamson both had similar conditions in their deals. However, neither had a realistic chance of being named All-NBA for this past season. Interestingly enough, none of Morant, Garland or Williamson have a player option on the final seasons of their max extensions with Memphis, Cleveland and New Orleans, respectively.
Like Jaylen Brown, being named All-NBA was quite profitable for Domantas Sabonis. He had already earned $1.3 million by being an All-Star this past season, and he added an additional $1.3 million by making All-NBA.
For this current season, that sees Sabonis’ salary jump from his base of $18.5 million to $21.1 million. For next season, as both of his bonuses are now considered likely, Sabonis’ cap hit will go from $19.4 million to $22 million.
Unfortunately, unlike Brown and Jayson Tatum, Sabonis is not eligible to sign a Designated Veteran Extension. Because the Sacramento Kings acquired Sabonis while he was on his second (current) contract, they can’t offer him a Super Max extension. Those are reserved for players drafted by or acquired by the team while still on their rookie contracts.