Friday marks the beginning of paycuts for NBA players. Since the 2019-20 season has been indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus, the league and the National Basketball Players Association agreed on withholding a percentage of salary from player paychecks, beginning on May 15.
The withheld money will essentially be in escrow, as both sides wait to see whether or not the season will resume, and in what capacity if it does.
A few NBA superstars have already been paid in full for the season, and thus won’t see any pay reduction. That includes Golden State Warriors two-time MVP Steph Curry. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, five of the ten highest-paid players in the league have already been paid in full for the season: Curry, LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).
That doesn’t mean Curry is avoiding the paycut that most of his fellow NBA players are currently being forced to take. It just means that he’ll owe money, to be taken out of future earnings.
Here’s Marks’ description:
Their salary reductions will come out of their advances for the 2020-21 season on Oct. 1 or beginning with their Nov. 15 paychecks. Each player will essentially have an IOU per paycheck to his team ranging from $390,000 (James) to $420,000 (Curry) each time there is a scheduled 25% pay reduction. That amount will increase if games are eventually canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Salary reductions are a weird situation, even when employees are making tens of millions of dollars. With that said, it certainly appears that the Player’s Association — which is led by president Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), and first vice president Andre Iguodala (Miami Heat) has done a really good job through all of this.