The business of the NBA continues to grow, and people all over are becoming more into money all the time. Whether that’s players wanting to make it, or front offices wanting to save it, everyone wants to be the best they can financially. With the salary cap for teams making big jumps in the past couple years the asking price from players has also greatly increased. It seems like we’re adjusting who gets max contracts and making the group of players that make unthinkable amounts of money a little more inclusive.
A lot of general managers are forced to do this by the fact that the player will leave unless they open up their checkbook for them. Sometimes this leads to overpaying players that are good but don’t necessarily deserve the amount of money they make. For example, Khris Middleton is great, he squeaked in as an all-star last year and is very important to the Bucks. However, Khris Middleton doesn’t necessarily have the talent level to be associated with his new contract extension for 5 years worth over 137 million dollars. Khris wanted to make as much money as possible, and the Bucks needed him to stay as their second option if they want to keep being a contender. Due to this, the Bucks had to pay him a lot of money because if they didn’t, Middleton could have possibly gotten that money from another team, and played somewhere else.
This off-season, players are going to be out looking to raise the bar. They all want to make as much money as possible, and they want to one-up players at the same level as them that signed big contracts the year before. Pascal Siakam just got a max extension by the Raptors but is he necessarily a max player? He could be, but at this point, I would say no. The Raptors had to make this offer to Pascal to keep their young star in Toronto. Players at similar ages and talent levels to Siakam such as Jaylen Brown and Buddy Heild have both been outspoken on getting the money they believe they deserve.
Heilds outspokenness has resulted in a new contract extension, ranging from 4 years 94 million guaranteed and with incentives can climb to 104 million guaranteed. Considering Heild and Siakam just got extensions, it will be intersting to see if the Jaylen Browns of the world get similar contracts. Teams will have to structure future negotiations around the Heild and Siakam deals, so it will be interesting to see how many other teams fork out extensions to players with “high potential”
That’s part of the business aspect of the league, where you need to give important players a lot of money to keep them and stay under the salary cap. It’s not an easy task for a general manager, and it usually takes a little luck or an unexpected player playing way above expectations to build a championship-caliber team. Of course, there are other aspects as well, but money plays a huge factor in the NBA and teams being able to add talent to their rosters. It’s never easy to negotiate with players and it won’t get any easier with players asking for much more money than they have in the past. Front offices in the NBA have difficult decisions to make, and the financial aspect of their organizations is the biggest factor.
- Kevin Barnett