Players on their rookie deals remain one of the great values to owners — they get players who often can contribute a lot but at a fraction of the salary of a veteran who does the same thing. Those rookie deals remain untouched in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Except for one change — if you are an elite player you can make more in your second deal than your peers. And by “elite” we mean Derrick Rose.
Let us explain. Part of the new labor deal will allow rookies getting their second contract — which starts with their fifth season — to earn the new max of up to 30 percent of the salary cap (up from 25 percent). To qualify for the bump all they need to do is win an MVP award, get voted into the All-Star Game as a starter two times or twice in their first four seasons or get named to any level of the All-NBA teams in those four seasons, Tom Ziller points out at SBN.
The difference is about $3 million more a season.
To the joy of Jerry Reinsdorf, only Rose qualifies right now, Ziller reports.
However, if Russell Westbrook makes an All-NBA team this season he can as well (he will be offered a max extension by the Thunder on Dec. 9 and this super-max possibility will likely be written into the deal — which if he reaches it means he will make more than Kevin Durant). Kevin Love would need to win the MVP to qualify, Ziller says.
So, call this the Derrick Rose rule. But it is fair to pay guys who are franchise cornerstones a little more.