NBA increases minor-league salaries to $35,000

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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The NBA’s minor-league salaries were $26,000 or $19,500.

So, this is a hefty jump – though not necessarily to a high point.

NBA release:

The NBA G League announced today the salaries for the 2018-19 season: players under NBA G League contracts will earn a base salary of $7,000 per month – or $35,000 – for the five-month regular season.

This applies only to players who sign directly with the minor league. Players on standard NBA contracts will continue to receive their NBA salary while assigned to the minor league. Two-way players, as prescribed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, will have their minor-league salary increase from $75,000 to $77,250 (which is prorated based on service days in each league). NBA teams can also guarantee a player up to $50,000, waive him then assign him to its minor-league affiliate – a workaround to entice players to play in the NBA’s minor league rather than overseas.

Why aren’t base salaries higher for players who sign directly with the minor league? The main issue is that they’re NBA free agents. NBA teams don’t want to invest significant money and time in players who can just sign with another NBA team at any time.

As the NBA’s minor league grows toward having an affiliate for each NBA team, maybe minor-league players’ rights will be held exclusively by the parent NBA club. That’d increase the demand for securing them – and therefore their salaries, too.