Money has been flying around since NBA free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.
How much money?
As of Saturday morning, 29 free agents have agreed to terms with teams for a combined $1.8 billion in total contract value and an average of $16.9 million per year. Let’s put that annual average number into perspective, back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry made $11.3 million last season and Tim Duncan hasn’t made more than $17 million in a season since the 2011-12 season.
These huge contracts will become the new normal in the NBA, and you can thank the league’s new $24 billion television deal for that. And it’s going to get even crazier next summer when the salary cap, which is projected to be at $94 million this year, is expected to jump to $110 million.
NFL players, who work on non-guaranteed contracts, have some thoughts on the NBA spending spree.
“Call me a hater but these NBA deals are insane I have to google the players getting paid #nonamechecks #productiondoesntcount,” Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams tweeted Friday.
Mike Conley, who has never made the All-Star game, already agreed to the largest contract in NBA history Friday. Memphis is getting Conley for $153 million over five seasons ($30.6 million per year).
All of this could hurt the Heat’s case with Dwyane Wade. The 12-time All-Star is watching the market and knows his value is much more than Miami’s reported initial offer of $10 million per season.
If free agents are getting an average of $16.9 million per season, Wade can likely get $20 million or more annually.