Changes In 2010/11 Salaries Due To Performance Incentives
July 10th, 2010

The worst part about maintaining the internet’s premier NBA salary information resource is that the information is never static. It is ever-changing. Due to things such as conditional guarantees, trade kickers and the like, rarely do contracts ever stay the same. This is particularly true because of the science of performance incentives.

Performance incentives can be included in contracts for almost any reason, including (but not limited to) All-Star selections, championship, or team wins. The only rules are that any numerical definitions are specific, and that they are for positive achievements only (although God knows why you’d want it otherwise). For example, Kirk Hinrich has performance incentives based on any First Team All-Defensive placements that he gets, and Matt Bonner’s just-expired contract was based around his three point and free throw percentages.

These incentives are deemed by the league to be either “likely” or “unlikely”. If they are deemed “likely”, then they appear on a team’s cap number for the upcoming season; if they are deemed “unlikely”, then they are not. This is why this information is important to cap space calculations and the like. The likehood of incentives is decided by the league using one simple criterion; whether the player achieved the incentive last year or not. In the case of team-based incentives such as team win totals, this can be changed when a player is traded to a new team; this is perhaps most famously demonstrated by the case of Devean George, whose team win-based incentive went from “likely” to “unlikely” when he was traded from Dallas to Golden State, thereby costing him $200,000. Such is the risk.

Cap hits based on performance incentives are modified during the moratorium, due to a re-evaluation of their incentives. (That’s what the moratorium is for – bookkeeping.) Some previously deemed “unlikely” were met, and are now deemed “likely” – some unlucky players have had the opposite happen. There follows a list of all player’s salaries that have been modified for the 2010/11 season due to performance incentive changes, and by how much. Details of why these incentives have changed (i.e. what they are based on) are not listed, in part because I don’t know them all.

Players Whose Salaries Have Gone Up:

Marvin Williams – $550,000

Mike Bibby – $200,000

Josh Smith – $100,000

Kendrick Perkins – $500,000

Gerald Wallace – $1,000,000

Jason Kidd – $110,500

J.R. Smith – $63,000

Chris Andersen – $591,300

Chris Kaman – $500,000

Zach Randolph – $333,333

Thabo Sefolosha – $250,000

Jameer Nelson – $200,000

LaMarcus Aldridge – $500,000

Sam Dalembert – $150,000

Players Whose Salaries Have Gone Down:

Shawn Marion – $250,000

Shane Battier – $75,000

Danny Granger – $200,000

Jameer Nelson – $500,000 (All-Star bonus; the $200,000 figure above is for other unrelated stuff, and overall he goes down $300,000)

Tony Parker – $150,000

A lot of players still have bonuses that are no different to before. They’re either still likely, or still unlikely, and thus have no changed over the moratorium. For all salary information, visit the site’s NBA Salary Index, which is endlessly being updated.

And I do mean endlessly.

Posted by at 12:49 AM