Why NBA Teams Sign Players They Don’t Want
May 8th, 2014

[Originally posted on Hoopsworld, 29th October 2013.] The vast majority of players signed for training camp are signed to contracts without any guaranteed compensation on them. This, certainly, is no surprise, as it has long been known that most players signed for training camp are not expected to make the team. A few players have fairly nominal guaranteed portions – for example, Dee Bost received $50,000 from Portland, Dewayne Dedmon $25,000 from Golden State, and Trent Lockett $35,000 from Sacramento. Most, however, do not. Teams are not involved in bidding wars for the Trey McKinney-Jones and Carlos Morais types, and thus there is no incentive to give any guaranteed money away. Not all unguaranteed contracts are the same, however. Some utilize a contract provision called Exhibit 9. Unless you’re an agent, it is a little known device of potentially huge importance. Exhibit 9 of the Uniform Player Contract is applicable only to those summer contracts fully unguaranteed and for only one season in length. Its purpose is to reduce a team’s liability in event of injury to a player it intended to sign only for training camp. It states thusly: if the player is injured as a direct result of playing for the team and, accordingly, would have been entitled but for this Exhibit 9 to compensation, the team’s sole liability shall be to pay the Player $6,000 upon termination of the Player’s Contract. The operator ‘sole liability’ is vital here. Without an Exhibit 9, the Uniform Player Contract normally calls for teams to pay any ‘reasonable hospitalization and medical expenses’ for players injured whilst directly participating in team activity, whilst also guaranteeing the payment of their compensation, however unguaranteed it was, until such time as they are fit to return to play, up to a maximum of the end […]

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