Articles | Coronavirus | Numbers

The NBA has revealed the monetary impact of players sitting out the NBA’s return

Each player stands to lose hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, if they stay home.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA has released several guidelines for players who choose to sit out the league’s return to play in late July. For each game that’s missed, players will be docked 1/92.6th of their annual salary. That may seem like an oddly specific calculation at first glance, but it’s equal to the amount that would be lost per game in the event of the force majeure clause being enacted in the league’s collective bargaining agreement, which would be a worst-case scenario for both the league and its employees.

“For purposes of the foregoing calculation, and notwithstanding the actual number of games that any Team played, was scheduled to play, or could have played during the Seasons(s) affected by the Force Majeure Event, each Team shall be deemed to play five (5) Exhibition games, eighty-two (82) Regular Season games, and 5.6 Playoff games during each such Season.”

Five exhibition games, plus 82 regular season games, plus 5.6 playoff games equals the total found above: 92.6. It’s also important to note that not every player will be monetarily penalized for missing games. If any individual falls under the category of “protected player” or “excused player” due to a higher risk for a severe reaction to COVID-19, they will not have their salary reduced. In a similar vein, any player who leaves the Orlando campus without prior approval will be forced into a 10-14 day self-quarantine before returning to their organization, and while they won’t miss out on all of their pay, they will not be compensated for games that they miss while in isolation. With such a truncated schedule on the horizon, it would be quite possible for a player to be absent for four or five games within a two week period.

Taking those factors into account, here’s what each Kings player will surrender in salary if they miss a single game, or if they sit out the entire regular season return without the Kings making the playoffs:

(Salary data via

Player Annual Salary Per Game Loss 8 Game Loss New Salary
Harrison Barnes $24,147,727 $260,775 ($2,086,197) $22,061,530
Kent Bazemore $19,269,662 $208,096 ($1,666,766) $17,602,896
Cory Joseph $12,000,000 $129,590 ($1,036,717) $10,963,283
Marvin Bagley $8,556,120 $92,399 ($739,190) $7,816,930
Bogdan Bogdanovic $8,529,386 $92,110 ($736,880) $7,792,506
Nemanja Bjelica $6,825,000 $73,704 ($589,632) $6,235,368
Jabari Parker $6,500,000 $70,194 ($561,555) $5,938,445
De'Aaron Fox $6,392,760 $69,036 ($552,290) $5,840,470
Buddy Hield $4,861,208 $52,496 ($419,975) $4,441,233
Richaun Holmes $4,767,000 $51,479 ($411,836) $4,355,164
Alex Len $4,160,000 $44,924 ($359,395) $3,800,605
Yogi Ferrell $3,150,000 $34,017 ($272,138) $2,911,879
Harry Giles $2,578,800 $27,848 ($222,790) $2,383,858
Justin James $898,310 $9,700 ($77,607) $830,403

Adding another layer of complication to the payment schedule, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report has shared that the league will cap a player’s docked pay at a maximum of 14 games, even if they end up participating in more. If the Kings were to make a run in the playoffs, here’s the maximum each player could lose:

Player Annual Salary Per Game Loss Maximum Loss New Salary
Harrison Barnes $24,147,727 $260,775 ($3,650,850) $20,496,877
Kent Bazemore $19,269,662 $208,096 ($2,913,344) $16,356,318
Cory Joseph $12,000,000 $129,590 ($1,814,260) $10,185,740
Marvin Bagley $8,556,120 $92,399 ($1,293,586) $7,262,534
Bogdan Bogdanovic $8,529,386 $92,110 ($1,289,540) $7,239,846
Nemanja Bjelica $6,825,000 $73,704 ($1,031,856) $5,793,144
Jabari Parker $6,500,000 $70,194 ($982,716) $5,517,284
De'Aaron Fox $6,392,760 $69,036 ($966,504) $5,426,256
Buddy Hield $4,861,208 $52,496 ($734,944) $4,126,264
Richaun Holmes $4,767,000 $51,479 ($720,706) $4,046,294
Alex Len $4,160,000 $44,924 ($628,936) $3,531,064
Yogi Ferrell $3,150,000 $34,017 ($476,238) $2,707,779
Harry Giles $2,578,800 $27,848 ($389,872) $2,216,776
Justin James $898,310 $9,700 ($135,800) $772,210

When considering the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars at stake for each individual, it’s entirely understandable as to why the league and the players are so determined to make the restart work in Orlando, and that’s not even taking into account the years-long impact of the force majeure clause being enacted if the NBA fails to return. Conversely, no player deserves criticism for opting to stay home and stay safe if they feel that avoiding the bubble environment is best for them and their family. Either way, players have an incredibly tough decision ahead of them.

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Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 16, 2020 4:11 pm

Meanwhile, the 8 teams who didn’t make the cut, get paid to stay home?

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
June 16, 2020 4:39 pm
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

This seems to disproportionately effect the bubble teams. Playoff lock teams are going to get their playoff bonuses and additional pay but the 6 teams on the bubble are risking a lot more just to get their full pay.

Last edited 1 year ago by Adamsite
June 17, 2020 9:30 am
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

That feels pretty cavalier (from the league’s perspective) about the health of their players.

In all honesty, someone’s probably going to get screwed over this return, whether that’s monetarily or health-wise, but it’s clear that the NBPA and NBA are willing to take that risk to salvage the season

There’s no world where this is fair to players who have to go to Orlando to earn their paycheck. Hopefully, the league will be generous with the “protected player” and “excused player” exceptions.
Having trouble finding it now, but there is a recent TrueHoop article looking at the drawbacks to this plan, and how the league might now be ignoring their stated protocols for resuming play.

Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
June 16, 2020 4:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s like being a Kings head coach when you get fired with a year left on your contract.

June 16, 2020 9:13 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, something is out of whack here.

June 16, 2020 5:30 pm

Great work Tim.

June 16, 2020 9:18 pm

So I read on Twitter that players are forced to come to Orlando and have to pay for their own hotel rooms? That isn’t covered by the team?
Oh, and there is an anonymous hotline to report other players?
Let the attempts at tampering proceed!
This whole plan seems to be looking worse and worse as more details come out.

June 17, 2020 9:25 am
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

Will the coaches get free breakfast?

Each team will have its own chef and food room that is open up to 24 hours a day…

Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
June 17, 2020 9:35 am
Reply to  Jman1949

comment image

June 17, 2020 9:44 am

Does actually seeing Kent Bazemore is our second highest paid player freak anybody else out?

June 17, 2020 10:42 am
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

Vlade says: Hold my beer!

June 17, 2020 10:53 am

This sure will be fun to discuss. Somewhere in the same neighborhood of having your wisdom teeth removed and having an enema performed while having a heart attack kind of fun.
Oh goody. No matter what any league does, it’s going to be criticized. The financial hit everyone is taking is going to hurt if you play it safe, and if you don’t play it safe you’re going to be criticized for being too cavalier about safe practices medically speaking. (Don’t see how you can practice social distancing in a contact sport, but there ya go.)
I have a feeling everyone will lose no matter the outcome. And that’s every sport, every media outlet, fans, all of it. Economies are in shambles, plenty of people are already questioning medical wisdom from the mainstream sources at least, and to top it off you have a lot of people scrambling to figure this out correctly. When in all likelihood there is no correct answer, or that seems to be at least the most likely outcome of all this.
Every answer is wrong. If you play, you’re wrong. If you don’t play, you’re wrong. If you play sometimes, you’re wrong. And so it goes. If you need me, I’m going to be sitting on my porch drinking a beer watching you ‘people’ point fingers. People watching quite often is the best sport after all, so if you’re into pointless melodrama this is going to be the time of your life! Yay!
Okay maybe people watching isn’t so fun. Back to actually useful life projects!

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