Is The NBA Rookie Salary Scale Bad?
Before I get into the actual topic of the post, let me just say that I have received a handful of emails asking about how many people and the specific names of those that Dynasty is advising after the MLB Draft. This information will soon be made available to the public, but for now, I would rather keep it restricted to Dynasty’s members. We are continuing to work around the clock researching for the young men that we are representing to make sure that if they accept an offer with the teams that selected them, they are not taken advantage of. Now onto the story..
Many believe that the NFL will be the next major American professional sport to institute a rookie salary scale, at least for the first round of its draft. The NBA currently uses a scale for players drafted in the first round and the MLB does its best to force its member organizations to use a similar signing bonus number for a player drafted in the same slot in the previous year’s draft. Maybe slotting ends up becoming implemented in the NFL and turns out to work like a charm, but in the NBA, the system may have created some unintended consequences.
A team like the San Antonio Spurs has to worry that its last year’s first round draft pick may choose to stay overseas rather than come play for basketball’s most consistently solid team of this past decade. Tiago Splitter put up decent numbers this past year overseas in Spain and is probably due for a larger check from the Spanish club (Tau Ceramica) than he would receive as a rookie next year with the Spurs. It is not that the Spurs aren’t willing to pay Splitter enough money, but that the salary scale will only allow the team to hand over $771,000 at most in Splitter’s first year of play. Because of that ceiling (which lasts for two years and could be picked up for another two by San Antonio), the Spurs may never even have the chance to give that money to Tiago.
Splitter is not alone. Fran Vasquez and Rudy Fernandez are among the other players who have been drafted by NBA teams in the first round only to say “no thanks” and remain with their overseas clubs. If you were an NBA GM, would you draft a non-American player in the first round? If he is an early first round pick, maybe it is a different scenario, but taking a foreigner with a late first rounder is definitely a risk under the current slotting system.
Many have had nothing but praise for the NBA’s slotting system, but if it alienates foreigners, potentially forcing their fall to the second round, should it be kept? What can be done to fix the system? It will be interesting to follow this year’s draft and see how many foreigners are taken in the first round after the lottery picks have been made.