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 A More Ideal NBA CBA, Part VIII - Incentive Pay/Performance Bonuses

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PostSubject: A More Ideal NBA CBA, Part VIII - Incentive Pay/Performance Bonuses   Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:16 am

Some of you guys have suggested that NBA players should be given incentive pay or performance bonuses.

The NHL does provide the leeway for players to earn performance bonuses, as does the NBA. For example, Rashard Lewis has a partially guaranteed deal in the 2012-2013 season which is up to $23,790,000.00, but I believe only half is guaranteed. In both leagues, at least in the beginning of the season, salary cap projects must be made with the assumption that the player will earn his entire bonus, so for now, Lewis's cap hit for the Wizards is nearly 24 million in 2012-2013. The cap hits can be lowered once its clear that a player will not be able to achieve a certain bonus.

In the NHL, here is where there is some leeway with the cap again. Teams can go over the hard cap in order to pay bonuses, and only for bonuses. Including bonuses, a team can pay up to 7.5% above the hard cap, but still, base salaries can under no circumstances exceed the hard cap, unless the injury exception is used.

1. I don't believe that contracts should be made solely of guaranteed money for most players. Performance bonuses give potential for a player to earn more money if he can play up to a desired level.
2. Like the NHL, teams should be granted an exception of sorts to go above a hard cap to pay performance bonuses. I would suggest that the performance bonus cushion should never go past 10% of the salary cap, and guaranteed salaries may never exceed the hard cap amount. So with a hard cap of $60 million, a team may pay no more than $66 milllion total including bonuses, but the guaranteed base salaries of the players cannot go past $60 million.
3. The maximum salary amounts I proposed earlier are still in effect, and those amounts include bonuses, if such contracts are partially guaranteed. So a player could earn a max deal that's fully guaranteed, but if so, he can never get a bonus. We could and probably will be seeing more players earning contracts that could be max level including bonuses in this new era so teams can see that players are "earning" their money on the court.
4. Rookie scale money shall be fully guaranteed, as they have been earlier and cannot earn incentive money.
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A More Ideal NBA CBA, Part VIII - Incentive Pay/Performance Bonuses
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