This is the first time in the G League’s history that players will have an average salary of over $40,000. Furthermore, this marks a +15% increase in salary for the league in the last two seasons. Since the players formed a union in 2020, their salaries have increased by more than $5,000.
Breakdown of NBA G League salaries
Unlike most professional sports organizations, players in the G League receive a flat base salary, ostensibly precluding any pay gap. This does not, however, mean that players are restricted from earning more than $40,500.
Exhibit 10 contract
The Exhibit 10 contract was established during the NBA’s most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is a one-year deal worth the minimum salary. Additionally, these clauses can include the opportunity for bonuses ranging from $5K to $50K.
For example, if a player were to sign an Exhibit 10 contract with an additional bonus, but was waived prior to the commencement of the regular season, they can reserve their G League status by being designated as an affiliate player. So long as the player remains with their G League squad for 60 days, they would earn their bonus.
In the event that a player is waived, oftentimes they will elect to play overseas. The Exhibit 10 clause, however, exhorts them to stay with their G League affiliate.
Two-way contracts allow players to oscillate between the NBA and G League. They can play a maximum of 50 games with their NBA franchise. Also, even if they participate more so in the G League, they will earn a flat salary of $508,891. This is half of the NBA’s rookie minimum.
If a team converts a player to a two-way deal prior to the start of the season, they maintain their Exhibit 10 bonus. This bonus compensation is protected, even if the player is waived.
This is an official statement regarding two-way contracts, according to the official G League website.
“Beginning in the 2017 offseason, NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players with the addition of two spots for players under “Two-Way Contracts.”
NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 50 games with their NBA team. Two-Way players are paid a flat salary equal to 50% of the Minimum Player Salary applicable to a player with zero Years of Service. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.”