The 2019 NBA draft picks that are selected in the first round will make between $1.6 million and $8.1 million during their rookie season, per Real GM. Each player’s salary depends on where he is drafted as each pick has a designated range. Why is being selected in the first round of the NBA draft significant?
Aside from the sense of pride that comes with the accomplishment, players receive a contract that is completely guaranteed. While the contracts are technically for two years, each franchise has team options to pick up the third and fourth years which are exercised for the majority of players. If the player signs an extension, his new deal will replace the fifth-year qualifying offer, per SB Nation.
There are some cases where being a second-round pick turned out to be advantageous because it gets the player to a more lucrative second contract quicker. Draymond Green is a good example of a player that took advantage of being a second round pick. Second-round contracts also allow the player to hit the free agent market sooner if they are unhappy with their current situation.
For most players, it is preferable to be a first-round pick since the money is guaranteed, and you have at least two years to prove you are worth an NBA roster spot.
Rookie contracts tend to favor the team as it locks a promising young player into a lower (by NBA standards) salary for as much as four years. Zion Williamson will make a little more than $8 million in his rookie season, but he would demand much more money from teams on the open market. The rookie salary scale was created as part of the current CBA between the players and NBA owners.
NBA 1st Round Draft Picks Are Guaranteed at Least 2 Seasons
NBA players selected with picks No. 1 through No. 30 are guaranteed at least two years in league. Here is how the NBA salary scale works, per CBAFAQ.com.
A player’s actual salary in any year may be as little as 80% or as much as 120% of the scale amount. The third and fourth seasons of rookie “scale” contracts are at the team’s option.If the option for the fourth year is exercised, the team may make the player a restricted free agent by submitting a qualifying offer.
The NBA Age Limit Is Expected to be Lowered
The NBA has proposed lowering the age limit which would allow high school players to once again declare for the NBA draft. The NBA previously allowed high school players to enter the draft but changed the rules for the current structure. Players now have to be one year removed from high school to enter the NBA draft. According to Sports Illustrated, the proposed rule change would take place by the 2022 NBA draft.
Here is a look at the NBA rookie scale for the 2019 draft picks with the projected salary, per Real GM.
NBA Draft Pick’s Salaries 2019: 1st Round