What is a super-max contract in the NBA?

Whenever the discussion involves our favorite sports, people always find time to check not only the players and their game standings but above all, their income during every game season.

This kind of thinking or inquiry always happened because people, particularly, the fans also want to know how athletes make some bucks during their professional career.

Whether the sport is boxing, football, baseball, or basketball, people always equate the superstars during the games with their super paychecks!

However, it is also important to remind ourselves that the hefty paychecks do not always mean that they are going to win in every game. This is why you should not base your bets off of the games with the paycheck of the players. Instead, just head of to Fanduels NBA betting lines, if you are on a betting spree.

In particular, the basketball players under the NBA league have their super-max contract. This contract is basically about the biggest paycheck an NBA superstar or player can get. 

The super-max contract is also called as Designated Veteran Player Extension (DVPE). These contracts can be doled out to those lucky players who qualify for the said DVPE.

Because of this, the basketball team could sign a player for another year. This player will have 25 percent of the team’s overall salary limit, and each year they get an extra 8 percent. 

“Of course, players should meet certain criteria to get one of these, and there are plenty of rules and regulations,” experts at Talk Basket said.

The super-max contract is not for everyone. For an NBA player to make it to the super-max contract, he must have 7 or 8 years of service in the basketball league. Also, the player is still be with his original team, unless the was traded (James Harden) or got by assignment through an amnesty waiver, according to dedicated sports and news site Dave Manuel.

These NBA players must also be part of top tier personalities through any of the following requirements below:

  1. Selected as Defensive Player of the Year in immediately preceding season or in two of last three years
  2. Selected to the All-NBA 1st, 2nd, or 3rd basketball team in immediately preceding season or in two of last three years
  3. Selected as NBA MVP during one of last three seasons

If the NBA players got into these classifications, they would make it for super-max deals.

What does it mean by the Designated Veteran Player Extension? 

Those who are lucky be part of the Designated Veteran Player Extension (DVPE) contracts, they will have the opportunity to be given additional five more years to their existing deals “if they have one year left on their current deals and four new years if they have two years left on their deals.”

“Teams are able to pay out 35 percent of their salary caps to players who qualify for a ‘super-max contract’. The 35 percent is calculated based on what the salary cap is projected to be in the first year of the ‘supermax’ extension,” Dave Manuel’s report said.

To illustrate this, an NBA player who was qualified for a “super-max” extension that started in during the 2019-20 season will have the chance to avail for a maximum salary of $37,800,000 in 2019-20 (which is 35 percent of the projected $108 million salary cap), the report said.

“In addition, these players are entitled to annual 8 percent increases in their salaries due to the fact that they are ‘Bird’ players (players with ‘Bird rights’),” it added.

Who’s who in the biggest super-max deals signed in the NBA league?

Now that we understand that qualifying a super-max is naturally a sign of a super dog in the NBA league, let’s check who are these big names in the basketball league that got the biggest shares of the pie.. ame. It’s 

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo

$228 million

5 Year

Giannis Antetokounmpo is an excellent and accomplished player with the Milwaukee Bucks. At the young age of 26, he was already a recipient of the MVP title for two times. He also brought his team to victory. 

For the first time in 50 years, he was instrumental in bringing the first NBA title for the Bucks.

This super NBA player was naturally awarded with super-max contract. With $228 million deal, Antetokounmpo is seen to earn an average salary of $45.6 million over the next four years.

2. James Harden

$227 million

6 Year

James Harden got signed with a super-max contract. Harden had it first with the Houston Rockets, although he is now playing for the Nets.

3. Rudy Gobert

$207 million

5 Year

Rudy Gobert bagged the super-max contract due to his impressive game. He is well-known for his superb defense on the court.

Interestingly, Gobert first turned down a super-max. Then he was lucky enough to take the much higher deal of 5-year super-max with $207 million, Talk Basket reported.

4. Luka Dončić

$207 million 

5 Year

Despite having a young age of 22, Luka Dončić already bagged a super-max contract worth over 200 million! The crazy thing about this is he is reportedly earning $47.1 million for the 2026-2027 season.

5. Russell Westbrook

$205 million

5 Year

Russel Westbrook finds himself in the in the final year of his super-max deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He signed the contract in 2019. For the 2021-2022 season alone, he was said to be earning $44.2 million. Also he was seen to be earning  $47 million next year the following season.

What are the disadvantages of getting super-max contracts?

While it is true that the super-max deal was made to aid basketball teams maintain their players by allowing them to offer huge some of money than the competition, the said contracts are also “squeezing themselves in terms of salary cap room to fill out their rosters.”

“No franchise can carry more than two supermax players at 35 percent of the cap each. Functionally, though, it’s difficult for a team to have more than one,” according to the experts NBC Sports.

Imagine, getting two super-max basketball players would cover 70 percent of the salary for a team in any given year, turning the team incapacitated to pick another promising back up player for the group.

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