Positive Changes Coming To The G-League In Terms Of Salary


[New York Times] - The N.B.A. is instituting a long-anticipated salary increase in its developmental league, according to two people familiar with the league’s plans.

Effective next season, players signed to G League contracts will earn $35,000 — or $7,000 per month — in addition to housing and insurance benefits over the course of the league’s five-month regular season, according to the people, who were not authorized to discuss the plans before they are announced publicly.

Players under G League contracts previously earned either $26,000 or $19,000. The increase will represent a pay raise of 35 percent or 84 percent, depending on the player’s classification.

I know not everyone is locked into the G-League, but the development of the league has been fascinating to watch from both a college and NBA standpoint. I’ve been lucky enough to talk to people associated with the G-League to hear stories about the positive improvement both in skill level, training and now a salary bump. Last year the big change was the addition of the 2-way contract where players could make more money and train with the NBA team.

On top of the bump in pay to $35,000, players will still have a chance to get paid by making an NBA training camp roster. Players that go to training camp with the NBA team and then play in the G-League will receive bonuses up to $44,000, which means they could make close to $100,000. That number is important, because it will keep players home instead of looking to play overseas. That’s been one of the biggest challenges to the G-League – the fact that guys can go overseas and make more money. Now, with the improvement to the training, affiliation with the NBA teams and salary bump, those players will be more inclined to work their way through the G-League.

While every team doesn’t have an affiliated G-League team, we’re getting closer. Next year the Washington Go-Gos will be the 27th G-League team and be an affiliate of the Washington Wizards. That leaves just three teams – the Pelicans, Blazers and Nuggets – as the only teams without a G-League affiliate. Once we get 30 affiliates, we could potentially see more players take the Darius Bazley approach of skipping college to make money in the G-League and train via an NBA standpoint.

I spoke with someone in training and coaching with a G-League team recently who talked about how the training is passed down from the NBA team. You run similar sets, you have the same philosophy from an in-game standpoint but also from a practice standpoint. These guys in the G-League are being put on an NBA schedule just the JV version of it. It’s a huge positive in everyone’s eyes associated with the league.

Now, I know $35,000 still isn’t a lot. But, it’s a step. That’s what you want to see with the G-League. You want to see a step in the right direction and each year they keep making a bigger and bigger one. Remember, this league is also vital for coaches as we are seeing Jerry Stackhouse make his laps with interviews for open NBA jobs after coaching Toronto’s affiliate this past season. The other change that’s being made to the salary is the 2-way contract. That salary is up from $75,000 to $77,250. That means players on 2-way deals can make up to $385,000 per year, with each team having two 2-way deal options. 10 players – Quinn Cook, Alex Poythress, Amile Jefferson, Lorenzo Brown, CJ Williams, Mike James, Sean Kilpatrick, Dwight Buycks, Joel Bolomboy and Tyler Cavanaugh – had their 2-way deals turn into NBA contracts.

We’ll see if the G-League continues to grow as there are rumors the Blazers will be getting an affiliate soon. On top of that we’ll see if they can continue to keep guys here instead of playing overseas out of college with pay increases. A