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Paul George just made $6,788,165*

Jun 4, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

Paul George Paul George

Paul George is having a good day.

The Pacers forward just made $6,788,165.*

*That number, and numbers in this post, are based on the NBA’s latest cap projection. When the league reviews its books and sets the actual salary cap in July, these numbers will change slightly.

By making the All-NBA third-team, George will earn more money on the five-year contract extension he signed before the season. As detailed previously, that extension set George’s 2014-15 salary to rise from 25 to 27 percent of the salary cap if he qualified for the Derrick Rose rule. By making an All-NBA team – the second of his career – he qualified.

The yellow line shows what George will make the next five seasons (27% of the max). The blue line shows what he would have made if he missed the All-NBA teams (25% of the max).

image

Season 25% max 27% max
2014-15 $14,756,881 $15,937,431
2015-16 $15,863,647 $17,132,738
2016-17 $16,970,413 $18,328,046
2017-18 $18,077,179 $19,523,353
2018-19 $19,183,945 $20,718,660
Total $84,852,064 $91,640,229

Unfortunately for the Pacers, George’s good news is not their own.

They’ll owe George an extra $1,180,550 next season, cutting into their leeway for re-signing Lance Stephenson while avoiding the luxury tax (projected to start at $77 million).

Let’s say the Pacers keep all 10 players they have under contract for next season,* sign the No. 57 pick to a minimum contract and fill out a 13-player roster with one more minimum-salary free agent.

To avoid paying the luxury tax, that would leave $8,442,470 for Stephenson’s starting salary. Based on the length of the deal, here’s the most he could earn without forcing Indiana into the tax range:

  • One-year contract: $8,442,470
  • Two-year contract: $17,518,125
  • Three-year contract: $27,226,965
  • Four-year contract: $37,568,991
  • Five-year contract: $48,544,202

*George, Roy Hibbert, David West, George Hill, Luis Scola, Ian Mahinmi, Chris Copeland, C.J. Watson, Solomon Hill and Donald Sloan

If the Pacers need to offer Stephenson more money, they could waive Scola ($940,946 guaranteed) and replace him with a minimum-salary player. That would grant Indiana $3,953,256 in additional room below the tax line.

In that case, the Pacers could give Stephenson a starting salary of $11,454,780 and avoid the tax. Depending on length of the deal, that would look like (max):

  • One-year contract: $11,454,780
  • Two-year contract: $23,768,668
  • Three-year contract: $36,941,665
  • Four-year contract: $50,973,771
  • Five-year contract: $65,864,984

That should be enough wiggle room to re-sign Stephenson – though it leaves an opening for a preying opponent to poach him. Stephenson’s max starting salary next season is projected to be $14,756,881 – the same amount George avoided by making an All-NBA team. The Pacers would have to do more than just waive Scola to offer Stephenson his max.

Plus, if re-signing Stephenson requires waiving Scola, that wouldn’t leave much room under the tax line to upgrade the team elsewhere. Without making other moves, it’s unlikely Indiana could use its full mid-level exception ($5,305,000) without crossing the tax line.

However, the tax is not assessed until the end of the season. The Pacers could begin the year with a payroll over $77 million and figure out the rest as they go. Would they take that risk? I don’t know.

Paul George is having a good day. Because of it, the Pacers face a summer of tough(er) decisions.

  1. antistratfordian - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    His baby mama is having a good day too.

  2. 12444uggg - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    6 mill bonus to be selected by the media to the 3rd team? Weird. What’s the first team get?

    • reesesteel23 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Look up everyone’s contract on the first team and then come back and tell us what the fine print said.

    • loubearkane - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Noah got a 500K bonus

      • loubearkane - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        You s0b down thumber he did get a 500K bonus

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        And up until a few weeks ago, Jerry Reinsdorf was having bad diarrhea each day worrying about paying the luxury tax…

  3. papichulo55 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Good for him! Lets hope that the sale price of the Clippers will be used to hammer the Owners during negotiations of a new CBA. The Cap and all other player revenues should get a nice increase, so ‘they can buy their food, their houses, their cars…..’….lol

  4. unxpexted1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    well done article. Nice breakdown. If they want stephenson they should be able to keep him by keeping their team pretty much intact.

  5. karlton3 - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    If Stephenson is offered the MAX, he’s not playing in Indiana next year.

  6. jimeejohnson - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    That kind of money goes a lot farther in Indiana than, say, in NY or L.A. Stay Midwest, young man!

  7. sellahh - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    I like how it’s always so accurate up to a single dollar. What if PG only made 6,788,164 instead of 6,788,165?

  8. bball242322 - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Why in the world would any team pay Stephenson a Max deal? I’m a Pacer fan, but he shouldn’t be making over 10 mil. I’d give him about 6-8mil a year tops

    • bougin89 - Jun 5, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      He’ll get more than that. He may not be “worth” it but he will.

  9. bball242322 - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Good for PG. He deserves it

  10. jkirby317 - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    i just hope that PG doesn’t let that 7MIL bump in the salary didn’t take the bad taste out of his mouth from the end of the season and distract him from improving his game in the summer. That kind of yearly improvement in his game is what has made him a potential superstar.

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