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What is the NBA minimum salary for players? (2023)

It’s no secret that NBA players make BANK. 💰💰💰

But, what is the NBA minimum salary?

It depends on the number of years of experience a player has, and whether or not they are considered “full-time” NBA players.

For the 2023-2024 season, full-time rookies can make as little as $1,119,563 per year, while 10-year vets can make as little as $3,196,448 per year.

Read on to learn more details, including:

  • Minimum salary based on experience
  • Veteran minimum salaries
  • Rookie salary scale
  • Lowest paid players in the NBA
  • 10-day contracts; Two-way contracts
  • and more…

Let’s get started!

NBA minimum salary (2023-2024)

Max Christie made minimum NBA salary in 2022-2023
Max Christie was on a min contract last season with the Lakers.

The lowest salary a full time NBA player can make in 2023-2024 is $1,119,563.

Only rookies, or players with no NBA experience can be paid this amount.

What about non-rookies?

They get paid according to the official “Minimum Annual Salary Scale” found in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). See below:

NBA Minimum Annual Salary Scale

Contract Year →
Experience ↓
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5
01,017,781
11,637,966 1,719,864
21,836,090 1,927,896 2,019,699
31,902,133 1,997,238 2,092,344 2,187,451
41,968,175 2,066,585 2,164,993 2,263,403 2,361,812
52,133,278 2,239,943 2,346,606 2,453,270 2,559,934
62,298,385 2,413,304 2,528,221 2,643,140 2,758,060
72,463,490 2,586,665 2,709,839 2,833,013 2,956,189
82,628,597 2,760,026 2,891,458 3,022,889 3,154,319
92,641,682 2,773,765 2,905,850 3,037,934 3,170,018
10+2,905,851 3,051,144 3,196,438 3,341,730 3,487,023
2023 CBA – Exhibit C: BASELINE MINIMUM ANNUAL SALARY SCALE

Salary Cap Increases

The above “Minimum Annual Salary Scale” amounts increase (or decrease) along with the salary cap each season.

For example, the salary cap for the 2023-2024 season increased by about 10%, so the minimum salaries also increased by 10%. A rookie (i.e. 0 years NBA experience) will have a minimum salary of $1,119,563 (increase over baseline amount of $1,017,781).

Note: Players are credited with a “year of service” if they are listed as active or inactive for at least one day during a regular season (including if they are on 10-day or Two-Way contracts).

Let’s look at another example for NBA vets:

NBA Veteran Minimum Salary Example

Andre Iguodala signed for the veteran minimum with the Warriors in 2022-2023.

E.g. What is the minimum salary for a 5 year NBA veteran?

If a player with 5 years of NBA experience signs a 1 year minimum contract, he will be paid $2,133,278.

If he signs a a multi-year contract, he will be paid an increasing amount every year. For example, in the 3rd year of his 5-year contract, he would be paid $2,709,839 (i.e. 7 years of experience; contract Year 3).

Veteran Minimum Salary Cap Reimbursement

To prevent teams from only signing young, cheap players, the league actually reimburses teams for signing NBA veterans (3 or more years experience) to short term minimum contracts (1 year, 10-day, or Rest-of-Season contracts).

Teams are reimbursed for any amount over the two-year minimum salary (i.e. $1,836,090).

For example, if a 10-year veteran signs a one year minimum deal, then his total contract is $2,905,851. The team will only have to pay him $1,836,090, and the league will pay the remaining $1,069,761.

What is the minimum NBA rookie salary?

#1 Draft Pick Victor Wembanyama will get paid according to the Rookie Salary Scale

First round draft picks (i.e. picks #1 to #30) get paid according to the official “Rookie Salary Scale”. Here are the baseline amounts from the latest CBA:

Rookie Salary Scale (2023 CBA)

Pick1st Year Salary
19,212,600
28,242,700
37,402,200
46,673,700
56,043,500
65,489,000
75,010,800
84,590,500
94,219,600
104,008,600
113,808,200
123,617,900
133,436,900
143,265,300
153,101,700
162,946,800
172,799,300
182,659,500
192,539,700
202,438,000
212,340,500
222,247,000
232,157,200
242,071,000
251,987,900
261,922,100
271,866,600
281,855,000
291,841,700
301,828,300
2023 CBA Exhibit B: BASELINE ROOKIE SALARY SCALE

The Rookie Salary Scale was created to prevent top draft picks from holding out for more money (like Glenn Robinson in 1994).

Depending on the contract specifics, the player’s actual salary can be as little as 80%, or as much as 120% of the amount listed.

👉 Click here for more info about NBA rookie contracts

NBA’s lowest-paid players

Jacob Gilyard only made $5,849 in the NBA last season (2022-2023)

The lowest paid players last season (2022-2023) were the following rookies:

Jaden Hardy$1,017,781
Ryan Rollins$1,017,781
Max Christie$1,017,781
Josh Minott$1,017,781
Jabari Walker$1,017,781
($1,017,781 was the minimum full-time player salary under last year’s salary cap.)

If we include 10-day contracts, and G League / Exhibit 10 players, then the 10 lowest paid players were:

10DJ Steward$50,000
9Armoni Brooks$50,000
8Jay Scrubb$49,719
7Justin Minaya$35,096
6Kobi Simmons$32,795
5Gabe York$32,171
4Ibou Badji$18,226
3Triston Thompson$16,700
2Raiquan Gray$5,849
1Jacob Gilyard$5,849
Jacob Gilyard and Raiquan Gray played just one game in the NBA last season

NBA 10-day Contract Salary minimum

Armoni Brooks played two 10-day contracts with the Raptors last season.

What is the minimum salary for a 10 day contract in the NBA?

The minimum salary for a 10-day contract is the Minimum Annual Salary (based on NBA experience), prorated by the number of contract days.

From the official CBA:

… with respect to a 10-Day Contract, the Minimum Annual Salary called for under Article II, Section 6(a) multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days covered by the Contract and the denominator of which is the total number of days of that NBA Regular Season.

Example:

There are 173 days in a season.

If a player with 5 years of NBA experience plays an entire 10-day contract, they will be paid $123,310.87. (Math: 10/173 * $2,133,278)

Click here for more info about NBA 10 day contracts

NBA G League 2 Way Contracts

Slam Dunk champion Mac McClung was on a two way contract with the 76ers.

The salary for a Two-Way Contract is 50% of the rookie minimum.

For the upcoming 2023-2024 season, the Two-Way player salary is $559,782.

Here is the official CBA legal jargon:

The Salary provided for in a Two-Way Contract (the “Two-Way Player Salary”) for a Season shall equal fifty percent (50%) of the Minimum Annual Salary called for under Article II, Section 6(a) for a player with zero (0) Years of Service…

I wonder if they actually pay them the 50 cents or not.

Here is an official list of two-way players from the 2022-2023 season.

Rest-of-Season Contracts

Kris Dunn signed a “rest-of-season” contract with Utah last season

The Salary provided for in a Rest-of-Season Contract shall not be less than the Minimum Player Salary.

If a player signs part way through the season, the minimum salary they can receive is the Minimum Annual Salary (listed above), pro-rated by how many days are left in the season.

For example, if a 10-year vet signs for the last 50 days of a season, then his salary will be $839,841.33. (Assuming 173 days in a season)

NBA Minimum vs Maximum Salary

Steph Curry makes 50 times more than the minimum NBA salary.

Just for fun, let’s compare the maximum NBA salary and minimum NBA salary.

For the upcoming season, Steph Curry is the top paid player with a salary of $51,915,615. 💰

The minimum salary for rookies is $1,017,781.

That’s a difference of $50,897,834!!

Steph Curry makes 5000%, or 51 times more than the lowest paid rookie. 😂

Other Salary FAQ

What is the lowest paid G League player?

The minimum G League salary last season was $40,500.

Click here for more G League salary info

Do NBA players get paid weekly?

Typically, NBA players get paid semi-monthly. From the CBA:

Unless otherwise provided in Exhibit 1 (or, with respect to advances, in Exhibit 1, Exhibit 1A, or Exhibit 1B), such Compensation shall be paid in twenty-four (24) equal semi-monthly payments beginning with the first of said payments on November 1st of each year covered by this Contract

How much do NBA referees make?

NBA referees make from around $200,000 to over $500,000 per season.

Click here for more info about NBA referee salaries

What is the salary of a #1 NBA draft player?

The current maximum first year salary of the #1 draft pick is $11,055,120.

The minimum first year salary is $7,370,080.

Damn!

Click here for more about rookie contracts

Summary

The minimum NBA salary depends on the number of seasons a player has played in the league, as well as which year of his contract he is in.

For rookies, the minimum salary for the 2023-2024 season is $1,119,563.

Non full-time NBA players (i.e. Two Way Players, 10-day contracts, etc.) will make far less.

What do you think of NBA salaries?

Are players overpaid, or paid fairly?

Let me know in the comments below:

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Larry Lee

Larry Lee

Larry is a basketball addict, and the founder of Hoop Dojo. He started Hoop Dojo to share his love of the game and help the next generation reach their full potential.