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D-League salaries rise, remain low

2015 NBA D League Showcase

SANTA CRUZ - JANUARY 19: Lorenzo Brown #17 of the Grand Rapids Drive shoots the ball against the Bakersfield Jam during the championship game of 2015 NBA D-League Showcase presented by SAMSUNG on January 19, 2015 at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE/Getty Images

At last check, D-League salaries were:

  • Tier A: $25,500
  • Tier B: $19,000
  • Tier C: $13,000

Good news for anyone in the NBA’s minor league next season, especially those on the fringe.

Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (hat tip: Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders):

A league source has told Upside & Motor the structure will be altered for the 2016/17 season. Now there will only be two tiers for salaries as the “C” has been eliminated. The new salary levels will be $19,500 (B-Level) and $26,000 (A-Level) and the salary cap will rise to $209,000 also.

To be clear, this is for players on D-League contracts. Players on NBA contracts who are assigned to the D-League continue receiving their NBA salary (minimum: $543,471).

Yes, these salaries are still low. But everyone on a D-League contract is an NBA free agent. NBA teams won’t pay a premium for someone without gaining exclusive control of his rights.

Expect a major shakeup in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. As the D-League grows to 30 teams and a one-to-one affiliate for each NBA team, it’ll be feasible for NBA teams to hold the NBA rights of D-League players. Then, D-League salaries will really take off.