Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard stands to lose A TON OF MONEY next season -- here's why

Trail Blazers
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Just two days ago, the NBA and the player’s union voted and agreed upon a new collective bargaining agreement.

Per the NBPA’s website, “the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBPA and the NBA sets out the terms and conditions of employment for all professional basketball players playing in the National Basketball Association, as well as the respective rights and obligations of the NBA Clubs, the NBA, and the NBPA.”

Now that the new CBA is official and the Dec. 22 start date for the upcoming 2020-21 season is official as well, attention has turned to the player's finances before they return to the court.

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The new CBA really affects future seasons. This season will have the same salary cap ($109.1 million) and luxury tax ($132.7 million) as last season. 

But with projected salary caps for next season, and beyond now much less than expected, it will greatly impact Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard.  

It was in July of 2019 when the Trail Blazers inked Lillard to a long-term supermax contract worth $196 million.

As ESPN’s NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks notes, Lillard’s deal will now total $176 million versus the original $196 million.

So why is it $20 million less?

The original deal was based on a $125 million salary cap, the new cap for next season is now projected to be at $112 million.

 

But why does Lillard stand to lose money when others won't?

The supermax or as it is officially known as the "Designated Veteran Player Extension," allows teams to re-sign qualified players to a maximum five-year deal worth up to 35 percent of the salary cap with an eight percent uptick in each subsequent year.

The length of the supermax deal depends on the player's years of NBA experience and years remaining on his current contract.

Lillard was a qualified player who had completed seven years and had one year left on his contract so was in turn eligible for a five-year supermax.

But right now we’re talking about the value…

Because all supermax deals are valued up to 35 percent of the salary cap in the initial year and subject to eight percent escalation in each year thereafter, the new salary cap makes a huge impact for supermax players such as Lillard. 

For now, this is all just an estimate on how the new CBA will impact Lillard's supermax deal, but it's certainly not an insignificant amount.