How Much Would These Stars Be Worth In Today's NBA?

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How Much Would These Stars Be Worth In Today’s NBA?

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When Michael Jordan was a rookie, the NBA salary cap was a measly $3.6 million.

Now, some rookies command more than double that (I’m not adjusting for inflation here, but you get the picture).

Next year, the cap will grow to $109 million, more than 30 times the size of what it once was.

It was that staggering fact which made me wonder how some of the most famous contracts from years past would translate in today’s terms.

Just to be clear, this isn’t about how much money former superstars would actually get in today’s NBA, because they’d obviously all receive the current max.

It’s about working out what they’d get paid today if they received the same percentage of their team’s salary cap as they did back then.

Let’s do this.

Michael Jordan (Bulls, 1988) – 8 years, $25M

Accumulative cap over those 8 years: $109.3M

Jordan got 22.9% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 8 years from today – $1061M

If Jordan got 22.9% of $1061M:

8 years, $242.9M ($30.4M per season)

Patrick Ewing (Knicks, 1991) – 6 years, $33M

Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $104.8M

Ewing got 31.5% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M

If Ewing got 31.5% of $761M:

6 years, $239M ($39.8M per season)

Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets, 1993) – 4 years, $30M

Accumulative cap over those 4 years – $78.4M

Olajuwon got 38.3% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 4 years from today – $481M

If Olajuwon got 38.3% of $481M:

4 years, $184.2M ($46M per season)

Vince Carter (Raptors, 2001) – 6 years, $94M

Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $273M

Carter got 34.4% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M

If Carter got 34.4% of $761M:

6 years, $261.8M ($43.6M per season)

Allen Iverson (76ers, 1999) – 6 years, $70M

Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $239.9M

Iverson got 29.1% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M

If Iverson got 29.1% of $761M:

6 years, $222M ($37M per season)

Ray Allen (Sonics, 2005) – 5 years, $80M

Accumulative cap over those 5 years – $332.6M

Allen got 24% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 5 years from today – $617.6M

If Allen got 24% of $617.6M:

5 years, $148.2M ($29.64M per season)

Kobe Bryant (Lakers, 2004) – 7 years, $137M

Accumulative cap over those 7 years – $376.3M

Bryant got 36% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 7 years from today – $911M

If Kobe got 36% of $911M:

7 years, $327M ($46M per season)

Kevin Garnett (Timberwolves, 1998) – 6 years, $126M

Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $226M

Garnett got 55.8% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M

If Garnett got 55.8% of $761M:

6 years, $424.6M ($70.7M per season)

Shaquille O’Neal (Lakers, 1996) – 7 years, $121 million

Accumulative cap over those 7 years – $233.4M

O’Neal got 51.8% of the accumulative cap.

Projected cap total over 7 years from today – $911M

If Shaq got 51.8% of $911.5M:

7 years, $464M ($66.3M per year)

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