The Phoenix Suns have yet to formally announce their choice for the first pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, but the eventual salaries of all 30 first-round rookies have already been largely determined by the league’s pay scale.
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Under the NBA’s current collective-bargaining agreement, rookies selected in the first round receive a guaranteed contract worth an amount that corresponds to their draft position. Players are compensated on a sliding scale, with the first overall draft pick earning the most and the 30th and final pick of the first round earning the least.
This year, the first overall pick is projected to sign a two-year contract worth about $17.5 million, according to calculations by Spotrac. By contrast, the 30th and last pick in the first round will sign a two-year deal worth roughly $3.5 million. Every first-round draft pick will sign a two-year deal that includes team options for a third and fourth year.
Spotrac’s full breakdown on projected salaries for all 30 first-round draft picks can be found here.
Former Arizona Wildcats center DeAndre Ayton is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the Suns’ first overall draft selection. Other top prospects in this year’s draft include Duke power forward Marvin Bagley III, international star point guard Luka Doncic and sharpshooting Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young.
The rookie pay scale is tied to the NBA’s salary cap, which is expected to be $101 million per team for the 2018-19 season. There is room for negotiation, as players can sign for as little as 80% or as much as 120% of the mandated salary. Players selected in the second round are not subject to the rookie pay scale and do not receive guaranteed contracts.
The 2018 NBA Draft begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.