The NBA found itself in an odd situation this past week, suspending Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dahntay Jones one game for striking Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo in the groin.
Jones wasn’t fined, but his suspension cost him 110th of his salary for the season – a measly $80.17.
The complication is Jones’ salary for the season. Given he signed on the very last day of the regular season on a two-year deal, Jones is earning just $8,819 for the 2015-16 campaign. He’s also under contract for a non-guaranteed $1.6 million for next season.
“League would have been better off giving Dahntay Jones a fine instead of a suspension. Suspension = 110 of 2015-16 salary,” tweeted The Vertical’s Bobby Marks on Sunday.
But that’s problematic as well. Golden State Warriors forward/center Draymond Green was levied $25,000 for kicking Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin, avoiding suspension. The NBA couldn’t very well fine Jones three times his total salary for a penalty on par with Green’s.
The natural follow-up is, how much will Jones make for playing in the postseason?
As far as base salary from Cleveland, Jones and his teammates aren’t compensated directly for postseason play. They will, however, receive a portion of the NBA’s $15 million playoff pool.
Thus far, Cleveland has already earned $1.3 million for the best record in the Eastern Conference, along with two series wins this postseason.
The winner of the NBA Finals will take home an additional $2.7 million, while the loser pockets $1.8 million. Of course, the Cavaliers need to get past the Raptors to qualify.
The following table details the playoff pool distribution formula for the 2015-16 postseason:
|Top Overall Record||Warriors||$432,632|
|Best Record in Conference||Warriors/Cavaliers||$378,553 ea.|
|Second-Best Record in Conference||Spurs/Raptors||$304,263 ea.|
|Third Best Record in West||Thunder||$227,132|
|Third Best Record in East (tie)||HEAT/Hawks/Celtics/Hornets||$56,783 ea.|
|Fourth Best Record in West||Clippers||$178,501|
|Fourth Best Record in East (tie)||HEAT/Hawks/Celtics/Hornets||$44,625 ea.|
|Fifth Best Record in West||Blazers||$148,738|
|Fifth Best Record in East (tie)||HEAT/Hawks/Celtics/Hornets||$37,185 ea.|
|Sixth Best Record in West (tie)||Mavericks/Grizzlies||$50,724 ea.|
|Sixth Best Record in East (tie)||HEAT/Hawks/Celtics/Hornets||$25,362 ea.|
Indiana Pacers/Detroit Pistons
|Conference Finals||Warriors/Thunder/Cavaliers/Raptors||$440,173 ea.|
Note: Ties are not broken as they are for postseason seeding. Instead, the shares are split among teams with equal records.
The following table details how much each team has earned, with the NBA Finals opponents yet to be determined:
Jones will receive a portion of the Cavaliers’ playoff bonus, which can climb as high as $4 million should Cleveland win their first title in franchise history. A back-to-back trip to the Finals without a win would still up the team’s share to $3.1 million.
How much will go to Jones will be up to the team, as the players on each franchise decide how to split up their share.
If the Cavaliers lose their series to the Raptors, and the players decide to split their pool 16 ways (one share for each player plus the team’s equipment manager), Jones’ share would come out to roughly $82,000. If the team goes on to win the championship, his share could climb to $250,000.
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