NBA Salary Cap/Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQ
by Larry Coon
www.cbafaq.com

Scale Salary Amounts for First Round Draft Picks

The following are the "scale" salary amounts for the first round picks in each draft. A player's actual salary in any year may be as little as 80% or as much as 120% of the scale amount. The third and fourth seasons of rookie "scale" contracts are at the team's option. The percentage in the column for the fourth year is the required raise over the third year salary for a team to exercise the option. If the option option for the fourth year is exercised, the team may make the player a restricted free agent by submitting a qualifying offer. The last column designates the required percentage increase over the fourth year salary for the qualifying offer.

In the current CBA only the 2017-18 salary scale was determined in advance. Starting in 2018-19 they determine the salary scale for the upcoming season on or before June 30. The scale is calculated by applying the percentage change in the salary cap to all dollar amounts in the previous rookie salary scale. For example, if the salary cap increases by 4% from 2021-22 to 2022-23, then all rookie scale amounts also will increase by 4% from 2021-22 to 2022-23. Any scale amounts that are expressed as a percentage (for example, the raise from the third season to the fourth season) do not change from year to year.

There is a special procedure in place to phase-in a 45% increase to the rookie salary scales for the 2017-18 through 2019-20 seasons (15% per year over three years). There is a "baseline" scale for 2017-18 that does not include the 15% increase used for the actual 2017-18 rookie scale. For 2018-19 they first apply the percentage change in the salary cap from 2017-18 (as described above) to the 2017-18 baseline scale to create the 2018-19 baseline scale, and then they increase all resulting amounts by 30% to create the actual rookie scale. For 2019-20 they repeat the process, starting with the baseline scale for 2018-19, applying the cap percentage increase or decrease to create the 2019-20 baseline scale, and then applying a 45% increase to create the 2019-20 rookie scale.

This document includes the rookie scales for each season of the CBA (as they are determined), and also the baseline scales for 2017-18 through 2019-20 (as they are determined).

2017-18 NBA Rookie Scale

Pick First Year Salary Second Year Salary Third Year Salary (team option) Fourth Year (team option - percentage raise over 3rd year) Qualifying Offer (percentage raise over 4th year)
1 $5,855,200 $6,949,900 $8,121,000 26.1% 30.0%
2 $5,238,800 $6,218,300 $7,266,100 26.2% 30.5%
3 $4,704,500 $5,584,000 $6,525,000 26.4% 31.2%
4 $4,241,700 $5,034,600 $5,882,900 26.5% 31.9%
5 $3,841,000 $4,559,100 $5,327,300 26.7% 32.6%
6 $3,488,600 $4,140,900 $4,838,700 26.8% 33.4%
7 $3,184,700 $3,780,100 $4,417,000 27.0% 34.1%
8 $2,917,600 $3,463,100 $4,046,500 27.2% 34.8%
9 $2,681,900 $3,183,300 $3,719,700 27.4% 35.5%
10 $2,547,700 $3,024,100 $3,533,500 27.5% 36.2%
11 $2,420,400 $2,872,900 $3,357,000 32.7% 36.9%
12 $2,299,400 $2,729,400 $3,189,300 37.8% 37.6%
13 $2,184,400 $2,592,900 $3,029,800 42.9% 38.3%
14 $2,075,300 $2,463,200 $2,878,400 48.1% 39.1%
15 $1,971,300 $2,339,900 $2,734,100 53.3% 39.8%
16 $1,872,900 $2,223,000 $2,597,700 53.4% 40.5%
17 $1,779,200 $2,111,900 $2,467,600 53.6% 41.2%
18 $1,690,300 $2,006,300 $2,344,400 53.8% 41.9%
19 $1,614,100 $1,915,900 $2,238,800 54.0% 42.6%
20 $1,549,500 $1,839,200 $2,149,000 54.2% 43.3%
21 $1,487,500 $1,765,700 $2,063,200 59.3% 44.1%
22 $1,428,100 $1,695,100 $1,980,700 64.5% 44.8%
23 $1,371,000 $1,627,300 $1,901,500 69.7% 45.5%
24 $1,316,200 $1,562,200 $1,825,600 74.9% 46.2%
25 $1,263,500 $1,499,700 $1,752,500 80.1% 46.9%
26 $1,221,600 $1,450,000 $1,694,300 80.3% 47.6%
27 $1,186,300 $1,408,200 $1,645,500 80.4% 48.3%
28 $1,179,100 $1,399,600 $1,635,300 80.5% 49.0%
29 $1,170,500 $1,389,300 $1,623,400 80.5% 50.0%
30 $1,162,100 $1,379,300 $1,611,800 80.5% 50.0%

2017-18 BASELINE NBA Rookie Scale

(Used for determining the subsequent year's scale only.)

Pick First Year Salary Second Year Salary Third Year Salary (team option) Fourth Year (team option - percentage raise over 3rd year) Qualifying Offer (percentage raise over 4th year)
1 $5,091,500 $5,346,100 $5,600,700 26.1% 30.0%
2 $4,555,500 $4,783,300 $5,011,100 26.2% 30.5%
3 $4,090,900 $4,295,400 $4,500,000 26.4% 31.2%
4 $3,688,400 $3,872,800 $4,057,200 26.5% 31.9%
5 $3,340,000 $3,507,000 $3,674,000 26.7% 32.6%
6 $3,033,600 $3,185,300 $3,337,000 26.8% 33.4%
7 $2,769,300 $2,907,800 $3,046,200 27.0% 34.1%
8 $2,537,000 $2,663,900 $2,790,700 27.2% 34.8%
9 $2,332,100 $2,448,700 $2,565,300 27.4% 35.5%
10 $2,215,400 $2,326,200 $2,436,900 27.5% 36.2%
11 $2,104,700 $2,209,900 $2,315,200 32.7% 36.9%
12 $1,999,500 $2,099,500 $2,199,500 37.8% 37.6%
13 $1,899,500 $1,994,500 $2,089,500 42.9% 38.3%
14 $1,804,600 $1,894,800 $1,985,100 48.1% 39.1%
15 $1,714,200 $1,799,900 $1,885,600 53.3% 39.8%
16 $1,628,600 $1,710,000 $1,791,500 53.4% 40.5%
17 $1,547,100 $1,624,500 $1,701,800 53.6% 41.2%
18 $1,469,800 $1,543,300 $1,616,800 53.8% 41.9%
19 $1,403,600 $1,473,800 $1,544,000 54.0% 42.6%
20 $1,347,400 $1,414,800 $1,482,100 54.2% 43.3%
21 $1,293,500 $1,358,200 $1,422,900 59.3% 44.1%
22 $1,241,800 $1,303,900 $1,366,000 64.5% 44.8%
23 $1,192,200 $1,251,800 $1,311,400 69.7% 45.5%
24 $1,144,500 $1,201,700 $1,259,000 74.9% 46.2%
25 $1,098,700 $1,153,600 $1,208,600 80.1% 46.9%
26 $1,062,300 $1,115,400 $1,168,500 80.3% 47.6%
27 $1,031,600 $1,083,200 $1,134,800 80.4% 48.3%
28 $1,025,300 $1,076,600 $1,127,800 80.5% 49.0%
29 $1,017,800 $1,068,700 $1,119,600 80.5% 50.0%
30 $1,010,500 $1,061,000 $1,111,600 80.5% 50.0%