Basketball players can make extra millions when their team wins an NBA Finals Championship. There are definitely millions in Finals bonus money up for grabs. The biggest extra pay though comes in terms of future salary and endorsement earnings.
Let’s look at bonus money first. The NBA sets aside a “Player Playoff Pool” every year. In 2015 that pool had $13 million in it. It looks set to stay that size for 2016. The money is given to different NBA teams depending on performance. The teams then split it up among their players. The most money any team could get in Finals bonuses is about $8 million. Divided between 15 players per team, that money doesn’t stack up to much when some players in the NBA make over $20 million a year already.
NBA Finals winners also get a future salary and endorsement money bump. By some estimates, that can be as much as 30% to 50% per year. To a player already earning $10 million a year and about the same amount from endorsement deals, that can mean another $8 million every year.
How Much Money Players Make if they Win an NBA Finals Championship
Here are the top line facts on how much money basketball players make if their team wins an NBA Championship:
- Players can make potential NBA bonus money from $25,000 to $1.5 million when their team wins Finals.
- Players actually make less money per game for winning an NBA Championship. That’s because they get paid by year, but play more games. A team that washes out early in Finals plays less games and technically makes more money per game.
- Players can see a 30% to 50% uptick in their salary and endorsement pay in the years following a championship win. That can translate to $200,000 to $12 million a year, depending on the player.
For more detailed data on how much money players make when they win a championship, see the tables below. We’ve broken out the Finals bonus money by achievement, by team and player.
NBA Finals Bonus Money: How Much Money Teams Can Get
The NBA’s “Player Playoff Pool” is a $13 million dollar purse that comes from ticket sales to Playoff games. The pool gets split up among the top teams in the NBA depending on how each team performs. In previous years, the money has been divided up with about 6% going to the team with the best NBA record and 37% going to the team that wins the Championship. Applying past percentages to this year’s $13 million Player Playoff Pool gives the data in the table below. $790,000 will likely go to the team with the best NBA record. So far that’s the Warriors with 73 total games won, though the Spurs are a close second with 67 wins. The team that wins NBA Finals will get $4.8 million and the team that loses will get $3.2 million.
How Much Money Players Make if they Win NBA Finals
|About $13 million in total bonus money||Per Team Bonus|
|Best NBA Record||$790,106|
|Best in Conference||$691,344|
|Second Best in Conference||$555,669|
|Third Best in Conference||$414,805|
|Fourth Best in Conference||$325,991|
|Fifth Best in Conference||$271,635|
|Sixth Best in Converence||$185,272|
|First Round Bonus||$408,839|
|Conference Semifinals Bonus||$486,463|
|Conference Finals Bonus||$803,874|
|Lose NBA Finals||$3,214,636|
|Win NBA Finals||$4,851,365|
|Total NBA Championship Money||$13,000,000|
Related: How Much Money Do the Warriors Make?
How Much Bonus Money Will The Warriors Get if they Win NBA Finals?
The table below shows how the NBA Finals bonus money might get broken down by player if the Warriors win the 2016 Championship. The table is based on current salary breakdown for the team. Klay Thompson is the highest paid player on the Warriors roster with $15.5 million a year. The total of all Warriors salary money for the year comes to $88.9 million. That means Thompson gets 17.44% of all Warriors salary money. By contrast, Anderson Varejao’s salary is $290,000. That means he gets only .33% of the Warriors total salary money. If NBA Finals bonus money gets split up along the same lines, Thompson will get $1.4 million and Varejao will get $26,188. The other players will all get something in between.
Golden State Warriors Salaries vs NBA Finals Money
|Warriors Player||Salary (Cap)||Percentage||Cut of Potential NBA Finals Money|
The reason we picked the Warriors for the above table is that they’re the most likely team to win the Championship. Even with Stephen Curry’s recent ankle injury, the team is still winning games against the Rockets. The injury doesn’t seem to be too serious at this point. For proof they’re still the team to beat, just look at the betting odds so far this year. According to odds site Oddsshark.com, the Warriors are the breakaway favorite, with the Spurs and Cavaliers fighting it out for the #2 spot. As we know more and as the Championship date nears, we’ll add more Finals money data later.
Odds of Winning NBA Finals 2016
Related: Stephen Curry Net Worth
NBA Finals Bonus Money by Team
It’s possible the Warriors won’t make it into the NBA Championship this year. Possible but not probable. The Cavaliers and Spurs are the two other teams so far this year with the best shot of getting into the last bracket. If the Warriors hold onto their Best NBA Record status, they’ll lock up $790,000 in Finals bonus cash. Another potential $7.2 million will go to the team that wins the Championship. The table below shows how things could shake out moneywise if the Warriors, the Spurs or the Cavaliers win NBA Finals.
Potential NBA Finals Bonus Money by Team
|Best NBA Record||$790,106|
|Best in Conference||$691,344||$691,344||$691,344|
|First Round Bonus||$408,839||$408,839||$408,839|
|Conference Semifinals Bonus||$486,463||$486,463||$486,463|
|Conference Finals Bonus||$803,874||$803,874||$803,874|
|Win NBA Finals||$4,851,365||$4,851,365||$4,851,365|
|Total NBA Finals Bonus Money||$8,031,991||$7,241,885||$7,241,885|
NBA Finals: Win Now, Make Money Later
Bonus money is nice, for sure. Any player on any team who wins NBA finals won’t likely turn down the extra ten percent or so they’ll get in their paychecks from the win. But a far bigger Playoff payoff comes from future earnings potential. According to MoneyNation data, NFL players can see as much as a 60% to 200% jump in salary after a Super Bowl win. Even whittling that down to a conservative 30% to 50% gives a huge earnings boost to former champions. The Warriors’ Klay Thompson makes $15.5 million a year. Add 40% to that and the star shooting guard gets another $6.2 million every year. That doesn’t include bonuses. NBA athletes tend to make about the same amount of money from endorsement deals that they get in their paychecks. Seen that way, a Championship win could mean another $12.4 million a year for Thompson. The table below shows how that thinking breaks down for each of the fifteen players on the Warriors roster.
Potential Future Money Boost from Winning an NBA Championship
|Warriors Player||Potential Salary Boost|
Want to know more about how much money NBA players make? Check out our post on NBA player pay here. We’ve also got a full breakdown on NBA salary figures and a list of the highest 20 salaries in the NBA.