Show Me the Money NBA: What is the Market Value For a Superstar?

With the new CBA kicking in next season, what is the market value for a superstar? Kobe Bryant is making $25 million. LeBron James makes $22.97 million. Those salaries seem ridiculous, but starting next season those types of paychecks will no longer be reserved for the best of the best.

With the new CBA coming into effect next season, and the new TV deal giving the league billions of extra dollars, the salary cap is expected to skyrocket. This is going to cause increases in pay from the top of the league to the bottom. $20 million contracts will no longer be reserved for Hall of Famers, it is going to become the going rate for any all-star caliber player.

But what does that mean for the players like LeBron or Kevin Durant? They are both set to become free agents this offseason and are going to be the first stars that will benefit from the new TV money. These two contracts will set the tone for the contracts for decades to come. So what are they going to be worth? As it stands today, the salary cap is $66.3 million, and projected to rise all the way up to $87.2 million. This would represent a 30% increase to the total salary cap.

Does that mean each player deserves to make 30% more money? If that’s the case LeBron’s salary would jump to $29.86 million and Durant’s $20.16 million salary would sky rocket to $26.21 million. Because of the demand for these players, some teams will be willing to go even higher to land one of these once-in-a-generation players. Does this mean we will see our first $30 million salary?

This doesn’t even take into account the subsequent years, when the salary cap will continue to rise. By 2020 the salary cap is expected to go well beyond $100 million. Will teams take this into account and give players even more money? Who knows. But one thing that is certain, it’s a great year to be a free agent.

–Michael Hersey