Published On: Thu, Aug 25th, 2016

Report: Yi Jianlian's contract includes games played bonuses

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The Los Angeles Lakers‘ decision to sign NBA vagabond Yi Jianlian to a one-year, $8-million contract was met with confusion.

Why would it take that much money to sign someone who was out of the league for the past four seasons?

The answer, apparently, is that the $8-million figure is somewhat inaccurate. Yi can earn up to $8 million, but only if he triggers certain bonuses in his contract, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Yi’s contract is only guaranteed for $250,000, and he’d earn roughly $6,000 per day between Oct. 25 and Jan. 10. If he remains on the team beyond that date, Yi would get another $623,167.

In all, his base salary would only total $1.1 million.

But that figure could skyrocket based on incentives. Yi would earn an additional $2.3 million for every 20 games played. His salary breaks down something like the following:

Games played Salary
0-19 $1.1M
20-39 $3.4M
40-58 $5.7M
59-82 $8.0M

In order for Yi to net $8 million in salary, the Chinese center would have to hit every incentive in his contract. Meanwhile, the power is largely in the hands of the Lakers as to how much they want to play, and therefore pay, in a contract that’s essentially almost entirely unguaranteed.

Yi’s quirky deal also gives the Lakers something of a trade chip, as it still counts toward the books for $8 million regardless of what bonuses he reaches. That means if the Lakers want to swap Yi to a team looking to shed salary, the team that receives Yi in the trade could stop playing him, or cut him, and therefore get out of the salary.

– with h/t Pro Basketball Talk

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