UCLA’s Kevon Looney had injury concerns. When Golden State selected Looney with the 30th pick in the draft, they instantly guaranteed him $2,285,760. Had he slipped a pick, he would have been guaranteed nothing.
Joel Embiid has cashed the first $4 million in checks and will have another $8 million to cash over the next two years after going No. 3 a year ago, undergoing surgery, ballooning to 300 pounds according to RealGM, and enduring an injury setback that could mean another year without ever stepping on an NBA Court.
Yahoo Sports first reported on the injury setback for the Philadelphia 76er who has played zero minutes in zero games. If the same thing happens to Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell, Houston pays him exactly zero dollars. As the second pick of the 2nd round, NBA teams make him no guarantees.
The pressure is not on the top players. When the Lakers picked D’Angelo Russell at No. 2 instead of Jahlil Okafor, Kristaps Porzingis, or Emmanuel Mudiay, it meant he would get close to $12.4 million during his guaranteed three years instead of falling to $11.1 million, $10 million, or $9 million. But let’s face it, you can live on that even after buying your mother a house.
The real pressure comes when players do not hear their names called as the commissioner reads off the No. 27, 28, 29, and 30 picks. A broken leg tomorrow and that money is still going in the bank, deposited over the course of the next three years, for a 1st-round pick. It doesn’t work the same way for the first pick of the second round as it does for the last pick of the first.
You can call a 1st-round pick a “bust” if he does not produce in the NBA. But his banker will not think of him as a failure.
|Draft||New Millionaire||Minimum 3-year||More likely||College||Yr||Pro|
|2||D’Angelo Russell||$10,304,880||$12,365,856||Ohio State||Fr.||LA Lakers|
|4||Kristaps Porzingis||$8,343,360||$10,012,032||Latvia||Intl.||New York|
|14||Cameron Payne||$4,082,080||$4,898,496||Murray St.||So.||Oklahoma Cty|
|19||Jerian Grant||$3,175,040||$3,810,048||Notre Dame||Sr.||Washington|
|26||Nikola Milutinov||$2,402,880||$2,883,456||Serbia||Intl.||San Antonio|
|27||Larry Nance Jr.||$2,333,600||$2,800,320||Wyoming||Sr.||LA Lakers|
|28||RJ Hunter||$2,319,360||$2,783,232||Georgia St.||Jr.||Boston|
|30||Kevon Looney||$2,285,760||$2,742,912||UCLA||Fr.||Golden St.|