Basketball: Adams' value gone up US$5m these playoffs

By Dale Budge

Steven Adams drives against Marreese Speights in game three. Photo / Getty Images
Steven Adams drives against Marreese Speights in game three. Photo / Getty Images

Steven Adams has increased his value by US$5m during the NBA playoffs according to a US salary cap expert.

Adams has starred for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they have moved to within a win of the NBA Finals and is poised for a massive pay rise when his rookie deal expires in 12 months.

Real GM writer Danny Leroux has told Radio Sport's The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast Adams' performances on the biggest stage will see him on the cusp of a maximum deal when he signs his next contract.

"He could have got something in the US$18-$20m range but now he is getting close to the maximum," Leroux says. "If I had to guess I would say he has made US$5m a year in these playoffs.

"It has increased a lot because he has done a great job defensively, which is incredibly important when you think of a centre but he is also very capable offensively. He shows a more diverse offensive game than when he came into the league."

Adams will remain with the Thunder next season but can leave the following season when he can test himself on the open market.

"He is under contract from the remainder of this year and then next year he will be paid about US$3.1m and then after that he will be a restricted free agent, which means he can go on the market and get a contract," Leroux explains.

"The other option open to him and the Thunder is from this summer when the season ends in July until November when the season starts they could come to an agreement for an extension. It won't change his contract for 2016/17 but they could agree to it from a low number up to his maximum which could be US$25m-$26m a season."

The NBA is due to get a new television deal for the 2017/18 season - the first year Adams can command market value - and the game is set to get a massive cash injection that will be passed onto the players.

"The way that the players and the owners have agreed to it through the collective bargaining agreement is that the players get about half of all of the money that comes in so the more money that comes in the more the players get.

"The salary cap is US$70m at the moment and we don't know where exactly it is going to be in a couple of years but it will probably be in the US$105-$110m range."

- NZ Herald

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