If you're at all interested in salary cap machinations and NBA contracts Yi Jianlian's contract with the Lakers is one of the most unusual I've ever seen.
He signed a 1 year deal with the Lakers for $8 million but only $250K of that is guaranteed the rest are incentives.
Yi Jianlian's unconventional contract terms with the Lakers had slowly emerged. He’ll earn somewhere between $250,000 and $8 million next season, $1,139,123 just for remaining on the roster through Jan. 10.
But that left a huge sum to unknown incentive bonuses.
Now, they’re known.
Yi can trigger $2,286,959 bonuses for hitting three benchmarks based on games played, according to Basketball Insiders. Here’s the running total for those incentives:
20-39 games played: $2,286,959
40-58 games played: $4,573,918
59+ games played:$6,860,877
Whether or not he plays or is even active, Yi will earn $6,701 each day he’s on the roster from Oct. 25 until Jan. 10 (with a guaranteed minimum of $250,000 in total income). Then, if he’s still on the roster Jan. 10, Yi will lock in another $623,167. That’s his base compensation.
But the bonuses - for actually playing in games – are far more lucrative.
His contract will have a cap hold of $8 million which could also make him a valuable trade chip during the season.
Fascinating stuff but as the Lakers have the power whether to play him or not the contract terms are very much in their favour. Reportedly he was on millions per year in China so not sure why he would bother with this, he's certainly gambling on himself.