Nba Dead Money Contracts

As every NBA season comes to a close, teams have to start deciding which players to keep or let go. Sometimes, teams are left with players who are no longer producing at the same level they once were, but because of their contract, they`re still getting paid top dollar. These contracts are referred to as « dead money contracts, » and they can be a major burden for teams.

What are Dead Money Contracts?

A dead money contract is essentially a contract that a team is still paying even though the player is no longer on the roster. This usually happens when a player is waived or bought out of their contract, but because of the guaranteed money in their contract, the team is still responsible for paying them.

How Do Dead Money Contracts Affect NBA Teams?

Dead money contracts can have a significant impact on an NBA team`s finances. If a team has multiple dead money contracts, it can tie up a significant amount of the team`s salary cap space, limiting their ability to sign new players and build their team. It can also affect a team`s ability to make trades, as other teams may not want to take on a player with a high-value dead money contract.

Examples of Dead Money Contracts in the NBA

There are countless examples of dead money contracts in the NBA, but some of the most notable examples include:

– Gilbert Arenas: After signing a six-year, $111 million contract with the Washington Wizards, Arenas was waived in 2010. He was owed $62 million over the next four years, making his contract one of the most notorious dead money contracts in NBA history.

– Amar`e Stoudemire: After signing a five-year, $99.7 million contract with the New York Knicks, Stoudemire`s production declined due to injuries. He was waived in 2015, but the Knicks were still responsible for paying him $23.4 million for the following season.

– Joakim Noah: The New York Knicks signed Noah to a four-year, $72 million contract in 2016, but his performance was lackluster, and he was waived in 2019. The Knicks still owed him $6.4 million for the 2019-20 season and $19.3 million for the 2020-21 season.


Dead money contracts can be a significant burden for NBA teams, limiting their ability to sign new players and make trades. However, they`re sometimes necessary to move on from players who are no longer producing at the level the team needs. As teams continue to navigate the complicated world of the NBA salary cap, dead money contracts will likely continue to be a part of NBA teams` financial planning.

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