NBA Players to Receive $160 Million of Escrow Money

by July 13, 2011

There had been talk prior to the lockout of NBA team owners withholding the players’ escrow cash, but that’s no longer a concern: “The escrow funds — representing eight percent of each NBA player’s salary — are held back each season to ensure that the players’ share of basketball-related income does not exceed the contractually agreed-upon percentage, currently 57 percent. This year, for the first time since the system was introduced in the collective bargaining agreement that came out of the 1998-99 lockout, the cut to players will fall short, sources with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association confirmed. When a final audit is completed later this month, the players will have been paid less than 57 percent of BRI and will be due the entire $160 million. It’s the first time the players will have the full escrow returned, a union spokesman said. That cash could ease or delay the point at which some players begin to feel financial hardship from the lockout. Based on the ‘average’ NBA salary of $5.7 million, the escrow rebate would be worth $456,000. A minimum-salaried player ($473,604) would be due $37,888 while a $16 million superstar could expect $1.28 million coming back. A majority of NBA players are paid from November through April, while those on a 12-month payment plan receive checks through the summer for the just-completed season. A check for 8 percent of their annual salary could put off any money pinch they eventually feel. Traditionally, the annual July audit is the time when BRI is defined, along with the salary-cap and minimum payroll figures.”