NBA Player Salary 2018: How Much Money Does a Draft Pick Make?

The 2018 NBA first round draft picks salaries are essentially slotted based on where they are drafted. The higher you are drafted the more money you make. According to Real GM, teams can pay draft picks between 80 percent to 120 percent of the rookie scale. The top pick of the 2018 NBA draft is slated to earn $6.75 million during the 2018-19 season. This is close to a $1 million raise from what Markelle Fultz was pegged to make last season.

A lot of fans consider draft picks valuable because of the upside of prospects, but what is equally valuable is the rookie scale that essentially underpays top players what they would make on the open market. Make no mistake rookie NBA players are making good money, but there is a sizable difference with what many of the top players will eventually be able to earn.

We have seen teams like the Sixers and Celtics take advantage of this. The Sixers have Ben Simmons on his rookie deal giving them cap space to be players in the free agent market. The Celtics have Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on rookie contracts giving them a bit of flexibility under the salary cap.

Teams can have first round picks on their first contract for up to four seasons. There is a team option for the fourth year, and a qualifying offer that can be issued for year five. The player’s salary goes up each season. This years top pick will just under $7 million, per Real GM. He will make $8.12 million his third year. The fourth year team option sees a 26.1 percent jump from their third-year salary if the team picks it up. Finally, a team can issue a qualifying offer for a 30 percent increase from their fourth year salary.

NBA Draft Picks Salaries: 1st Round

PICK SALARY (2018)
1. $6,746,000
2. $6,036,200
3. $5,420,500
4. $4,887,200
5. $4,425,600
6. $4,019,600
7. $3,669,400
8. $3,361,500
9. $3,090,100
10. $2,935,400
11. $2,788,800
12. $2,649,400
13. $2,516,900
14. $2,391,100
15. $2,271,400
16. $2,157,900
17. $2,050,000
18. $1,947,500
19. $1,859,800
20. $1,785,300
21. $1,713,900
22. $1,645,400
23. $1,579,600
24. $1,516,500
25. $1,455,700
26. $1,407,500
27. $1,367,000
28. $1,358,500
29. $1,348,600
30. $1,338,900

Source: Heavy Sports