Rashard Lewis stands to lose more money from the NBA’s cancellation of the first two weeks of the regular season than six of his teammates (and two unsigned rookies) were supposed to receive for the entire 2011-12 season. The $1.82 million that has been sliced off Lewis’s $22.15 million salary represents nearly half of the total money that Wizards players will see vanish as a result of the lockout.
Since an NBA regular season lasts 170 days, the loss of two weeks represents 14/170th of the players’ income. Unless the the league and its players’ union can soon come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement and reconstruct another 82-game schedule, the 11 Wizards under contract — including the four players who have received qualifying offers — and their three draft picks have missed out on $3.71 million.
Wizards draft picks Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack won’t have their rookie salaries determined until a new deal is ratified and have yet to sign contracts. But the possible lost wages for those three players – based on the projected rookie salary scale for 2011-12 – would be around $362,384.
The $550,353 in losses for restricted free agents Nick Young, Othyus Jeffers, Hamady Ndiaye and Larry Owens are more theoretical since they could wind up with different base salaries or accept offer sheets from other teams.
John Wall said on Saturday that the lockout felt real “from Day One” but his bank account will certainly feel the impact with the loss of nearly $455,000. While in New York on Wednesday to promote his new Reebok “Zig Encore” shoe, Wall expressed his disappointment in NBA Commissioner David Stern over the lockout.
He told ESPN New York, “I think he’s trying to take advantage of us. I think we’re doing a great job of not biting [and doing] what he wants us to do.”
NBA players have been locked out for 112 days and lost nearly $165 million in salaries last week when Stern decided to eliminate 100 regular season games because of the continued stall in negotiations. Stern has threatened to erase more games if significant progress is not made this week.
Federal mediator George Cohen has led taken both sides through nearly 25 hours of marathon negotiation sessions over the past two days and said “discussions have been direct and constructive.”
Cohen will hold another mediation session on Thursday at 2 p.m., which will mark the first time that the owners and players have met for three days in a row since the lockout began on July 1.
“Everyone is extremely focused on the core issues, the difficult issues, that confront them,” Cohen, the director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliatory Service, told reporters in New York. “As far as we are concerned, we are here to continue to help assist the parties to endeavor to reach an agreement.”
Wall stands behind the union and said he wants the players to stand firm at accepting no less than 53 percent of basketball-related income. But according to a Yahoo! Sports report, the two sides have moved closer to a “50-50 split” in revenues. “Everybody knows we want to play basketball,” Wall said. “Our fans want to see us play. We want to play. We’ve just got to sit back and make sure we get the right deal that benefits us down the road, especially us young guys.”
If the two sides can’t close the gap, then the players can expect to miss out on more than what they already will. And, if there is another deal, owners could get some financial relief from an amnesty clause that would allow them to release a player with an exorbitant contract (most likely Lewis).
For now, here is the list of what Wizards players stand to lose:
Rashard Lewis $1,824,282.35
Andray Blatche $530,524.48
John Wall $455,418.35
Nick Young $304,364.69*
Jan Vesely $216,917.64**
JaVale McGee $202,785.80
Kevin Seraphin $138,382.59
Trevor Booker $106,640.47
Chris Singleton $105,098.82***
Jordan Crawford $92,271.53
Othyus Jeffers $87,235.89*
Hamady Ndiaye $79,377.69*
Larry Owens $79,377.69*
Shelvin Mack $40,367.76****
*-Player is a restricted free agent. Deduction based on qualifying offer from the Wizards.
**Deduction based on projected rookie salary for 6th overall pick
***Deduction based on projected rookie salary for 18th overall pick
****Deduction based on projected salary for first-year minimum