Bonuses are a small part of the NBA landscape these days, but a very particular one involving the Golden State Warriors could be in play as the season enters the final few weeks. It happens to involve Andrew Bogut and a bonus that he would receive if he made the NBA’s All-Defensive squad.
The Warriors will save $4 million in taxes and $1.8 million in salary if Andrew Bogut fails to make the NBA All-Defensive first or second team. Bogut must play 65 games (currently at 60) and repeat as a member of the All-Defensive team to receive this bonus. If Bogut misses out, the Warriors’ tax bill will drop from $18.8 million to $14.9 million. The Warriors cap figure this summer would decrease also with the team having an extra $1.6 million in room. The room is created because the NBA would deem the bonus unlikely. His cap hit would go from $12.6 million to $11 million.
As you see, Bogut must play at least 65 games in the season, and he’s still just five games away from actually reaching that threshold. If the toe injury that he’s currently battling keeps him out for any time period longer than a few games, he could stand to lose $1.8 million in salary. But that’s not the only way.
If Bogut does reach the 65 game threshold, he’d still need to finish on one of the two All-Defensive teams that the NBA elects after each season. Last season, Bogut was named to the second team. If he’s not named to either one this season, then he would lose that $1.8 million, and the team would save $4 million in taxes that would have been levied.
Why does this matter? Well, cap space is very important in the league and an extra $1.6 million here or there, which is what his cap hit would go down by, could make a monetary difference in the free agent market when it comes to trying to sign someone.
So, while the Warriors are trying to achieve 73 wins in a season, Bogut will need to play 65 games and make an All-Defensive team to secure his money. If he fails to do so, then you could be looking at the Warriors getting just a little bit more breathing room as the offseason comes around.