The biggest NBA player bonuses at stake this summer

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo will not have to play the waiting game when it comes to his supermax eligibility this offseason. The MVP front-runner met the supermax criteria with All-NBA selections in 2018 and 2019. But what will happen to the more than 25 NBA players with lingering incentives in their contracts for the 2019-20 season?

When the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, multiple players were approaching eligibility for contract bonuses. With basketball likely to return this summer, the league and the NBPA have to negotiate what will happen to that money.

Sources told ESPN that the most likely outcome will be similar to how the league handled bonuses during the lockout-shortened season in 2011-12. Contract incentives initially intended for 82 games were prorated to account for the 66-game season. For example, a player with a $500,000 bonus in his contract for playing in 70 games qualified for the bonus if he played in 56 games. However, performance bonuses based on averages — such as shooting percentages — were not adjusted.

Which players and teams will be affected most by this kind of adjustment? And what changes if the NBA jumps straight to the playoffs in July without any additional regular-season games counting toward players’ bonus criteria? Here’s our breakdown of the major incentives to watch.

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