NBA Salary Cap Will Cost LeBron James Over $28M This Season

LeBron James

Photo: AP

When LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, he accepted a 2010-11 salary of $14.5 million, approximately $2.1 million less than the maximum amount he was eligible for under the NBA’s rules.This was done to fit the salaries of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh under the salary cap.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg in determining how much the NBA’s salary cap will cost James this season.

Based on Wins Produced, a metric that measures how many wins an individual player contributed to a team, James was worth 27.2 Wins in 2009-10. And if we look at total NBA salaries last season, NBA teams paid approximately $1.6 million for each win.

That translates to a value of $43.8 million for James last season, making him worth $29.3 million more than his $14.5 million salary. And that only considers his on-court contributions. The LeBron brand is worth millions more to the Heat off the court.

But even these figures are probably underestimating how much money LeBron is losing under the salary cap system. The $1.6 million paid per win is calculated using the current system. Certainly that number would go up without a cap.

If we estimate that non-capped salaries would be 25% higher, that would place a value of $2.0 million on each win. With that figure, James would have been worth $54.4 million last season, or $39.9 million more than he is making this season.

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