Paul George’s horrific leg injury during a Team USA scrimmage will not only cost him a year of basketball and put the Pacers’ entire season in jeopardy, it will cost the team as much as $US16.5 million in lost salary, added payroll, and tax.
The combined loss to George and the Pacers, both on and off the court, shows just how much risk is being taken by having the NBA’s biggest stars compete in international competitions.
Darren Rovell of ESPN reports that the Pacers will only be able to recover 40% of his salary. That would mean the Pacers will still be responsible for $US9.5 million of $US15.9 million salary for the 2014-15 season with the remaining covered by insurance.
George’s salary is not the only financial cost for the Pacers.
The team will likely be given an injury exception which will allow the Pacers to add a player to their payroll with a salary of up to $US5.3 million. However, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Pacers are so close to the luxury tax threshold that a $US5.3 million salary would actually cost the Pacers closer to $US7 million in salary and tax.
This would bring their total financial loss to $US16.5 million.
Of course, none of that compares to the loss suffered by George or the impact the injury will have on the court. But it does show how much teams stand to lose both on and off the court when these players play in games they wouldn’t normally take part in.
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