Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reports:
There are marketing opportunities to discuss and negotiations to be had over possible jersey sales that would almost certainly result in players getting a significant slice of the financial pie that they don’t in their agreement with the NBA (although some expect the NBA would challenge the players’ ability to sign such deals). There is a fact that seems to always be forgotten, too: playing overseas means not paying taxes. While there are taxes to be paid, several agents with experience doing international deals said they typically negotiate for the team to cover those payments as part of the contract.
So considering Williams’ salary with the Turkish team, Besiktas, has been reported as a one-year, $5 million deal, that’s the approximate equivalent to a $10 million NBA deal for the player who stands to lose $16.3 million if the entire season is lost because of the lockout. There won’t be enough jobs for the masses, but the players, their agents, and union representatives clearly hope the threat of losing elite players strikes some fear in the owners’ hearts.
Star-studded exhibition games like the two taking place in the Philippines this weekend are proving to be quite profitable as well, with one source with knowledge of the deals saying the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Chicago’s Derrick Rose are being paid more than $400,000 apiece for their weekend of work (reminder: tax-free). Worthwhile ventures like these are a less-explosive strategy on the labor front, though there is — as reported by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday — an impatient contingent of agents who is pushing for a more aggressive approach that involves the decertification of the union and subsequent antitrust lawsuits.
Yet despite the worst-case scenario fears of some agents that the league’s owners could be willing to lose two seasons to get the hard salary cap and monumental rollbacks they’re seeking, NBPA officials still appear to be more inclined to let the clock keep ticking and the pressure keep building.
Update: Game organizers deny reported figures. Interaksyon reports:
But MVP Sports Foundation executive director Chot Reyes denied the figures cited by Amick, hinting that the real numbers were much lower. “Every player had a different contract as well,” Reyes added.
While Reyes would not divulge the exact figures, he was earlier quoted as saying that the event cost “between expensive and very expensive.”
Bryant is estimated to make around $25 million from the Los Angeles Lakers this season, which would amount $300,000 per NBA game. The difference, though, is that Bryant’s earnings in the Philippines would be tax-free as opposed to his regular NBA salary.
Read more and see video: NBA exhibition game in Philippines.