According to the latest USA Today’s annual list of top-paid players in the NBA, Fator is the first player in the league’s history to earn $6.5 million in his first year in the league.
Fator played for seven teams in his first full season so far (at least in the numbers above). He was acquired in a mid-season trade with the Washington Wizards for forward Kelly Oubre, who eventually signed with Portland as a restricted free agent.
So for his first year in the league, Fator will earn $6.5 million. But that will go towards a player option for next year that would pay him $12.5 million should he remain with the Wizards.
So who is Terry Fator’s real salary for his first year in the NBA?
According to Woj:
“Fator’s contract kicks in at the midway point of the 2013-14 season. He’s guaranteed the balance of the deal after playing only 30 games as a rookie and 25 more games in his second stint with the Wizards … A team might try to trade Fator on draft day and then claim him off waivers in the offseason, which would put both teams’ cap sheets over the luxury tax line. They could also decide to keep Fator in training camp this year and attempt to win the right to match any offer sheet for a player they hold out for.”
In fact, the Wizards made a massive mistake to give Fator $36 million over five years when they had only a year of experience under them. They were a rebuilding team, and they had to pay the luxury tax for the luxury of not having a max contract.
But the Wizards were on the brink of making a run at a championship and he is the player who got them there. As of right now, he’ll remain in Washington for 2013-14 and the entire 2014-15 season when the franchise re-build will be underway at the same time. But he is an unrestricted free agent and there is nothing in his current deal that provides much flexibility. The fact that in the last week or so there have been indications that he could opt out on his deal and become a full-time player again (something I believe he was hoping to do last summer), means that he will no longer be on the Wizards’ payroll next year.
The Wizards can either sign him to a contract extension with less money than they have and take a significant hit to their salary-cap space,
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