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NBA D-League Salaries: Exploring End of Season (And Award Based) Bonuses For Players

Here's a look at how championship and award winners players in the D-League will end up with more lucrative checks now that the season has concluded.

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
It's been well documented over the years that player pay (or the unfortunate lack of it) is one of the D-League's most glaring weaknesses. The minor league is a true asset of the NBA, and continues to improve and progress as the years go on. Nevertheless, the pay involved has always left something to be desired.

Of course, players aren't expected to make a career out of playing in the D-League. Such a platform is used for developmental purposes, only to see such athletes move on to greener pastures and prosper on bigger and brighter stages.

While receiving an NBA call-up is obviously an individual honor of sorts, there's no doubt that coming together as a team for the greater good (winning) proves to be a valuable mindset, even in the NBADL. And as fate would have it, the league does reward its players for racking up the victories and making noise in the playoffs.

According to a source, RidiculousUpside.com has learned that each player ending the season on the championship winning squad (this season, the Santa Cruz Warriors, of course) will add up to an $1,000 bonus to their year-end checks. All players ending the season on the team serving as runner-up (this season's Fort Wayne Mad Ants) will receive a $500 bonus instead.

Being on a winning team provides players with something concrete to put on their resumes; there's no doubt about that. That said, it must be nice to receive a little bit more financial motivation as well.

To boot, each player on a conference championship winning squad (the Warriors and Maine Red Claws this season) receives a separate bonus up tp $1,000, too.

All of this proves that it pays (quite literally) to win. Of course, players are also rewarded if they receive individual honors as well. Though such bonuses are prorated depending on the amount of games played in the regular season, this would seemingly qualify Tim Frazier (41 games played) and Aaron Craft (all 50 regular season games played) as two of the D-League's most profitable players this past season, due not only to individual greatness, but team success, in addition.

Here's a further breakdown of the bonuses athletes receive if they win player-awards, according to our source:

  •   NBA D-League Most Valuable Player --- $3,000

  •   NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year --- $1,500

  •   NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year --- $1,500

  •   NBA D-League Rookie of the Year --- $1,500

  •   NBA D-League Most Improved Player --- $1,500

  •   Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award --- $1,500

  •   All NBA D-League First Team --- $1,500

  •   All NBA D-League Second Team --- $1,250

  •   All NBA D-League Third Team --- $1,000

  •   All NBA D-League Rookie First Team --- $1,000

  •   All NBA D-League Defensive First Team --- $1,000