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NBA D-League Eyeing An Increase To Lower Tier Salaries Following New CBA Deal

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The NBA D-League will look to increase its player salaries as the new CBA deal kicks in, but it isn't likely to help them keep the more talented players stateside.

Elliot Williams was among those D-Leaguers to flock overseas midseason in 2015-16.
Elliot Williams was among those D-Leaguers to flock overseas midseason in 2015-16.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It goes without saying that NBA D-League players work hard enough to deserve higher annual salaries. They're constantly on the grind. That said, saying they "deserve" more money is a personal take, not a professional one. That said, there's no doubt that as the level of play (both from an individual and overall competition standpoint) continues to rise, those around the basketball world are holding the minor league in even higher regard.

As such, international teams are doing their research and offering the D-League's more promising prospects more money to head abroad. Following one season in the NBADL, plenty of youngsters act fast to cash in. There's a considerate amount of money required (especially when taking into account the low D-League salaries to begin with) needed to buy a player out of his minor league contract midseason, but even that hasn't proven to scare international teams away too badly. They have the money to offer, and the D-League serves as the stage for them to figure what (or who) it is they really want.

In this ever evolving technological world, many consumers regard competing retail stores simply as 'showrooms," so that they can demo a respective product before going back home and purchasing it on instead. The dilemma the D-League now faces with high quality talent continuing to flock overseas presents a similar issue. Thus, from a strategic stand point, it would make sense that D-League increase players salaries as a means of keeping the most talented players stateside.

Though the D-League is in fact eyeing a salary increase, it isn't likely to make a big difference for the minor league's brightest shining stars, has learned.

The D-League has three different salaries tiers: A, ($25,000), B ($19,000), and C ($13,000). Obviously the league's best players, including NBA affiliate players who previously participated in big league training camp, are more often regarded as "A" salary players. While increasing such a salary interval is still very much a possibility, it's not the most pressing priority, multiple sources confirm.

Instead, in anticipation of a new CBA deal being signed, the D-League will specifically explore increasing its "C" level salary tier. The current amount is hovering too close to minimum wage, based on the number of hours D-Leaguers are putting in. Depending on what the increase is, the D-League will also look into upping the "B" tier as well, in order to maintain a respectable differentiation between the two lower tiers.

One would have to think that as the "B" tier goes up, so will the "A," eventually. That said, even that potential increase isn't likely to be the competitive type that motivates the more talented players to turn down some very lucrative international offers.