For most players, retiring from the NBA means that they’re also saying goodbye to their salaries. But, one way or another, that doesn’t necessarily has to be the case, as some players have made such good deals for themselves, that they continued to get paid long after they last set foot on an official court.
Bobby Bonilla, who was a baseball player for the New York Mets, might’ve made the best deal for himself, as the day he gets his yearly check is unofficially called ‘Bobby Bonilla day’. Bonilla retired back in 1999, but he will continue to get paid until 2035. Of course, there are also quite some examples of this phenomenon in the NBA.
Though Ellis spent the most time in his career as a Warrior, he spent his last five years with three different teams: the Bucks, Mavericks and the Pacers. In his last season, he still played 74 games, but at the end of that year, the Pacers decided to waive him. As he signed a four-year contract with the Pacers in 2015, Ellis still had two years left on his contract. The Pacers and Ellis made a deal that would stretch out the remaining $11.2 million over the course of the next few seasons. Ellis will receive his last payment in 2021-2022.
Garnett retired as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves back in 2016, but he’s going to get paid by an NBA team until the 2021-2022 season. You would expect that the Timberwolves still owe him money, but that isn’t the case. Garnett is still on the payroll of the Boston Celtics, though he played for two different teams before he retired. They still owed him $35 million when he retired, and they came to a deal that would pay Garnett $5 million per year for the next seven seasons.
Nowadays, Deron Williams mostly spends his time playing golf, as a lot of other retired athletes do. There are two things that make him different from the rest. One, he still hasn’t officially retired his career, though he last played in the 2016-2017 season, but the second things is that he still is paid by the Brooklyn Nets. They owed him about $16.5 million, and he received the last part of that during the last season.
Duncan retired back in 2016, but just before that, he had opted into a deal for a new contract with the Spurs. As the Spurs waived him after his retirement, they still had to pay Duncan $6.393,750 million. Of course, the Spurs needed the money to sign new players to their team to replace Duncan, so they decided to stretch his salary over a couple of years. Last season, the 2018-2019 season, was the last year Duncan could collect his NBA salary, which will be around $1.6 million.