The top NBA draft picks will make millions—and Shaq has some money advice for them

Deandre Ayton at the 2018 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York.
Chris Marion/NBAE | Getty Images

On Thursday, the Phoenix Suns selected Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft. The University of Arizona center, who's already signed a four-year, multi-million dollar deal with Puma, could be paid as much as $8 million as a rookie.

The other top draft picks will earn millions too: Sports website RealGM estimates that the second pick, Marvin Bagley III, will earn about $6 million and the third, Luka Doncic, about $5.4 million.

Deandre Ayton at the 2018 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, New York.
Chris Marion/NBAE | Getty Images

Basketball hall of famer Shaquille O'Neal, a number one draft pick himself, has some advice for these rookies who are suddenly coming into a lot of money. It's the same advice he wishes he could tell his 20-year-old self, who blew through $1 million in an hour, and he sums it up with a brilliant analogy:

"Alright children," he said while speaking to CNBC's Bob Pisani at BITG's Charity Day. "This is $100," he continued, motioning to a blank sheet of paper. "What you want to do is, you want to rip the $100 in half."

Take one half, he says, and "save it. Don't ever touch it. Put it away. Don't even look at it. Now you've got $50 left. Now, the smart people ... the billionaires of the world, they'll take half of that $50 and put all that away," he says, while adding another quarter of the piece of paper to the "save pile."

"This right here," he says of the remaining quarter, is your fun money: "You want to buy houses, you want to buy cars, you want to buy planes, you want to travel? This right here is what you have fun with."

In short, O'Neal recommends saving and investing 75 percent of your earnings for retirement and other long-term goals, and living off the remaining 25 percent.

"A guy taught me that a long time ago, and it's been working for me," he tells Pisani.

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