Going into game six of the 2019 NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors lead the Golden State Warriors three games to two. If the Raptors win again tonight, Thursday, June 13, they'll clinch the championship — and walk away with way more than just bragging rights.
They'll take home a nice bonus, too.
The NBA creates a "players' pool" each season that's split among the teams that make the playoffs and finals, and the National Basketball Players Association helps decide how it's divvied up. This time, the pool is about $22 million, an NBPA representative confirmed to CNBC Make It.
Using data from sports website SB Nation, we crunched the numbers to provide our best estimate of how much this year's champs could get, since the NBPA declined to share those details.
Last season, when the pool was $20 million, the winning team took home around $3.3 million, which broke down to about $220,000 per player for a 15-person roster. So using that logic, and assuming the winners' share grows by 10%, in line with the pool's overall increase, the winners this year could take home around $3.6 million, or $240,000 per player.
That's just fraction of the star players' salaries. Steph Curry, the Warriors' star point guard, for example, earned a base of $37.4 million for the 2017-2018 season, according to sports-data site Spotrac. Kyle Lowry, the Raptors' point guard, brought in $31 million.
The championship bonus is still high compared to other professional sports, like the NFL. Players on the winning Super Bowl team — including those who were injured or inactive — got a $118,000 bonus, according to the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, while the losing team got $59,000 for each player.
For Curry, a two-time NBA Most Valuable award recipient and winner of three NBA championships with the Warriors, it's not all about the money: "One thing my pops always told me is you never count another man's money," he said in a 2017 interview with The Mercury News. "It's what you've got and how you take care of it."
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