How Much Would 90’s Stars Get Paid Today?

When Michael Jordan was a rookie, the NBA salary cap was a measly $3.6 million.
Now, some rookies command more than double that (I’m not adjusting for inflation here, but you get the picture).

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Next year, the cap will grow to $109 million, more than 30 times the size of what it once was.
It was that staggering fact which made me wonder how some of the most famous contracts from years past would translate in today’s terms.
Just to be clear, this isn’t about how much money former superstars would actually get in today’s NBA, because they’d obviously all get the current max.
It’s more about working out approximately what the contracts of yesteryear would look like when extrapolated to fit the enormous current (and future) cap.
Let’s start with each player’s contract

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Michael Jordan (Bulls, 1988) – 8 years, $25M
Accumulative cap over those 8 years: $109.3M
Jordan got 22.9% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 8 years from today – $1061M
If Jordan got 22.9% of $1061M:
8 years, $242.9M ($30.4M per season)
Patrick Ewing (Knicks, 1991) – 6 years, $33M
Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $104.8M
Ewing got 31.5% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M
If Ewing got 31.5% of $761M:
6 years, $239M ($39.8M per season)
Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets, 1993) – 4 years, $30M
Accumulative cap over those 4 years – $78.4M
Olajuwon got 38.3% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 4 years from today – $481M
If Olajuwon got 38.3% of $481M:
4 years, $184.2M ($46M per season)
Vince Carter (Raptors, 2001) – 6 years, $94M
Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $273M
Carter got 34.4% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M
If Carter got 34.4% of $761M:
6 years, $261.8M ($43.6M per season)
Allen Iverson (76ers, 1999) – 6 years, $70M
Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $239.9M
Iverson got 29.1% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M
If Iverson got 25.6% of $761M:
6 years, $222M ($37M per season)
Ray Allen (Sonics, 2005) – 5 years, $80M
Accumulative cap over those 5 years – $332.6M
Allen got 24% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 5 years from today – $617.6M
If Allen got 24% of $617.6M:
5 years, $148.2M ($29.64M per season)
Kobe Bryant (Lakers, 2004) – 7 years, $137M
Accumulative cap over those 7 years – $376.3M
Bryant got 36% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 7 years from today – $911M
If Kobe got 36% of $911M:
7 years, $327M ($46M per season)
Kevin Garnett (Timberwolves, 1998) – 6 years, $126M
Accumulative cap over those 6 years – $226M
Garnett got 55.8% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 6 years from today – $761M
If Garnett got 55.8% of $761:
6 years, $424.6M ($70.7M per season)
Shaquille O’Neal (Lakers, 1996) – 7 years, $121 million
Accumulative cap over those 7 years – $233.4M
Garnett got 51.8% of the accumulative cap.
Projected cap total over 7 years from today – $911M
If Shaq got 51.8% of $911.5M:
7 years, $464M ($66.3M per year)
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