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Cade Cunningham can secure $45m bonus in 2024-25 thanks to little-known NBA rule after inking bumper new Pistons deal

DETROIT Pistons star Cade Cunningham earned himself a monster deal this offseason thanks to a loophole in the NBA rules.

NBA players can sign certain contracts after completing various amounts of years in the league, but one rule can skip that.

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Cade Cunningham has agreed to a monster contract with the Detroit Pistons[/caption]

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Cunningham signed a five-year, $224 million max rookie contract extension[/caption]

Cunningham agreed to a five-year, $224 million max rookie contract extension on Tuesday.

That contract can grow to as much as $269 million next season.

Cunningham had a spectacular season despite the Pistons being a historically bad team.

He averaged 22.7 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.3 rebounds during his third season in the league.

Cunningham was integral to the Pistons offense, and he ranked top-10 in the NBA in touch length, dribbles per touch, and on-ball screens.

His impressive play is what earned him the massive contract extension, but if he continues improving it will grow even more.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement has a clause in it that is affectionately referred to as the Derrick Rose rule.

The rule was created after Derrick Rose won an MVP award on his rookie contract.

Previously, players on their rookie deals could only sign extensions worth up to 25 percent of a team’s salary cap.

With the Rose rule, players can now earn up to 30 percent of their team’s salary cap based on their performance.


These three scenarios allow a player to sign a contract worth 30 percent of their team’s cap:

  • The player was named to an All-NBA in the last season, or two of the last three seasons.
  • The player was named Defensive Player of the Year in the last season, or in two of the last three seasons.
  • The player was named MVP in any of the last three seasons.

It is extremely difficult to hit those margins in the first three seasons though, so there is another way for a player to increase the value.

These three scenarios allow a player to increase their contract value based on their fourth season:

  • The player’s salary becomes 27 percent of the cap if he’s named to the All-NBA Third Team.
  • The player’s salary becomes 28 percent of the cap if he’s named to the All-NBA Second Team.
  • The player’s salary becomes 30 percent of the cap if he’s named to the All-NBA First Team.

Some players have signed contracts where any of the three All-NBA teams increase their contract value.

There are similar rules regarding veteran contract rules that fall under the designated veteran role.

They follow nearly the same criteria, but allow for a salary up to 35 percent of the cap.

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Cunningham’s deal can increase in value due to the Rose rule[/caption]

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