Ja Morant 25-Game Suspension: Salary and Future Earnings Impact

Grizzlies' Star Faces Financial Setback After Suspension.

by Nouman Rasool
Ja Morant 25-Game Suspension: Salary and Future Earnings Impact
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ja Morant, the electrifying guard for the Memphis Grizzlies and a two-time All-Star, is set to make his season debut in Tuesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans, marking a significant moment in the 2023-24 NBA season.

Morant's absence from the court until now is attributed to a suspension imposed at the season's onset, a disciplinary action that has had substantial financial implications for the star player. The suspension, announced by the NBA in June, stemmed from two separate incidents involving Morant.

The first occurred at a Denver area nightclub in early 2023, where Morant was seen displaying a firearm while intoxicated, leading to an eight-game suspension. The second, and more consequential incident, involved Morant displaying a gun during a live stream on Instagram in May 2023.

This act, deemed as "conduct detrimental to the league," resulted in a hefty 25-game suspension without pay. The financial impact of Morant's 25-game absence is significant. According to calculations based on the NBA's salary policies, this suspension has cost Morant approximately $7.6 million.

This figure represents 1/110th of his salary for the 2023-24 season, as outlined by ESPN's Bobby Marks. The financial repercussions extend beyond just his NBA salary, potentially impacting Morant's off-court earnings and endorsements.

Morant's Contract Impact

Morant's current contract with the Grizzlies, a lucrative five-year, $197.2 million extension signed in 2022, underscores the severity of the financial loss. This season, his salary stands at $34.0 million, escalating annually to an estimated $44.9 million in the final year (2027-28).

Had Morant avoided suspension and earned a spot on an All-NBA team last season, the value of his contract could have swelled to $230 million, further highlighting the cost of his absence. The competition for All-NBA team selection is intense, especially in the guard position.

As Brian Windhorst of ESPN noted, Morant's suspension not only affected his financial standing but also diminished his chances in the All-NBA team race. Availability and team contribution are critical factors in these considerations, and Morant's self-inflicted unavailability has inevitably influenced his candidacy.

Looking ahead, Morant's contract details with the Grizzlies promise substantial earnings. His annual salary is set to increase each season, starting from $34,005,250 in 2023-24 and culminating at $44,886,930 in the 2027-28 season.

Despite the setback caused by the suspension, Morant's career earnings are projected to exceed $230 million by the end of his current contract, affirming his status as one of the NBA's elite players and a key figure in the Memphis Grizzlies' lineup.

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